While it’s pretty clear we’re keen on reducing our environmental impact, from our rigorous recycling system to the permaculture garden, there’s more than meets the eye under the surface of the centre.
We’ve just won the Rushlight Energy Reduction Awardfor our innovative Natural Ventilation System. Taking advantage of the Centre’s unique design, we were able to use commercially available products to manage the buildings CO2 levels and maintain a suitable temperature for climbing – eliminating necessity for mechanical alternatives.
This system reduces the Castle’s energy usage by approximately 30% - to put this into context that’s equivalent to 17 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year!
How does it work?
Utilising the unusual attributes of the Castle, including the height of the tower and depths of the Wells below ground, we have produced our own Natural Ventilation System. This has been operating in the Engine House since May 2016.
Using a series of sensors and dampers, airflow is managed through a ‘stack effect’. This draws fresh air into the building from the tower, down into climbing areas - including the wells. Located 6 meters below ground level it manages CO2 levels and ensures climbing areas are kept at an optimum temperature.
Following the success of the initial phase we intend to expand the system to encompass the whole of the building, a total 1,400 m3, in order to complete the eco-renovation of this historic building.
The beautiful thing about this innovation is it’s usage of commercially available software and hardware. Competitively priced and scalable, a large range of new and retro-fitted buildings could benefit from the energy savings identified here.