Goosehill Hall is a prominent Grade II listed building in Derbyshire’s picturesque Hope Valley. The property features quintessential limestone walls and its rural location offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. While a recent major property refurbishment was an opportunity to install an efficient and effective heating system, conservation requirements imposed many constraints on the project.
In confronting the challenges, owners John and Helen Whitfield and their contractors Energy Jump wanted a system that was sustainable and appropriate for the building. The thick stone walls retain heat in winter and keep the house cool in summer; gentle constant heat would complement this.
To meet this challenge, the Whitfields took advantage of the domestic RHI and installed ground-source heat pump technology. Not only did this allow them to obtain a highly efficient heating system and take advantage of current renewable subsidies, but it future-proofed the property in its overall energy performance.
The preservation of the building’s endearing character added further complication to the heating refurbishment, said Mr Whitfield: “As a listed building there were numerous restrictions – it is about the house, not the heating system or the radiators. Underfloor heating was used downstairs, but this was not possible upstairs because there is no void between the downstairs ceiling and the upstairs floor, and one of the downstairs oak beams doubles as an upstairs floorboard. Similarly, in our downstairs living and dining rooms, the old wooden floorboards would not accommodate an underfloor option.”
As a result, heat-pump compatible radiators were the ideal choice, and Jaga was chosen as the ideal partner.
Jaga Strada dynamic boost effect (DBE) radiators were used in various bedrooms, bathrooms and living spaces – each specified in different sizes as per the building’s requirements. Additionally, Jaga Mini Freestanding DBE radiators were chosen to fit into pre-existing alcoves in the ground floor dining room.
Jaga’s DBE fan units are attached to the radiators’ heat exchangers, drawing air over the element to increase the efficiency and responsiveness of the heating performance. While maintaining a comfortable temperature within the rooms at all times, DBE can also be used to provide a quick boost of extra heat should it be required.
Using a ground-source heat pump’s economical benefits requires a low-flow radiator system, otherwise an unfeasibly large traditional radiator would be needed to achieve a comfortable output. Because the DBE technology works in harmony with Jaga’s Low-H2O heat exchangers, maximum output is delivered through small, aesthetically accommodating radiators. This low-mass and low water content technology can also help end users save up to 16% in energy use when compared with traditional steel panel radiators.
This marriage between a sustainable heating system and fully compatible radiator technology means the Whitfields experience comfortable temperatures within the property all year round.
“Whereas previously during winter it could be colder in the house than outside, now it is welcomingly warm throughout the year,” Mrs Whitfield said. “Now the system is set up, we don’t need to touch it.”
Having overcome the obstacles, Goosehill Hall is a perfect example of how Britain’s historical buildings can be modernised for the energy-efficient era, yet still retain their architectural and cultural heritage.