Not only can they be great places to host events, but community buildings can also become demonstrators of good practice and provide a unique opportunity to galvanise a community around one large-scale project, which can then inspire smaller projects elsewhere.
With our focus on improving the use of energy in buildings, we provide a variety of services in this area - for example: assessments, surveys or analysis. Other services are more bespoke and might be developed in response to particular funding streams becoming available or particular communities requiring specific help.
Community buildings often face unique barriers to energy efficiency or renewable energy installations
They are often:
Multi-purpose buildings, needing to provide for very diverse needs.
Managed by volunteers who may not have the time or the expertise to invest in developing a sustainable refurbishment strategy.
Under-used in the summer months, which means they don't get the best benefit from solar photovoltaic (PV) installations.
Over-used in the winter which provides heating challenges.
Older buildings, some with heritage value, which makes them a challenge to retrofit.
We've conducted heating surveys, renewable energy feasibility studies, energy efficiency assessments and other projects on community and heritage buildings. We're always happy to discuss innovative solutions or unique projects so please get in touch.
Some examples of our previous projects involving community buildings:
Cottenham solar fair. We ran a solar fair in a local school hall, which was attended by over 200 people. We had a mobile display vehicle which displayed both solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies. Staff from South Cambridgeshire District Council were on-hand to provide information on initiatives in the area and to encourage domestic solar thermal installations. There were also five different installers displaying their different products and services. We provided a short presentation on:
How the technologies worked.
Where to obtain grants.
How to choose a good installer.
Shelford Solar presentation. We were approached by Sustainable Shelford and asked to provide advice on solar thermal systems. The advice was to cover: how to find an installer, the different types of system etc and how to install solar thermal as a DIY project. Our technical and communities staff delivered a presentation to a packed audience in the local church hall, after which we were asked to provide a solar thermal assessment of the hall itself.
Luton feasibility study. We were called upon by the small Slip End community in Luton to investigate the possibilities for them to renovate a community building and and install on-site renewables. We were able to visit the area, conduct a survey and provide a full report on their options. Our advice included information on any grants that might be available and any planning permissions that might be needed.
The following are examples where we have provided energy efficiency advice and/or low/zero carbon (renewable energy) heating system surveys and feasibility assessments:
Slip End Community Hall, Luton.
Lavendon Grange, Olney.
New Directions Community Centre, Reading.
Little Gaddeston School.