CLPM is passionate about supporting the local community.
Great Ballard School asked us to help!
We have recently experienced a surge in enquiries from schools wanting us to assist them in reducing their carbon footprint and energy use, by helping them understand and improve their building’s thermal and heating efficiencies.
We wanted to share the case study of this beautiful school that Rob Bohm, our head of our Heat and Sustainability recently went to visit.
Great Ballard School has been operating as a school in its current location since 1961.
Many schools are steeped in history with their main buildings being old, expensive, and inefficient to run. It is also common that plant rooms in schools were built to accommodate boilers and systems which are now coming to the end of their lives. Replacing them can be an arduous process, and this was the case for Great Ballard School.
It’s main challenge from an efficiency point of view, was to retain many of its original regency features. Floor to ceiling windows for example, many of which are single pane and drafty.
Within our survey, Rob inspected all aspects of Eartham House, which is the main school building as pictured.
Whilst looking at the heating system may seem like the obvious starting point for improving efficiencies to old buildings, if you cannot understand where any heat-loss issue may be occurring, it will be difficult to know if heat is being lost due to an old/incorrectly fitted system or within the fabric of the building.
Schools generally can be difficult buildings to heat efficiently, especially as they evolve over time with systems and structures being added, and with no overall strategy of how all the differing parts of the site integrate.
This was very much the case with Great Ballard School, with some areas of the school having been added and converted at different periods of time.
Some classrooms were very poor in terms of thermal efficiency, so all the heat is lost. This can lead to systems needing to over-deliver the heat they are providing. Inefficiencies can then become expensive very quickly. Where inefficient systems are running, carbon usages can be similarly high.
At the time of our survey, Great Ballard’s existing heating system was being heated by a biomass boiler and oil boilers without an efficient control system. This was leading to an excess of fuel being used.
By understanding the buildings usage, build fabric, and heating systems within the main School house Rob was able to deliver a detailed report.
This provided clear direction on how each issue could be overcome to improve the overall efficiency of the school and reduce its carbon footprint.
Our report also included suggestions to alternative heating systems that are suitable for the buildings and the site, and discussed what renewable technologies could be used to futureproof the school.
In the case of Great Ballard School, it was suggested that solar panels may be a great investment to supporting electrical consumption should planning allow.
The report can then be developed into a schedule of works for a contractor to carry out, or can be used to tender for each point to be improved.
The school were delighted with our services and are now fully briefed to plan how to make changes.