We spoke with the teams at Buccleuch Estates and Grant UK to learn more about how they achieved their aims.
When one of its properties needed refurbishing, a low-carbon heating system was required to fulfil the property’s requirements while also adhering to the sustainable ethos of Buccleuch. The solution, including an air source heat pump, integrated hot water cylinder and aluminium radiators, was supplied by Grant UK, who delivered a complete package of products and support to Buccleuch.
“We have a longstanding commitment to the environment, so here at Buccleuch, we are continually assessing our operations and ensuring they have a positive environmental impact,” says Callum Ramsay, head of architecture at Buccleuch.
Changes in requirements for rentals
“Two of the mansion houses are already using renewable energy in the form of a ground source heat pump and biomass boiler. Our estate offices at Bowhill and Langholm are also heated using biomass.
“We are also acutely aware that from 2025, there will be a requirement for our rental properties to achieve a minimum EPC rating of C at change of tenancy and for all remaining rental properties to achieve an EPC rating of C by 2028.
“The Scottish Government has also proposed that no new oil boilers should be installed in any new build properties from 2025, and no new gas boilers from 2030. Due to their rural location and age, the majority of Buccleuch’s Scottish residential properties are not on the gas grid and are currently heated using oil boilers.
“Going forward, where a Buccleuch residential property requires a full refurbishment, only low carbon heating systems, such as a heat pump, will be specified. At the same time, where appropriate, solar panels will also be installed to allow the tenant to benefit from renewable energy.
Improved layout for modern living
“This programme of work has begun, with solar PV and an air source heat pump being installed at Old Kirkhope and at other ongoing projects across our estates.”
“Old Kirkhope is fairly typical of Buccleuch’s rental properties,” explains Joanna Laidlaw, Architectural Technologist at Buccleuch. “It is a two-storey dwelling built approximately in the early 1800s, with a total floor area of 130 sqm. The property is of traditional construction with stone walls and a slate roof.
“The decision was made, when the property became vacant, that Old Kirkhope would benefit from a full refurbishment, to improve the layout for modern living and ensure EPC compliance for the future.
“The property was stripped to the bare walls to enable full insulation of the walls, floor and roof to meet current U-Value standards. With the full insulation complete, meeting current standards and reducing heat loss, Old Kirkhope was then deemed suitable for the installation and effective operation of an air source heat pump.”
Buccleuch’s architecture team reached out to Grant UK to request a CPD session on air source heat pumps, to inform future designs and refurbishment decisions. For Old Kirkhope, Grant UK carried out a heat loss calculation for the property and then specified the Aerona³ 10kW heat pump model.
“The heat pump is located on the south west elevation of the property, taking up minimal external space. This is adjacent to the utility room so that any noise from the heat pump is not heard within occupied rooms within the dwelling. When the heat pump is operating, however, the noise from the heat pump is minimal,” continues Joanna.
There was limited cupboard space available to locate the standard heat pump cylinder and plant, so it was decided that the QR Integrated cylinder would be the best solution. This is located within the utility room without taking up too much space and it looks incredibly neat.
Throughout the property, 12 Afinia radiators of various sizes were installed as, in this instance, underfloor heating was not a cost-effective solution. There was, however, a requirement for a heat emitter that would work as efficiently with the heat pump as possible.
“When we initially approached Grant UK about air source heat pump systems, Mike Pryde, Grant UK’s regional sales manager for our area, arranged a CPD for various Buccleuch colleagues, outlining the Grant products available and how they work,” Joanna explains. “Buccleuch and Grant remained engaged after the CPD, with Grant UK responding to our follow up queries.
“Once the system had been installed, a Grant engineer visited the property to carry out an assisted setup, with the heating engineer and electrician, and a system demonstration with Buccleuch’s tenant (the end user). The engineer was also on hand to answer any questions from the tenant and Buccleuch’s lettings team.
“Following Old Kirkhope’s success, Buccleuch now has various ongoing projects where Grant UK has provided technical support, including heat pump and radiator specification. Throughout this project and our other current projects, the level of customer service and technical support Buccleuch has received from Grant has been excellent,” concludes Joanna.
For further information about the range of renewable heating systems and package solutions from Grant UK, please visit www.grantuk.com/support/packagesolutions.