Bristol City Council Net Zero by 2030

Project Details

Client / Bristol City Council

Bristol City Council (BCC) appointed 3D Technical Design (3DTD) to lead the design and technical management of the city’s new District Heating networks. 3DTD have been providing continuous support to BCC in achieving its Net Zero target since 2017.

The project began with developing a detailed pre-construction design for the new District Heating network in the Temple Meads area and providing technical support during construction. The presence of a number of newly constructed developments and road layouts, diverted existing underground assets, and new utilities installed in this area, greatly contributed to the complexity of the project in terms of stakeholder management and design/technical coordination.

Subsequently, the heat network was extended to the Redcliffe area to supply existing and new developments and reached a total of 2km in length, designed and coordinated by 3DTD.


They have assisted us in identifying, understanding, and managing complex project risks, whilst being flexible and focused...

In parallel with the Redcliffe extension, 3DTD has been engaged to develop a detailed route design for the new Old Market Heat Network (OMN), which was installed in two independent clusters on the east and west side of the A4044 road. Later, the two schemes were interconnected across the A4044 arterial road. Executing the crossing was an exceptionally challenging exercise due to the high utility density, large volume of traffic, ongoing developments, and utility installations in the area.

With the interconnection, the scheme has reached a total length of 1.6km in Bristol’s urban area and will allow the entire OMN to be supplied by England’s largest water source heat pump and provide heat to thousands of homes, as well as to a variety of residential, commercial and government buildings.

To assist Bristol City Council in this convoluted environment, the services 3DTD provided comprised the following:

  • Route options developed using C2 and GPR Survey utility data
  • Technical and commercial risk assessment
  • 3D detailed network design
  • 3D pipe route design
  • Computer aided clash detection
  • Stress and expansion analysis
  • Advanced expansion foam design
  • 3D isolation valve and comms duct chamber design
  • 3D comms duct design
  • Trial Hole assessment and design
  • Leak detection system design
  • Technical Management and Technical Support
  • Liaison with developers & subcontractors
  • Support and guidance on network design and survey requirements
  • Collation and production of PCIP, Health and Safety file and O&M manual (including As-Built Drawings)
  • Site Supervision -Technical Quality Assurance
    • Setting out
    • Welding
    • Sleeving
    • Sectional Testing
    • Backfilling

The result was a success, thanks to the experience and expertise of our team helping to negotiate the complexities of the project, as testified by the Council:

3D Technical Design have played a central role in supporting the development of a complex multi-party project through to its construction phase. They have assisted us in identifying, understanding, and managing complex project risks, whilst being flexible and focused, highlighting necessary options and solutions which have been vital to navigating our stakeholders through the various Heat Network route coordination options and challenges which exist within city-centre environments.


Although the combined length of the various BCC Heat Network Schemes has already exceeded 4km, the initiative is still growing and 3DTD is providing continued support to overcome the numerous challenges the future network extensions will present, including:

Concept design for major infrastructure crossings to assist the client during the preliminary conversations with 3rd Party Stakeholders.


Detailed 3D pipe route design and utility modelling.


Detailed hot-tap connection design.


Spatial coordination and detailed isolation valve chamber design to suit the heavily congested buried environment.


Comprehensive detailed building entry design that takes wall type, reinforcement and structural requirement of buildings into account, specifically developed for each building entry to ensure that the building’s structural integrity is preserved.


Stakeholders included:

  • Client (Bristol City Council)
  • Powerpipe
  • Heat Network Associates
  • CSW Process
  • Sustainable Energy Ltd
  • Thermamech
  • Eurovia
  • Eniteq
  • Technics Utility Surveyors
  • Highways
  • Structures
  • Network Rail
  • NHS
  • Bristol Water
  • Wales and West
  • UKPN
  • Willmott Dixon
  • Galliford Try
  • Watkins Jones
  • BAM
  • JLL