22 May 2009 09:05:08
North England nuns move into low carbon home
Benedictine nuns from Stanbrook Abbey in Worcestershire have moved into a new £4.7 million residence designed to let them lead a low-carbon lifestyle, according to the Guardian.
Fitted with solar panels and a biomass boiler fuelled by local woodchips, the environmentally-friendly convent is situated in the North York Moors national park.
The newspaper reported that the new abbey was built from locally sourced materials in order to minimise the carbon footprint of the construction process.
Its roof is covered with sedum grass to provide insulation during the winter and there are also rainwater collection and reedbed sewage systems meaning that the convent has no need for a power-hungry waste water management system.
Speaking to the newspaper, the building's architect Gill Smith said: "A lot of building projects start out with all these environmental features and, by the value engineering stage, usually you've lost quite a few of them.
"The nuns have been remarkably good at sticking with their principles and not letting them drift as other clients tend to do."
Announcing the project last year, Dame Andrea Savage, the abbess of Stanbrook, suggested that the high energy demands of the Victorian building had begun to "impinge" upon the nuns' monastic lives. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/may/21/green-n...