Skip to content

Draft Surface water source heat pumps: Code of Practice

Update: A summary of responses to the consultation has now been published and is available for download. The draft publication has been removed and the final publication date is expected to be winter 2015.


The CIBSE/HPA/GSHPA Surface Water Source Heat Pump (SWSHP) Code of Practice focuses on the use of surface water as a thermal resource. The Code of Practice identifies and evaluates the different options that can be deployed to extract heat from, or reject heat into, an open body of water. It consider both open loop and closed loop heat pumps.

The Code of Practice has been developed with the support of DECC as part of a package of actions to overcome the barriers to the deployment of SWSHPs.

To ensure that SWSHPs are designed and operate effectively, CIBSE, in partnership with the Heat Pump Association (HPA) and Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA) under a memorandum of understanding, have brought together industry partners to draft a document that seeks to establish common standards for the development of SWSHPs. The document has been authored by a consortium led by Themba Technology Ltd, appointed following a tender process and supported by a Steering Committee and Corresponding Committee.

The CIBSE/ADE Heat network: Code of Practice for the UK has been used as the framework for the document, with the added use of examples and case studies.

The Code of Practice seeks to set clear minimum standards without putting unnecessary burdens on the industry or restricting innovation. It seeks to raise technical standards across the supply chain and ensure their consistent application during the lifecycle of a project. The Code of Practice tracks the project through seven key stages: preparation and briefing, feasibility, design, construction and installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance and decommissioning.

Images and formatting

Please note: The diagrams and photographs used in this draft version for consultation are for illustrative purposes only and have not been through a process of verification in regards to copyright. If you are a copyright holder of any of the diagrams and photographs please contact us or include a note in your consultation response permission they can be used. In addition, if any respondees to the consultation have any other suggested diagrams and photographs to improve the document, please contact us or include in your consultation response.

The current document formatting is not final - the Code will go through full editing, peer review and design prior to final publication.

What happens next and confidentiality

The responses to this consultation will be reviewed by the Code of Practice steering committee in August 2015. A consultation report will respond to the views of the stakeholders. The steering committee’s response to the consultation report will be published alongside the final publication of the Code of Practice. This may take the form of a revised set of proposals, with changes annotated. 


For any enquiries about the Code of Practice or this consultation, please contact the steering committee via the Code of Practice secretariat:


  • Draft: CP2 Surface Water Source heat pumps: Code of Practice for the UK
  • Consultation response form
An example of an SWSHP installation - reproduced courtesy of RNLI An example of an SWSHP installation - reproduced courtesy of RNLI