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Ryan Close

Award Name: Architecture and Surveying
Host Company: WYG
Educational Institution: BSc in Quantity Surveying from Northumbria University
Research Topic: Retrofitting Domestic Dwellings with Renewable Technology - Ground Source Heat Pumps vs. Biomass Boilers
Award Year: 2014-15


Ryan is a self-motivated building surveyor with a working knowledge of both the nuclear industry and the private and public sector. He started with WYG in 2006. After achieving his National Certificate in Civil Engineering in 2009, Ryan then made the career move to building surveying by completing a honours degree at Northumbria University in building surveying. During his studies he was awarded first prize in an annual design competition and the Jonathan Grey Memorial award for a feasibility study on a listed building. He has a personal interest in renewable technology for rural homes – so his research was a clear subject choice.

Abstract of Report

The objective of this paper is to provide guidance for home owners who wish to install renewable technologies, in particular; Ground Source Heat Pumps and Biomass Boilers.

This study investigated:

  • The cost effectiveness or return on investment of retrofitting Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) and Biomass Boilers to domestic dwellings.
  • Comparing them to the popular off-mains gas solution of oil.
  • Projected effects of the new Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and how contractors qualify for the Micro-generation Certification Scheme (MCS).


Main conclusions:

  • GSHP has a greater return on investment.
  • Coefficient of performance extremely important.
  • Building fabric upgrades recommended for Ground Source Heat Pump installations.
  • Fabric improvements not as important with biomass.