Ground source heat pump and solar PV at Croome Court, Worcestershire

Croome Court is an 18th Century Neo-Palladian mansion surrounded by extensive and landscaped parkland in South Worcestershire. It is managed by the National Trust and open to the public all year around.

The problem

Built in 1751-1752 and extended between 1761-1766, this large 17 bedroom mansion requires a similarly large amount of heating to maintain this property and keep it warm for visitors.  The problem at Croome Court is twofold, however: a solution was needed for the enormous heating costs of the mansion, but one that would not dry out and potentially damage the furnishings and delicate stonework frescos within the mansion. Having previously worked with the National Trust at Aberdulais Falls, Dyffryn Gardens and Tredegar House and having worked with buildings whose delicate features need special treatment such as St Teilo’s church at St Fagans, WDS Green Energy knew the ideal solution for Croome Court.

The solution

In order to preserve the furnishings and features of this 18th Century mansion WDS Green Energy proposed the installation of an array of 130kW ground source heat pump to meet the heating demand of the property, and, as heat pumps utilise what is called low grade heat, eliminate the risk of potential damage from a drying heat intensive central heating system. A series of trenches were dug in a field adjacent to the property to house the ground loops the system would need, with installation of the heat pump to follow in the summer of 2016.

The benefits

The heat pumps at Croome Court will provide all the background heating for the property ensuring the fabric of this National Trust building will remain intact for years to come.

As a green technology that utilises heat from the ground it eliminates the need for costly fuel deliveries of oil and/or LPG saving the management of this mansion up to 50% of the costs if Croome Court was to be heated by the equivalent boiler system.

Paul Southall, National Trust Environmental Advisor said: “We have been working closely with WDS Green Energy at reducing the National Trust’s use of fossil fuel heating at our South Wales and West sites. Renewable heating is an important part of the National Trust’s pledge to source 50% of our energy from renewables by 2020, and by installing air source heat pumps at Dyffryn Gardens and Tredegar House, together with a ground source heat pump at Croome Court, each to a bespoke design for each property, we’ve drastically reduced our reliance on fossil fuels to heat these special places.

“WDS’s professionalism and expertise in renewable heating has been invaluable during the process, giving us great confidence in the design and installation of the systems. Working on older buildings like these can sometimes be perceived as problematic, but WDS worked closely with our own teams at each site to make sure the installations ran smoothly, and we’re very pleased with the results.”