Church conversion warms to renewable heat with biomass

Church conversion warms to renewable heat with biomass

A grade II listed church building and former aquarium has been fitted with a pellet-burning NIBE biomass boiler as part of a major renovation project to transform it into a family home. The off-grid property in Tenby, Pembrokeshire – which had previously been unheated – is now reaping the benefits of sustainable, cost-effective heating and hot water after the installation of a NIBE Pellux 100 unit.

Church conversion warms to renewable heat with biomass
Owner Martin Hurlow, a builder and contractor who runs Hurlow Construction, bought the 160-year-old property with a view to converting it into a home for his daughter and her partner. Following a complete internal reconstruction spanning several months, it is now an impressive and spacious ‘upside down house’ – with four bedrooms and three bathrooms on the ground floor and an open-plan living area upstairs. Having decided against the costly option of installing a gas line, Martin needed to find an affordable, reliable alternative that would meet the heating and hot water needs of the rural property. After reading about NIBE’s biomass range online, he enlisted the expert help of local renewable energy specialist and NIBE VIP Installer Good Life Incorporated, which specified and installed the Pellux 100 unit.

Martin explains: “When I bought the church it was being used as a commercial aquarium and reptile house. There was no central heating and the only source of warmth came from the generators used to heat the animals’ tanks. Before that, the building had been empty for 20 years. Initially, I looked into running a gas line to the property – but when I found out this would cost in excess of £6,000 (and that was if I did most of the digging myself!), I started exploring other options.
“Having researched NIBE’s renewable heating portfolio, I went to Good Life for their recommendation – and after completing a full site survey, they agreed that the Pellux 100 would be an excellent fit for the property’s needs. It is now tucked neatly away in a purpose-built lean-to that I constructed myself at the side of the building, and works seamlessly with both the traditional radiators in the bedrooms and the new underfloor heating system in the communal areas. I’m also expecting to receive regular payments through the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, which is an added bonus!”
Robin Bowen, managing director at Good Life, recommended and fitted the Pellux system. He says: “This was a unique project, especially given the property’s listed building status. Once Martin had ruled out going down the expensive route of running a gas line to the property, a NIBE biomass boiler was the obvious choice. Not only was Martin already interested in NIBE’s range, he had been granted planning permission to build a small lean-to adjoining the church, and the compact design of the Pellux unit meant it was the perfect fit for this. The installation itself was quick and straightforward, taking a matter of days to complete. As well as providing an efficient and sustainable heating solution, the system is eligible for annual RHI payments – making it a smart, long-term choice from an economical point of view too.”
NIBE’s compact, MCS-accredited Pellux 100 wood-burning boiler boasts an in-built pellet store with up to five days’ storage capacity, as well as a draught limiter and a large ash box with automatic sweeping and easy access as standard. Developed with straightforward, minimal maintenance and optimum system efficiency in mind, it also features a self-adjusting setting that responds to external temperatures for maximum heating comfort, as well as an oxygen sensor to deliver superior flame control.
To find out more about NIBE’s competitively priced, easy-to-use biomass portfolio, or for more information on any of the other products in its market-leading range, please visit www.nibe.co.uk.