Ground source review: Clifford Place.
The Salmon’s owned Clifford place; an expansive manor house located in rural Herefordshire. They had lived there for many years, but with grown up children having flown the nest leaving many rooms unused, they were looking to downsize to something smaller. They decided to sell off the main house and convert outbuildings on the estate into a sizeable three-bedroom house.
The outbuildings consisted of an old chicken shed with two adjoining stables. Due to their dilapidated condition, they needed knocking down and rebuilding from scratch. The Salmon’s employed local building firm Smith Builders Ltd, run by Howard Smith, to help with the project. With plenty of experience in new builds and renovations, Howard and his team managed the whole build and completed the project within 12 months.
The new-build property consists of a single storey bungalow, including a kitchen/diner and lounge, plus three bedrooms, including a master with an en-suite. Howard advised the Salmon’s to invest in extra insulation to improve the thermal efficiency of the building over and above minimum building regulations. He also installed underfloor heating throughout to maintain a constant temperature. These measures help to ensure that the Salmon’s heating bills are kept to a minimum.
Due to its rural location, the manor house runs off oil. With their options of traditional fuels limited, Mr & Mrs Salmon were unsure what heating system to go for in the new build. Howard had previous experience of ground source heat pump technology, having installed a Kensa 13kW Evo in his own home. Howard worked together with Kensa to specify a 7kW Kensa Evo ground source heat pump to provide heating and hot water to the Salmon’s new property.
As the ground source heat pump was specified during the planning stages, this gave Howard the flexibility to make changes as the project progressed. One such example was the decision to add a separate plantroom to the main building in which to house the ground source heat pump, buffer tank and cylinders.
Unusually, there is also no access to mains water on the site and the manor house is fed by a natural stream. As it would’ve cost too much to get mains water to the Salmon’s new build, Smith Builders drilled a borehole to provide drinking water.
Howard said: “Even with the rigorous surveys and testing carried out, there is always a small chance that the borehole wouldn’t have produced drinkable water. If this had been the case then we would have used it to extract heat for the ground source heat pump, so it was a win-win scenario. In the end, slinkies were used.”
Three lots of 50m coiled slinky pipe was installed in trenches in a field located about 25m to the left of the property. The ground was stony, so Howard backfilled the bottom of the trench with sand in order to prevent damage and ensure good contact between the pipe and the ground for optimum heat transfer.
The project is eligible for the Domestic RHI and the fact that the Salmon’s could recoup the cost of their investment was a real motivator for going ahead with the scheme.