Lorien helps National Trust slash carbon emissions

A landmark energy saving project completed by Lorien Engineering Solutions on behalf of the National Trust has lowered carbon emissions by 80%.

One year on since Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire became one of the first National Trust historic houses to be powered by small-scale renewable energy through a green energy partnership with npower, its annual carbon emissions have dropped from over 52 tonnes to under 12 tonnes [1].

The property's bio-mass wood pellet boilers were installed 12 months ago and the decrease in emissions has occurred despite longer opening hours and a 50 per cent increase in visitor numbers compared with last year.

Lichfield based Lorien, an engineering design and project management specialist, was responsible for carrying out a full sustainable options analysis followed by the design and project management for the installation of the boilers.

Lorien director Steve Turner said: "We are delighted to have delivered a truly sustainable project which has generated reductions in carbon emissions on a grand scale, in line with our predictions at feasibility study stage.

"We are particularly pleased to see that the first 12 months of successful operation have given the National Trust full confidence to implement similar projects at other properties to assist in achieving their target reductions."

The benefits of the renewable energy system are felt across the property, with boilers that are more easily controlled, cleaner delivery of fuel, and no more smell of fuel oil following delivery.

Lesley Law, property manager of Sudbury Hall, said: "The installation of the bio-mass boiler couldn't have been more timely, especially with the particularly cold snap earlier this year with snow at the end of January and February.

"I'm delighted that Sudbury has taken part and benefited from this Green Energy fund. [2] Thanks to npower the project is helping us show that historic properties like Sudbury and new, renewable energy really do work."

The biomass boiler is part of a wider effort by Sudbury Hall to reduce its carbon footprint, including the use of compact fluorescent lamps across the property, water-saving devices in all flush systems, an experimental area of secondary glazing and draught exclusion in one domestic area of the property, and full recycling across the property.

Since sustainable heating was installed at Sudbury Hall over 20 National Trust properties, ranging from historic mansions to outdoor visitor centres, have benefited from the National Trust Green Energy Fund in partnership with npower.

This project has helped put in place a range of renewable energy technologies across Trust locations, including solar water heating systems, replacing oil powered heaters with biomass wood chip pellet boilers and installing air and ground source heat pumps.

The scheme will be funded by npower for a further year, and properties to benefit from it in the near future include Tyntesfield near Bristol, Nunnington Hall in Yorkshire and Uppark House in West Sussex. [3]

[1] Carbon dioxide emission calculations have been conducted. Sudbury has used 39.6 tonnes of pellet between Nov 08 - April 09 and the carbon (CO2) emissions during this period (compared to oil) dropped from over 52 tonnes to under 12 tonnes - an equivalent of over 80%. 

[2] The work falls under the Green Energy Fund - Renewable Energy: a total of £950,000 has been established to help deliver a programme of renewable energy projects across National Trust properties until July 2010. 

[3] National Trust Green Energy Fund properties include: Borrowdale - Bowe Barn [North West England], Dudmaston Estate - Moss Base Camp [West Midlands], East Snowdonia - Dyffryn Mymbyr [North Wales], Llancerchaeron [North Wales], Manor Farm Cottage and Marconi Cottages [Isle Of Wight], Mathry [South Wales], Penhryn Castle - Ty Mawr [North Wales], Chirk Castle [North East Wales], Sudbury Hall [Derbyshire], Thorington Hall [Suffolk], Morden Hall [London], Kedleston Hall [Derbyshire], Uppark [West Sussex], Hughendon Manor [Bucks] and Stackpole Centre (South Wales].