Passively Recovering Waste Heat Energy With Every Shower

Recoup WWHRS Pipe HEX in Barratt Z house project

Nov 24, 2021 | Energy Initiatives, Housebuilding

Barratt Z House is a unique zero carbon concept home that showcases the future of the sustainable living in the UK. It incorporates the Recoup Pipe HEX Waste Water Heat recovery System for Showers along with other products and systems from over 40 suppliers.

Recoup WWHRS Pipe HEX in Barratt Z House

The Pipe HEX Waste Water Heat Recovery System for Showers (WWHRS) is tucked away in the corner boxing in the kitchen. A passive energy-saving product, that is installed within the building fabric, hidden away from sight. It’s not flashy; it’s not trendy; it just works….and Barratt have been installing Recoup WWHRS since 2013! WWHRS is used by a number of forward-thinking UK housebuilders and is set to have a big part to play in the upcoming Part-L 2021 changes.

Recoup Pipe HEX - Barratt Z House & Plans

The waste shower water from the upstairs en-suite and bathroom shower runs into the Pipe HEX. The heat exchanger inside recovers heat energy from the waste water and uses it to heat the incoming cold water creating preheated water. This preheated water then feeds the shower mixer and/or the hot water system (which in the Z-house means a single WWHRS pipe is connected to low flow showers & an ASHP cylinder) reducing the hot water required per shower use by around 55%

Built on University of Salford’s main campus, Barratt Z House is the first home in the country to be built by a major housebuilder that goes substantially beyond the Future Homes Standard.

The home will test and monitor the most modern sustainable housing technology such as an air source heat pump, infrared panels, plaster that eliminates pollutants, a fridge that keeps food fresh for longer, heated skirting boards, air-powered showers, electric vehicle charging points, PV solar panels and battery storage. Importantly, the home will also be lived in by a university academic to better understand the customer’s experience of zero carbon living.

ITV’s, Alice Beer also visited and run a piece on the Barratts Z House flagship zero carbon home project and the suppliers involved. See Alice’s report here.

Content and image references from Barratt Developments Showcase on the Z House.

The regulation states that any fluid of category 4 or 5 must be separated by a double wall in order to comply. It is generally accepted (but debateable) that the change of fluid category associated with showering is at the point of the trap for the shower where it passes from its lowest possible category of 3 to a category 5 fluid on joining the rest of the waste system. There are certainly some circumstances where the shower waste itself prior to the trap may be deemed as a category 5 fluid.

Therefore, in order for a single walled product to comply, additional design and installation requirements are required.

The primary implication of this it that a drainage trap must be installed downstream of the unit, and therefore a trap should not be installed before the WWHRS. Removing the trap from the normal position at the bath or shower tray, and then relocating it downstream of the WWHRS unit (often on the floor below the shower or bathroom), can present several significant issues to both the installer and homeowner:

Recoup WWHRS Learning

Recoup WWHRS Learning is our online education portal for all things waste water heat recovery. Made up of courses containing lessons and quizzes it goes from an introduction to waste water heat recovery for showers to product installation courses. Find out more here.

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