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[ Project focus: The Green House ]

Eco-friendly: The Green House refurbishment aims for the highest

environmental standards

The hotel owners are committed to achieving ISO14001 (Environmental Management Standard) and BREEAM accreditations – aiming for a BREEAM ‘excellent’


running hours and significantly reduces the number of starts. This feature helps to reduce maintenance costs, while also extending the life of the unit. The Green House exports any electricity it generates

but doesn’t need to the National Grid. If it needs extra electricity it gets it through an agreement with Ecotricity, the only green electricity company actually building new renewable energy sources.

Here comes the sun Continuing the microgeneration theme, the installation also utilised a solar thermal system, which provides The Green House with hot water by using the sun’s rays to heat water flowing through pipes on a set of panels. This is then passed through a coil in a hot water cylinder or heat store, where it heats the building’s hot water supply. After all available solar thermal systems were assessed,

Wessex installed five Stokvis Riomay Ecotube panels on a purpose-built frame in the hotel’s roof valley, feeding a buffer vessel in the basement plant room. The Stokvis Riomay Ecotube is an advanced form

of evacuated tube solar collector, which is designed to maximise the solar energy absorbed and minimise heat loss through radiation. Its technology substantially reduces the amount of ‘parasitic’ energy lost by most evacuated tube systems and, as a result, the system requires smaller pumps to circulate the fluid in the evacuated tube collector. This means that there are fewer drops in pressure through the system, giving a more sustained level of heat.

Seeing the light It wasn’t just on the microgeneration side that Wessex was able to demonstrate its green thinking. By their very nature, hotels require a great deal of light but all too often it is managed poorly and lights are left on when no one is using them. To eliminate this issue,

Wessex recommended a Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) based intelligent lighting solution that would utilise the latest LED technology. Mortimer explains: ‘LED DALI technology is both

cost effective and environmentally friendly – in fact, it produces less than four per cent of the carbon emissions of fluorescent lighting.’ Being able to fully scene set and dim all light fittings not in constant use dramatically reduced the energy consumption and hence the overall CO2

output of the building. The DALI lighting system enables ‘scene setting’ in

the corridors and bedrooms. In the corridors all lamps are reduced to only 10 per cent power until presence is detected. Daylight sensors turn off lighting when sufficient daylight is present, and motion detectors turn corridor lighting down when no one is present at night.

Mission accomplished During the course of its work there, the team at Wessex did their best to reduce their own carbon emissions by using a minibus to get to work, coordinating product deliveries to reduce the number of visits to site and recycling all packaging and waste products where possible. Mortimer concludes: ‘It was a great project to work on for a variety of reasons, but perhaps most of all it really highlights what it is possible to achieve when carbon reduction is taken seriously.’

Above and beyond

In order to lay claim to being Britain’s greenest hotel, The Green House has done everything possible to reduce its impact on the environment, both now and in the future. Here are some examples of how it has gone the extra mile to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Timber floors

These are all made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood – assurance that they are from sustainably managed forests.

Wallpaper and paint

The wallpaper is produced in the UK by Graham and Brown. It’s printed on FSC paper using vegetable inks, and even comes wrapped in a natural starch wrapping rather than cellophane.

Wall tiles The hotel’s tiles were made by Johnson Tiles in Stoke-on-Trent. Produced using 35 per cent recycled content, they underwent a single firing process, which dramatically reduced the energy used in the manufacturing process.

Wardrobes, desks and bedside tables These were all handmade by a small firm of craftsmen in Hebden Bridge. They were made from ash trees felled either by tree surgeons or storms, and are treated with ecologically friendly stain and varnish.


The hotel’s televisions are the lowest-energy models on the market. Using around 60 watts, which is less than most traditional light bulbs, they are LED backlit and have a host of eco settings.

Toilets, showers and taps

The toilets are dual flush and have low water consumption. The taps are aerated, as are the showers, giving the performance expected but using a fraction of the water.

Winter 2010 ECA Today 29

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