18 Jun 2009 11:06:25
Ecovision installs at Castle Howard
Castle Howard in Yorkshire is one of the country's most impressive and largest private residences. The accommodation extends to over 140,000 square feet. The oil-fired heating bill last year (for the main house, the estate office and four residential flats in the Laundry Block) was £20,000.
Owner Simon Howard urgently wanted to reduce these costs. He wanted to cut carbon emissions, and he had to find a solution which would not be visually intrusive given the castle's listed status.
After extensive survey and planning work, we advised installing a ground source heat pump system. Instead of drilling bore holes or excavating a large area of ground around the house we advised draining a three acre lake adjacent to the house, and burying collecting loops in the lake bed.
This was done, the lake was re-filled and the loops were connected to the house via a pipe placed in a one metre channel under the north lawn. The lawn grew back and within two months there was no visible evidence of the ground works.
Inside the house, we installed two 110kW heat pumps in the existing boiler room, which supplied two 500 litre hot water cylinders which were then linked to the existing heating pipework.
Installing this system made absolute sense. We're not burning any fossil fuel, we're using a small amount of electricity from a green energy supplier to run the pump, and for every kilowatt the pump uses, four kilowatts of heat is generated. Unarguably, this is the way forward.
Ecovision's decision to use the lake made the project extremely feasible, both practically and financially. We’ve now made a huge reduction in our carbon footprint, and we're making substantial savings in heating and hot water costs.