Upton House goes green for victory

Guest blog from Edward Wood, project manager for the Upton House renewables heating project. Over to you Ed:2

Saving fuel was essential in World War Two and the new biomass system we are installing at Upton house fits nicely with the sites wartime story.  Of course we are fortunate enough not to be saving for ‘big guns’ these days, but we are fighting a different battle to look after the environment around us.

Upton House came onto the renewable radar as a large oil user at the end of last year.  The site was using the best part of 25,000 litres of oil every year and it was immediately clear that a renewable system could reduce Co2 emissions, remove the risk of oil pollution and save the site money.  We looked at various options and although very tempted by a wood chip solution, we decided to install two 95kW wood pellet boilers to heat the mansion, restaurant, art gallery and a cottage.  Following that golden rule of renewables – ‘appropriate technology in the appropriate place’ – a wood pellet system offered a compact solution that could reuse existing buildings on site.1We selected Purple Energy to design and install our system at Upton.   A second golden rule – careful selection of suppliers and thorough planning pays dividends when it comes to the build!  Incidentally, congratulations to Matt Goodwin and his team who were awarded Biomass Installer of the Year award at the Heating and Renewable Awards held in Coventry last week. 3

Which brings us to the sharp end…..construction. Last week has seen a transformation on site with old oil tanks removed and the tank room smartened up ready to hold new pellet stores and biomass boilers.  The ETA boilers duly arrived on site on Thursday and found their new home.

Part of the challenge of construction projects is managing logistics and even more so at Upton where we have remained open to the public and tried to minimise the impact of the biomass works.4

The arrival of around 300m of heat main needed careful storage alongside various plant and materials in the lay down area. 5








Trenching of the heat main to the Mansion has been a particular focus this week.  This section crossed under a lovely section of dry stone wall and the main visitor access route to the garden; but careful numbering of the wall stones to enable a precise rebuild and management of access routes by the Upton House team enabled work to be completed smoothly.  Next week will bring more ground works challenges – I am reliably told by the Head Gardener that wetter winter weather is now on its way!6




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5 Responses to Upton House goes green for victory

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