Green Homes Network

Green Home HI803 in Cromarty

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Their old property was energy inefficient, despite having had a solar thermal system installed, with poor insulation and no double-glazing. In terms of energy rating, they went from a grade F to a grade C property with solar thermal, solar PV, biomass and insulation.
Peter designed the new house in the walled garden of the old property and contracted Neil Sutherland, a highly respected Highland architect specializing in sustainable wooden buildings, to draw up detailed plans and build the property using his associated building company, Makar.

Peter and Fran wanted to make this new home as efficient and green as possible, so they planned for a high level of insulation and triple or double-glazed windows. Three 4.16kW solar thermal panels were installed and an underfloor heating system running from a 15kW Ökofen wood pellet boiler fitted, with a 4.5t pellet store. Building took about two years, with technologies being installed in 2011 for a cost of £20,000 (including pellet store) and £7289 respectively. 

The house is an all-wood construction, using Douglas Fir beams and larch cladding, all sourced from the Highlands. Much of the internal wood finishing, such as floors, stairs, windowsills and shelving are made of hard wood from trees felled in their grounds. Insulation is made of 220mm warmcel and 45mm sheep’s wool and triple or double-glazed windows.

At the outset, solar PV were not installed due to the lack of south-facing roof space and shading from surrounding trees, but after about two years, improvements in solar PV technology, particularly micro-inverters, made it possible for a bank of 15 265w Canadian panels with micro-inverters to be installed on east and west-facing roofs. These were supplied and fitted by another local company, Cairngorm Solar, Inverness for a total cost of £9000. The installation process took only a day and was not disruptive at all.

In addition to these technologies an 8kW wood-burning stove was fitted for occasional space heating, using wood from the property. Other measures in the property include energy efficient light bulbs, A* (or higher) electrical white goods, an induction hob.

Peter and Fran are “enormously impressed” with the savings achieved by the systems they have installed and to anyone thinking of installing such renewable technology, Peter would say “Get some good advice first, and then go for it in as many ways as possible”.  

Post 2003
Biomass boiler (all)Biomass wood-pellet boilerSolar PVSolar water heating Biomass stove
A-rated appliance(s)Double glazingUnderfloor heating Triple glazing

Event: Green Home HI803

20 August in Cromarty

Visit a real 'Grand Design' on the Black Isle.

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