Bowcliffe Hall, a spectacular office, meeting and events venue based in open countryside 4 miles south of Wetherby, is benefitting from expertise delivered by BG Energy Solutions, a leading energy efficiency and building management services specialist.
BG Energy helped Bowcliffe Hall to integrate the facility’s ground source heating system to its other mechanical plant by installing the latest Trend BMS (building management system). The BMS oversees five buildings at Bowcliffe Hall, each controlled independently via individual control panels.
Built between 1805 and 1825, the Grade 2 listed Bowcliffe Hall retains the stately atmosphere of a country house, but boasts a wealth of amenities expected of a modern venue for both business meetings and corporate entertainment, as well as private events such as weddings. Visually and functionally, Bowcliffe Hall is one of the most outstanding locations in Yorkshire.
For historic buildings to operate profitably in the modern competitive arena, energy efficiency is a must. With a major renovation planned, that would see several buildings at Bowcliffe receive a complete overhaul, installing an energy-efficient heating system was among the top priorities. It was thus decided that installing intelligent building controls would not only enhance the day-to-day running of the estate, but also improve energy efficiency.
“Our brief was to integrate the ground source heating system to the other mechanical plant, via a BMS,” explains Mike Dauris, project manager at BG Energy Solutions. “In particular, the client wanted overall control from a single BMS front end.”
The task ahead
As well as the main building (including the Drivers’ Club, an exclusive corporate/private events venue for members which captures the golden age of motoring), the project also incorporated the Grange, which itself comprised three areas: Bowcliffe Grange, a sympathetic 5550 sq ft modern addition divided into six office suites over two floors; Bowcliffe Court, formed from the original stable block to create 3825 sq ft of office space over two floors; and the Coach House, which offers 1200 sq ft of open plan, single storey accommodation.
BG Energy Solutions was also tasked with three further buildings on the estate: Rosemount Cottage, a former cottage that has been transformed into 1700 sq ft of open plan office space; the Cricket Pavilion, a replica of the unused cricket pavilion that offers 1200 sq ft of open plan office accommodation; and the multi-award winning Blackburn Wing, a unique, £1 million, 2000 sq ft treehouse conference and event venue shaped like an airplane wing and nestled in ancient woodland at the heart of the Bowcliffe estate.
“We were set the challenge of controlling each of the five buildings independently,” says Mr Dauris. “Each had its own control panel with a Trend 963 BMS installed by ourselves. The interface to the ground source heat pump system in each building is via our own master control program.”
The ground source heat pump means that even in the depths of winter there is sufficient heat drawn from the ground to warm the buildings through. Serving the Blackburn Wing, for instance, are two 180m long pipes filled with a special heat transferring liquid that are located under the building. Ground source heat pumps are one of the most ecologically sustainable methods of heating, and this technology is used for all the buildings throughout the estate.
Pulling all of the data together is the front end of the Trend 963 BMS, which is installed in the reception area of the main building. Five individually created pages show the heating plant in each of the buildings, along with the hot water system in the main Bowcliffe Hall building. The BMS is set up to present live data on easy-to-understand, custom-designed plant schematics and floor layouts, thus making it ideal for those who have no previous BMS experience.
“Although we are not privy to pre-project energy consumption data, it’s clear that the renovation has led to a more efficient system using latest green technology and integrated with a single BMS front end,” concludes Mr Dauris.