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. A recent major property refurbishment was an opportunity to install an efficient and effective heating system, however conservation requirements imposed many constraints on this difficult project.
In confronting the challenges, the owners 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 owners – John and Helen Whitfield – took advantage of the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive and installed ground source heat pump technology. Not only did this allow the owners 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.
Of course, the preservation of the building’s endearing character added further complication to the heating refurbishment:
“As a listed building there are numerous restrictions – it is about the house, not the heating system or the radiators.” said property owner John Whitfield. “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 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 Dynamic Boost Effect (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. Whilst 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.
Utilising 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. Furthermore, this low mass and low water content technology can help end users save up to 16% in energy usage when compared to traditional steel panel radiators.
This marriage between a sustainable heating system and fully compatible radiator technology means the owners 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,” added Helen Whitfield. “Now the system is set up, we don’t need to touch it.”
Having overcome the obstacles, Goosehill Hall is now 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.