Strong commitment to renewable technologies
Sustainability is very important to us at Broadgate Farm Cottages, in offering a 5 star luxury holiday experience we ensure that we are also kind to our environment.
In 2007 before the time of government incentives for the use of renewables we were reviewing our options for heating the cottages. Off grid for gas we were looking at bottled gas or oil and this use of fossil fuels did not sit well for us. We searched for an alternative and came across Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP), this was a major capital outlay as the system cost much more than conventional systems but it felt right – better for the environment in the long term.
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Taking heat from the fields around the cottages for space and water heating
The system draws heat from the fields around the cottages through ground arrays – we had to dig trenches 1m down to lay the pipes. They snake out across the paddocks and are filled with water and an antifreeze solution, cold water is sent out and it comes back warmed up.
We had plenty of room so no problem for us to fit in all the pipes for the 4 ground source heats pumps that we now own
Toasty cottages with eco-friendly heating
Relax in the comfort of our wonderful cottages
This solution then enters a heat exchanger where the heat from the antifreeze solution is transferred and heats up pure water. The unit that makes this happen is powered by electricity and for every 1 unit of electricity we put in we get about 4 units worth of power.
All our cottages are heated by ground source heat pumps, as we developed more cottages we added more and now have 4 – all from a UK manufacturer of heat pumps Kensa.
These heat pumps take heat from under the fields surrounding the cottages and ensure that all the cottages are cosy for your stay, all the cottages have full central heating most of it is underfloor but a few rooms in the Forge and Stables use radiators.
Insulation and build quality
High specification to reduce heat losses and carbon footprint
There is little point using renewable technologies if you are wasting much of the heat you generate. This can be a challenge with older buildings so we ensured that they were all converted to the highest standards.
We have used higher levels of wall, floor and ceiling insulation than normally specified, air tightness tests have ensured that we loose as little of the heat we generate as possible. Modern plumbing installations ensure that water efficiency is achieved without compromising the guests’s experience.
Eco- friendly hot water system
Mains pressure showers and lovely modern bathrooms
The hot water for your cottage is provided mainly by the ground source heat pumps but we do also have solar thermal heating the water as well on some of the cottages. It is amazing how hot the solar panels heat the water, even on a sunny winters day the solar panels do their bit.
The water is timed to improve efficiencies.
Because it is a sustainable eco – friendly system all the cottages have a highly insulated water tank, all systems are fitted with water saving technology eg aerated taps and shower heads to help reduce the load without affecting the guests experience.
Making power from the sun
Ground source heat pumps use some electricity so we have installed our own on site electricity generation – tucked away on one of the barns a large array of solar PV panels, we use over 95% of everything we generate.
We configured these panels East/West to match our pattern of consumption so we get electricity early in the morning and later in the day.
Of course we use low energy lighting and we suppliment this with timers for the exterior lighting and the use of sensor bulbs that react when dusk falls. All our appliances are at least A+. We ask guests to help us by turning off when they go out.