GSHP Standards

The Ground Source Heat Pump Association recognises that the ground source industry requires installation standards in order to define and maintain a high level of installation quality, protect the environment and maintain the reputation of the industry.

The Standards have been drawn up by the GSHPA to help designers and installers of ground source systems, architects and engineers specifying ground source systems. They can be used by contractors employing specialist companies to install ground source systems. The Standards should also prove to be a useful for general reference.

The GSHP Standards provide concise information for the materials and general specification of installations. They are not installation or training manuals. The Standards must be referred to in conjunction with recognised design qualifications and training programmes. The Standards are designed to enable reference to minimum materials specification, techniques and qualification requirements and to ensure that installations comply with the Standards, or that contractors employ companies that comply with the Standards.

Thermal Piles are building foundation piles which can also be used to exchange heat with the ground. Piles can be used by ground source heat pumps to extract heat from the ground for space heating in winter, and to release heat extracted from buildings in summer. Thermal foundations are also referred to as Energy Piles or Thermoactive foundations.

Thermal Pile Standard

The second to be published is the Thermal Pile Standard which covers Thermal Piles: Design, Installation & Materials Standards under the following headings:

  • Government and regulatory agency requirements
  • Contractual responsibilities
  • Design and installation – training requirements
  • Design methods and compliance
  • Thermal response testing of the piles in the ground
  • Pile materials and methods
  • Pipes, joints, methods and materials
  • Grouts
  • Pipe installation
  • Testing of thermal pile heat exchange loops
  • Thermal transfer fluids
  • Design drawings and records

The Vertical Borehole Standard is referenced as an authority by the Environment Agency's Environmental ground source heating and cooling good practice guide and by the MCS MIS 3005 installation guide for Heat Pump systems.

ICAX Ltd is a member of the GSHPA and all its installations conform to the GSHP Standards.


ICAX Projects using vertical boreholes include:

Merton Acacia Intergenerational Centre, Mitcham
Suffolk One Sixth Form College, Ipswich
Tesco Supermarket, Greenfield
Wellington Civic Centre, Shropshire

ICAX is a member of the Ground Source Heat Pump Association