Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

I wrote the following piece, aided by Graham, for the Lindisfarne Web Newsletter and Holy Island Times:

This winter's renovations at The Open Gate are nearly complete. Some interested residents have already called in to inspect the new Bio-mass system which will provide all our hot water and central heating. The boiler is automatically fed from our new storage silo which contains up to 4.5 tonnes of high quality wood pellets, and you will occasionally see a Billingtons lorry unloading directly into the basement silo in the same way that other small tankers deliver oil around the island. Sensitive electronic controls keep the temperatures much more efficiently regulated than our previous gas system. Carbon emissions are a fraction of the former calor gas emissions, down to only 4 or 5 parts per million and the pellets come from sustainable forests. The costs per k.watt hour of heating have been halved, and along with the government Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, this makes Biomass not only the eco-friendly choice but also the economically sensible one if you can find the capital to do the installation and the space to put all the kit.

Other improvements to draught-proofing, which include a new door and many new or re-furbished windows courtesy of the conservation specialists Ventrolla, will also dramatically improve the previously poor heat retention of the building. Because this treasured village property is a listed building, no double glazing was permitted, but at least the windows are now wind-proof!

Over the next couple of weeks various broken window jambs and lintels are either being 'stitched' or replaced with matching stone, the old battered plastic guttering and down-pipes replaced with cast iron ones, and much of the stonework cleaned and re-pointed with lime mortar. We hope that you will feel that we have done this much loved old building proud, and would extend on open invitation to any interested island resident to come and view the work - just have a chat with Graham and arrange a mutually convenient time.

Posted at 06:59am on 28th February 2014
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