Green energy for churches and other public buildings
The way of the future with heating systems in churches and other historic buildings is with renewables. Mellor and Mottram have been at the cutting edge of this green revolution with the installation of a number of renewable systems in a variety of buildings.
In large buildings the most popular systems are ground source or air source heat pumps. As the names imply, both utilise heat already latent in the environment. In the case of a ground source system the heating is derived from heat already stored in the ground. Air source pumps absorb heat from the air outside – even at low air temperatures they can work efficiently. Both can be used to heat both hot water and the building itself.
In 2012 Mellor and Mottram designed and installed both the heating and ventilation systems for the new visitor centre at Denbigh Castle in North Wales. Hailed as one of the most prestigious and groundbreaking in the country, it was a pointer to the future of environmental control projects in historic buildings – in this case a new building alongside a medieval fortress.
The underfloor heating system of this prestigious new building is powered by a 9kW Dimplex ground source heat pump fed by a 40mm Upnor ‘slinky’ loop installed in the embankment of the castle. The ventilation is provided by Moondraught wind catchers. These require no power and are linked into a building management control system that shuts down the heating and opens the wind catchers when the temperature or carbon dioxide levels reach a preset point.
They are part of the steps taken to reduce the carbon footprint of the building, both in its construction and operation. Even the plant room housing the heating system utilised material recycled from the existing visitor centre.
A few miles away, in Llanrhos (Eglwys Rhos in Welsh, eglwys being the Welsh for church and rhos a moor), Mellor and Mottram have installed a system in the community resource utilising an air source heat pump. This is also an underfloor system laid on top of the existing floor within a new screed floor, powered by a Mitsubishi 14kW Ecodan unit. There is also an LPG-powered back-up system.