UK's first zero carbon church completed

St Michael and All Angels church in Withington, Gloucestershire has become the UK's first zero carbon church.

The grade 1 listed Norman church, which dates back to 1150, is now totally heated and powered from renewable energy sources, with the total heating met from a new 38kW biomass pellet boiler and the electrical demand met from 24 solar panels carefully placed on the nave roof of the church.

Before any of the renewable energy technology was installed efforts were made to reduce the energy consumption and electricity demand was cut by 40 per cent through adjusting the lighting.

 The operation of the new boiler allowed a 50 per cent cut in demand of heating times and even metal elements from the disposal of the old boiler and pipework were sent for recycling, with the income from this paying for the materials for provide a new level floor to the boiler room.

Fulford worked with Dulas Ltd as the installer due to their proactive and flexible approach and willingness to rise to the challenge of installing renewables in such a sensitive environment.

The project has had the full backing of EC Harris on a pro bono basis since its inception.

Head of sustainability at international Built Asset Consultancy EC Harris, Matt Fulford secured grant funding for the works from a number of sources and obtained funding for 90 per cent of the total project costs, the remainder was picked up by the church who decided to decline further funding in order to benefit from the Feed in Tariff.

Fulford said: "By doing this, and being able to provide the church with an environmentally and economically sustainable position for the future, we have clearly shown the opportunities that exist for all by truly embracing the sustainable future."

Further information:
EC Harris