It takes real vision even to consider turning a large derelict, not over attractive, single story building into a family mansion with the very greenest of credentials, but that is exactly what has been achieved at Nutbourne Pumping Station. Way back in 1893 one in ten of the population of Worthing were affected by Typhoid, 200 died all from polluted drinking water and by the 1920s similar fears were affecting Nutbourne, so it was decided to build a pumping station when clean water was found on Nutbourne common and in 1930 work began on constructing the Pump House using two 90 metre deep bore holes to extract water, which was then pumped up to the surface and stored and filtered for use. The Pump House was officially opened in 1932 by the Lord Lieutenant of the County.
The Pump House operated continuously until the 1970’s when it became obsolete. When the Pump House came onto the market for £269,000 with full planning permission and several thousand square feet of floor space in an attractive part of Sussex, Nick Sweet, an Architect and his wife Bridget decided immediately to purchase it with plans to go for a “no bills” residence by installing phoyo-voltaic panels on the roof and tapping underground heat from the old boreholes. Now the Pump House has been transformed from a damp echoing shell with most of the original pumping equipment long gone, into a delightful five bed-roomed, three bathroom home with huge living, dining and kitchen areas, a library/study and a design studio plus a large leisure/sports area in the basement.
PECC Engineers of Haslemere were called in to design the eco-friendly renewable energy system, using the two ninety metres deep wells which were already in the floor of the pumping station.
These offered an absolutely ideal ground source for all central heating and water heating requirements. The PECC design called for the installation of piping filled with a mild refrigerant solution in the two bore holes, providing a medium for transferring the heat permanently present in water, earth or rock below the ground’s surface, to a NIBE F1145 Heat Pump in the house’s Utility Room. The F1145 – one of NIBE’s new generation of super-efficient pumps – vastly increases the temperature of the liquid to 65 degrees Centigrade by a sophisticated heat exchange process before passing the energy into the house’s hot water system. The system has proved ideal, providing ample heat [with the help of a VP300 UKV Buffer Tank] for the under-floor heating installed throughout the Pumping Station and hot water for the family bathroom and the en-suite in the master bedroom plus all kitchen and appliance needs. Nick Sweet said “I was impressed with the simplicity of the unit’s controls but going on the maxim ‘If it works, don’t touch it’ I have left well alone”. Since the energy passed into the hot water system is well over four times the electricity used by the heat pump itself, the energy savings created are impressive.
The NIBE hot water system is only one of Nutbourne Pumping Station’s energy saving facilities. The large roof area has a positive forest of photo-voltaic panels superimposed on a sedum base and needless to say there is a full rainwater harvesting system as well as a high level of insulation applied during restoration which includes 180mm to walls and floor and 300mm to the roof. Nick Sweet’s only non-essential energy source is a 13kW wood burning stove in the lounge area, which he admits is a comfort factor, not an essential heat source.
As a result of its fine restoration programme, the Pump House was Highly Commended for the Small Scale Residential Award by the judges of the Sussex Heritage Trust. The Trust is a registered charity established in 1977 to preserve, improve and encourage the appreciation of the architectural and natural heritage of Sussex and the award has brought to light many fine examples of conservation such as the Pump House.
The Pump House was also very successful in the British Homes Award 2011, being Highly Commended in the Conversion Development Category, which encompasses a conversion or refurbishment of any residential, commercial or industrial buildings, ranging from single units to major developments, to provide new homes.
For further information please contact Jackie Lam Bon on 0845 095 1200. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org