The Greenhouse Bristol bed & breakfast saves energy, saves water and cuts carbon footprint with solutions from SaveMoneyCutCarbon.
Greenhouse Bristol owner Fran Jones called on our knowledge and expertise to ensure that her green renovation vision for the B&B was realised.
Fran’s ‘greater greening’ of the four-star Greenhouse focused on saving energy, saving water, energy generation, recycling and eco-friendly products, reinforcing its Silver rating award from Visit England.
As a small business, Fran’s green project works within a strict budget and she focused on ensuring the best quality, with substantial, sustainable results in carbon emissions reductions, energy savings and water savings.
Fran explains: “Since taking over the Greenhouse three years ago, I’ve wanted it to be a green B&B, starting with organic and Fairtrade food, bedding, towels and recycling.
“Our refurbishment project was the right time to take things further, reduce energy and water use – and cut our carbon footprint. I wanted the green refurbishment to be pragmatic, achievable and affordable.”
Energy saving advice
After extensive research, Fran called SaveMoneyCutCarbon to ask for advice on energy and water saving measures. The customer service team, led by Justin Hook, discussed Fran’s plans and requirements in detail before advising on the best ways to reduce energy consumption, cut water use and cut the B&B’s carbon footprint.
Fran says: “I have extended the greening of The Greenhouse on a pretty modest budget – and SaveMoneyCutCarbon has helped me achieve good outcomes at very fair pricing as a small business.”
Mark Sait, managing director of SaveMoneyCutCarbon explains: “We provide energy, water and carbon cutting solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes, from global hospitality groups to small independent owners like Fran. The point of being here is to use our expertise and knowledge to provide every client with the best service, whatever the size of their business.
“We reach out beyond hospitality to deliver money saving eco solutions in a wide range of sectors, from healthcare, care homes and education to leisure services, offices and showrooms, for example.”
The Greenhouse renovation extended the property from three doubles and a single room catering for seven guests to six doubles (12 guests) and Fran was determined to ensure that the B&B’s energy consumption at the very least would not rise.
Five of the six double rooms have en suite showers and one has a bathroom so the SaveMoneyCutCarbon team focused on hansgrohe EcoSmart water-saving products – eco showers and eco taps that cut water consumption by more than 50 per cent. The beauty of these products is that they also slash energy use needed to heat the water.
And guests do not notice the difference when they step under the shower or turn on the taps. The bathroom taps now use 5 litres of water per minute, rather than the old models that consumed 12 litres per minute. The EcoSmart technology pumps air through the water but ensures that it feels the same and does the same job.
The team also sourced full eco showers which use 9 litres per minute rather than 17-20 L/min. Fran says: “They feel fabulous – and look fab too!”
LED energy saving
Apart from LED retrofit throughout the property that reduces energy use by more than 80 per cent, Fran also needed a specialist solution for the external lamp and SaveMoneyCutCarbon provide an LED lamp that promises to reduce electricity consumption by around the same amount.
Fran says: “The SaveMoneyCutCarbon team could not have been more helpful. Their level of knowledge and willingness to shape a solution, going the extra mile, was very helpful.”
Fran made sure that all the materials taken from the B&B during the renovation were recycled as well as minimising draughts and improving insulation to ensure it holds warmth and stays cooler in the summer.
Fran says: “As the project is a retro-fit to a property that was originally two Victorian houses, there are some things like underfloor heating and brown water systems that weren’t possible or affordable.”
But The Greenhouse B&B now also features:
- Roof, wall and floor insulation
- Gable end wall internally insulated with green materials
- New doors/windows with triple A+ glazing
- New boiler and water tanks, saving an estimated 30% of energy from the previous 12-year old boiler and electric showers which were fitted.
- Toilets with dual 6-litre and 4-litre flush (compared to 15L in the old cisterns).
- All appliances in the Greenhouse kitchen A+ standard
- Hob is now induction which uses 25% less energy than gas
- Boiling water tap installed as more efficient than kettle boiling – you use only what’s needed so no waste.
- Polyflor LPV flooring which has 60% recycled content and sound proofing/insulating elements.
Fran has installed solar panels on the roof, providing 3.4kW per hour at ‘optimum light’ times of the year, not just the sunniest days. Around half of the energy generated will be sold back to the national grid at about 15p per Kwh.
Fran says: “I use appliances like the hob, oven, washing machine, tumble drier and dishwasher a lot during daylight hours. I have a meter which tells me the rate of generation from the roof and how much electricity is being generated and I can choose to stagger the use of machines to ensure I use all of my self-generated energy and don’t draw down as much energy from the national grid, which I’d have to pay for.
“If no electricity is being used in buildings with solar pv, then what’s generated all goes back to the national grid.”
Fran additionally has a PV immersion controller that redirects unused electricity from the panels to heat the hot water instead, saving on gas use.
Fran also has an energy manager app on her iPhone to regulate heating use when she’s away from the B&B.
Fran says: “Apart from the building materials being recycled, I’ve been keen to ensure any other items used might be recycled/up-cycled.
“For example, the underlay for the Greenhouse’s carpet is made from 100% old rubber car tyres and the carpet itself comes from recycled plastic water bottles – it takes around 1,800 of them to make the carpet for one room.
“The carpet is also stain resistant and requires only steam or light detergent to clean it – so we use fewer chemicals overall.”
All new paintwork at the Greenhouse is also eco quality and so kinder to the environment.
Fran welcomes cyclists to the Greenhouse B&B – and offers a 5 per cent green discount for those travelling “under their own steam”. While there is ample parking and all guests are welcome – both tourist and business travellers – she plans to extend the green discount to those travelling on public transport.
All the guest rooms are equipped with energy-efficient flat screen TVs and have free wifi access.
The Greenhouse, winner of the South West Best Fairtrade Accommodation Award 2013, is a five-minute stroll from the Harbourside, SS Great Britain and Tobacco Factory. Unusually in the city, The Greenhouse offers plentiful, free car parking in a quiet cul-de-sac and there’s rear access with locked bicycle storage for those travelling by bicycle.
Find out more on The Greenhouse website http://www.thegreenhousebristol.co.uk/
And call us on 0845 123 5464 to discuss your energy and water saving needs.