Ground Source Heat Pump Association


GSHP Standards

The GSHP Standards have been drawn up by the GSHPA to help designers and installers of ground source systems, architects and engineers to specify a high level of design and installation for ground source systems.

GSHP Standards define a high level of design, installation quality and maintenance to protect the environment and maintain the reputation of the industry. They are designed to help contractors and sub-contractors employing specialist companies to install ground source systems that comply with the Standards.

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 design qualifications and training programmes. The GSHP Standards are designed to enable reference to minimum materials specification, techniques and qualification requirements and ensure that installations comply with the Standards and to help contractors to employ companies that comply with the Standards.

Vertical Borehole Standard

The Vertical Borehole Standard covers Closed Loop Vertical Borehole: Design, Installation & Materials Standards under the following headings:

Thermal Pile Standard

The Thermal Pile Standard covers Thermal Pile Standards: Design, Installation & Materials Standards for thermal pile ground heat exchangers under the following headings:

Shallow Ground Source Standard

The Shallow Ground Source Standard covers horizontal ground heat exchange standards: Design, Installation & Materials Standards for thermal pile ground heat exchangers under the following headings:

Ground Source Heating & Cooling Guide

The GSHPA's Ground Source Heating & Cooling Guide was launched at Ground Source Energy Expo 2017. The original version, written in collaboration with the GSHPA, was first published in 2011 by the Environment Agency to provide information, advice and guidance to prospective users of ground source energy, their consultants and contractors. The guide, which has been significantly updated by the GSHPA, focuses on good practice rather than regulatory requirements.

The GSHPA Ground Source Heating & Cooling Guide is available to be bought from CIBSE.
If you are a member of the GSHPA we can send you a copy of the Ground Source Heating & Cooling Guide if you: click here.

Review of GSHP Standards

The GSHP Standards are reviewed periodically by the Training and Standards Sub-Committee. Proposals for change may be submitted using Comments Form under the Standard Change Procedure.

Standards in Progress

The GSHPA is currently developing two further standards: Thermal Transfer Fluid Standard and the Open Loop Standard.

Surface Water Source Heat Pump – CP2

CIBSE, GSHPA and the HPA have published a code of practice for Surface Water Source Heat Pumps.

This Code of Practice, which has been produced by a steering committee with lead authorship from Nic Wincott and Jen Billings of the GSHPA, can be bought from

MIS 3005

The Vertical Borehole Standard is referenced as an authority by the MCS Microgeneration Installation Standard for heat pumps which was published in March 2012: MIS 3005 Heat Pump Systems.

This is supplemented by the MIS 3005 Ground Loop Sizing Tables and the MIS 3005 Heat Emitter Guide.

Installation of Ground Source Heat Pumps

To get the full benefit of a GSHP installation you will need to employ someone with design and installation experience. A ground source heat pump may not perform well unless it is incorporated in a good design by someone who understands the needs of the building, the use to which the building is being put and the local geology.

To ensure a "soft landing" you should ensure that a ground source system is well understood and well maintained and this may include fine tuning the controls in the first years of operation.

For more information on installation of ground source heating from an experienced source please contact one of our members.