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Bodyheat system goes live at SWG3 in Glasgow  Picture: SWG3
Bodyheat system goes live at SWG3 in GlasgowSWG3

Pioneering Bodyheat system goes live at dance venue

SWG3 invests thousands in new system powered by body heat

An ingenious heating system that uses body heat to cool and heat buildings has gone live in Glasgow.

Around a hundred guests marked the switch on of the innovative Bodyheat system at SWG3 with a mass slosh dance.

The event marked three years of development at the leading multidisciplinary arts and events venue in the West End.

Body heat from the performance was captured for the first time and will be used to cool and heat the building in the days and weeks to come.

From now on, clubbers and gig-goers will add to the store of heat that the system is able to collect and store on site.

Net zero

The venue says the system will help towards its goal of achieving net zero status in the next few years.

The system works using specially-developed technology. Photo: SWG3
The system works using specially-developed technology. Photo: SWG3

Andrew Fleming-Brown, managing director at SWG3, said: “We’re thrilled that after three years of planning, consultation and construction, we are able to switch on the first Bodyheat system.

“As well as being a huge step towards our goal of becoming net zero and will hopefully influence others from our industry and beyond to follow suit, working together to tackle climate change.”

The system works using specially-developed technology.

Heat is transported using a carefully-selected carrier fluid through a closed network of pipes to heat pumps in the plant room.

It’s then pumped 200m underground at a new community garden space at the back of the venue where it is stored in 12 boreholes.


We’re thrilled that after three years of planning, consultation and construction, we are able to switch on the first Bodyheat system.

Andrew Fleming-Brown


When the energy is ready to be used, it travels back to the heat pumps where it is upgraded to a suitable temperature and emitted back into SWG3’s event spaces.

The system is active across three separate spaces – a 1250-person capacity event space, a 1000-person event space and the main foyer entrance.

One of the heat pumps can even provide simultaneous heating and cooling, meaning body heat can be captured live during an event, and instantly be delivered to the foyer where it can be used to provide heat and maintain a desired temperature.

Complete disconnection of the gas boilers at SWG3 will substantially reduce the amount of carbon used.

Even the electricity used to run the Bodyheat system comes from 100% renewable sources, which means all of the heating and cooling provided is net-zero carbon emissions.

SWG3 hopes the system will influence others to follow suit
SWG3 hopes the system will influence others to follow suit

The system has been made possible with support through the Scottish Government: Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme and District Heating Loan Fund (managed by Energy Saving Trust); William Grant Foundation and UK Community Renewal Fund.

David Townsend, founder of TownRock Energy, said: “The whole TownRock team and I are delighted that the first BODYHEAT system is now up and running at SWG3.

“A huge congratulations and thank you to our partners Harley Haddow, all the contractors who constructed the system, and the Scottish Government for the funding.

'Fantastic scheme'

“We’re ready for all of you to come dance for the planet - make renewable heat with every beat!”

Councillor Angus Millar, convener for Climate and the Glasgow Green Deal at Glasgow City Deal at Glasgow City Council, said: “This is a fantastic scheme, where people really are making Glasgow greener – while having a great time.

“This innovative approach to reducing emissions and energy use at SWG3 is a great example of how we can all play our part in Glasgow becoming a Net Zero city.”

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