SWG3 launches pioneering thermal heating and cooling system


After three years of development, Scotland’s leading multidisciplinary arts and events venue SWG3 marked the switch on of the landmark BODYHEAT system last week. The radical new thermal heating and cooling system was activated at a special launch event and began officially harnessing body heat from visitors to the venue for the very first time. Guests were invited to take part in a very special rendition of the famous Slosh in which the heat generated will be used to heat and cool the venue in the days and weeks to come.

From club and gig goers to guests attending exhibitions, workshops or any other events being hosted by SWG3, the innovative new system is now active and ready to capture the heat emitted from all of the venue’s visitors. The energy will then be stored across 12 underground boreholes, before being used to heat or cool the venue later – whether it be the next day, the next month or the next year.

The system is active across three separate spaces – a 1250-person capacity event space, a 1000-person event space and the main foyer entrance. One of the heat pumps can even provide simultaneous heating and cooling, meaning body heat can be captured live during an event, and instantly be delivered to the foyer where it can be used to provide heat and maintain a desired temperature.

Heat is transported using a carefully selected carrier fluid through a closed network of pipes to heat pumps in the plant room, before going 200m underground to the boreholes to be stored. When the energy is ready to be used, it travels back to the heat pumps where it is upgraded to a suitable temperature and emitted back into SWG3’s event spaces.

BODYHEAT has been made possible with support through the Scottish Government: Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme and District Heating Loan Fund (managed by Energy Saving Trust); William Grant Foundation and UK Community Renewal Fund.

Complete disconnection of the gas boilers at SWG3 will substantially reduce the amount of carbon used and the electricity used to run the BODYHEAT system comes from 100% renewable sources, which means all of the heating and cooling provided is net-zero carbon emissions.

The SWG3 vision includes the site becoming completely net zero, unlocking not only the potential of the venue and its people, but also the surrounding areas and beyond, using arts, creativity and nature to help tackle climate change.

Andrew Fleming-Brown, MD of SWG3, said, “We’re thrilled that after three years of planning, consultation and construction, we are able to switch on the first BODYHEAT system . As well as being a huge step towards our goal of becoming net zero and will hopefully influence others from our industry and beyond to follow suit, working together to tackle climate change. ”

David Townsend, founder of TownRock Energy, said, “The whole TownRock team and I are delighted that the first BODYHEAT system is now up and running at SWG3. A huge congratulations and thank you to our partners Harley Haddow, all the contractors who constructed the system, and the Scottish Government for the funding. We’re ready for all of you to come dance for the planet – make renewable heat with every beat!”

Councillor Angus Millar, convener for Climate and the Glasgow Green Deal at Glasgow City Deal at Glasgow City Council, said: “This is a fantastic scheme, where people really are making Glasgow greener – while having a great time.  This innovative approach to reducing emissions and energy use at SWG3 is a great example of how we can all play our part in Glasgow becoming a Net Zero city.”

Category: News
Tags: Andrew Fleming Brown, BODYHEAT, net-zero carbon, swg3, thermal cooling, thermal heating