From our first days trading many decades ago we have been determined to make our business and products as environmentally sustainable as we can.
The whole building, from conception to completion has been designed and built with long term sustainability in mind. The team of architects, engineers, advisers and specialist builders and tradesmen who are experts in their fields worked closely together to make our beautiful building as efficient and environmentally sustainable as possible.
We worked carefully throughout the project to achieve an BREEAM “excellent” rating. To achieve this we had specified really thick levels of UK made hemp fibre and wool insulation, and all triple glazed windows with “planitherm” glass.
Wherever possible we minimise packaging, (particularly plastic), energy use and wastage. It is fundamental to our way of living to do this.
All biodegradable material that is generated in production is composted in our garden, and the matured compost is in turn used to nourish our lovely wildflower beds which are expertly planted with a vast range of native bee, butterfly and moth friendly plants, a beautiful sight in the summer months.
Before the main build started we built a fantastic specially designed bat house in the grounds. Very soon after its completion we were delighted to find, through an independent wildlife survey, that several species of bats had moved in.
We currently have 180 PV panels on the roof, which in the summer generate more electricity than we can use. Even in the winter we still can get a significant amount of generation. We have a large bank of batteries that can store excess electricity for use at night. In 2018 we plan to add some more panels on the east and west elevation to give us more generation earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon.
We have planning permission to add half a dozen micro vertical axis wind turbines, which should help generate a little power for us. We are quite excited about this project, and would be happy to share details when we know more.
We have three large solar thermal panels to help make our hot water directly from sun light. On average over the year this gives us 9kWh of heat per day. We also have a large log and pellet powered biomass boiler which gives us the rest of our hot water – around 50kWh per day on average over the year. In the summer we often make enough hot water naturally directly from the sun that we do not even need to light our boiler.