7 Oct 2008

Randwick: first carbon neutral village hall in the country

Below is the stuff from Alan Tomlinson's leaflet that was available at the opening of the hall last month - see here - and see more here about the huge success of the Open Homes weekend. Alan (photo left) has kindly let me reproduce the info on this blogsite.

Randwick is pleased to welcome you to the Stroud open homes information centre.

Randwick Village Hall officially opens its doors today following completion of its Energy Efficiency Project. The scheme has cost £71,000 and has received generous funding from Stroud District Council, the Low Carbon Buildings Program and Gloucestershire Environmental Trust using land fill tax contributions from Cory Environmental. Total funding was £69,000. A further £13,000 has been spent on the buildings, upgrading the electrical system and redecorating. This money has been donated by Randwick Parish Council.

The scheme has been billed as an exemplar energy efficiency project by Severn Wye Energy Agency. We believe the measures in place will make us a net exporter of electricity and the first carbon neutral village hall in the country. The scheme is truly sustainable because it will save £1200 in running costs and generate £600pa in revenue from selling excess electricity and renewable obligation certificates (ROC's). This cash windfall will be used to maintain the building in its current state of repair and allow us to improve the facility in years to come.

The Energy and environmental initiatives operating in this building are listed below;

1. A ground source heat pump (GSHP) can be seen in the back room. This exacts heat from a pipe buried beneath the playing field. The earth works for this are still evident at the front of the building. The heat is transferred into the central heating system and the hot water tank. The new hi tech radiators can be seen in the main hall. They contain micro fans to maximize heat transfer. This system replaces the original overhead electric bar heaters which were expensive to run, uncomfortable, ineffective and unsightly. They were also vulnerable to the spiraling cost of power. The GSHP takes 75% less electricity to run than the original system.

2. A photovoltaic (PV) cell array on the roof top (see photo) . The solar panels generate 7,000Kwhrs electricity per year, enough to run a typical household. The cells produce a dc current which is converted to 240v mains ac via an electronic inverter which can be seen in the kitchen. Electricity generated is first consumed in the hall and then any surplus exported to the grid. Electricity is generated automatically during all daylight hours throughout the year.
We choose PV over conventional hot water solar because we have a peak load for hot water once a week when the sports clubs use the showers. Conventional solar would produce hot water all week even if it was not required. The pv enables excess electricity to be exported whilst the building is not in use and we then suck it back in when the heat pump demands it.

3. PVC double glazed windows with thermal insulating "k" glass. These windows reduce the heat loss from the main hall by 30%. They are more attractive than the old metal framed, single glazed ones and create a much more pleasant environment both inside and outside the building.

4. Low energy lighting. All lighting is through low energy bulbs. The main hall features 11W led party lights as well as high frequency fluorescent strip lamps. These give better lighting than conventional strip lamps and have a longer bulb life, reducing operating and maintenance costs as well as environmental impact.

5. The toilets and outside lighting have no switches. Lamps are automatically switched on and off by infrared sensors when the ambient light levels fall below a preset threshold and people are present. This ensures electricity consumption is minimized and lights are not left on inadvertently overnight.

6. The roof space has benefited from high levels of insulation, as do the cavity walls.

7. We have adopted an environmental policy. This addresses the global, built and social environments. All hall users are expected to comply with this. Features of this policy include
using environmentally friendly chemicals. We use a water based floor sealant, eco friendly disinfectant, floor cleaner and washing up liquid. We use recycled toilet paper. We encourage as much waste to be recycled as possible through provision of recycling bins in the kitchen and a compost bin for organic waste. Recycling has saved us approximately £250 a year in waste disposal costs. We have improved the built environment by painting the outside of the building and provided a playgroup garden on the waste land at the rear of the hall. The entire building is now subject to an audit every year and improvements built into the annual budget. We encourage the social environment by allowing public events to be held free of charge and respect the neighbours by adopting a strict code of conduct for users of the hall. The global environment has been addressed by the energy efficiency measures. Future investment will also consider environmental issues. Users are encouraged to travel to the hall by sustainable means. Failing this, they are expected to lift share.

Thank you for visiting us today, we hope you have enjoyed your visit to Randwick. We believe our community has benefited from the adoption of modern environmental best practice. Not only are we benefiting from this today but the measures adopted will ensure we continue to do so in future. We hope you take something away from your experience today. It is surprisingly easy to make a difference. If you would like any further information about any of our schemes please contact Alan Tomlinson on 764704, likewise if you have any suggestions which you feel may improve our environment further.

Please enjoy the rest of your visit around Stroud Open Homes.


Pattrick said...

It was a wonderful work to make it completely carbon neutral...This example must be followed by other places around the country.

I liked the write-up related to the installation of solar panels too

Merci said...

Congrats to all involved; a tremendous achievement. Randwick rocks!