Energy saving assessment of a listed office building and visitor centre

CONSTRUCTION: Grade I listed. Buildings include 18th Century former infirmary and 13th century cloisters.

KEY FEATURES: heating upgrade, secondary glazing, draught proofing and double glazing, loft insulation, solar PV

We were approached by the Shropshire Wildlife Trust, whose headquarters were expensive to heat, with complaints from the staff about the cold and draughty environment. We carried out a site survey, energy bill study and thermal imaging.

The Trust has since carried out many of the recommendations from our report including:

IR000273

Window and door improvements

Because the buildings are listed, double glazing throughout was not possible. However secondary glazing was fitted to the windows in the main offices. This has been has been particularly popular with the office staff as it has drastically cut down on draughts. Listed Building consent was obtained to replace the very draughty single glazed windows in the old infirmary building. Draught proofing was fitted to the badly fitting first floor exterior door in the old infirmary. Thermal imaging revealed the extent of the draughts.

Heating improvements

The gas boilers for the main offices were upgraded, as were the storage heaters in the Old Infirmary conference suite.

Loft insulation

The loft insulation above the main offices was topped up. This combined with the secondary glazing and boiler upgrade has enabled the heating system to provide a good temperature for office staff.

Solar PV

Consent was obtained to fit solar photovoltaic panels to the cloister roofs to generate renewable electricity and provide an income through the Feed in Tariff.

Other possibilities

We also looked into the possibility of fitting a biomass boiler and a draught lobby for the ground floor of the Old Infirmary but both projects were unfortunately considered too expensive and intrusive.

“Dave Green was very helpful in sorting out the issues and priorities around proposed new heating and insulation for the SWT HQ. This building is a very challenging environment within which to introduce new energy saving measures and his creative and cost effective approach was much appreciated”