Building type Civic
Building age 1915-2000
Cost of work
District St Edmundsbury
Features Solar PV Panels,Groundsource Heat Pump,Insulation and Glazing

Great Barton Village Hall provides a public venue for the residents of Great Barton and the surrounding area.  It was built in 1952 as a memorial to local men and women who served in the second world war.

During recent years the village hall has undergone a number of building improvements providing a well constructed and energy saving building that is now well used throughout most days of the year for a wide range of activities.

Electricity is used throughout the entire building.

The Trustees of the Management Committee are committed to;-

  • Providing a Safe, Healthy and Inclusive Community
  • Reducing the hall’s energy costs and carbon footprint.
  • Working with the community to reduce energy usage and CO2 emissions.
  • Working in Partnership with Local and County Authorities to help make Suffolk the Greenest County.
  • Promoting energy efficient measures in our Village Hall as an example to others throughout Suffolk.

A sustainable energy feasibility study, carried out in October 2008, concluded that 2 schemes were viable to significantly reduce our energy costs and CO2 emissions

 – a ground source heat pump and solar photovoltaic panels (PV).

Two further schemes were also considered, a wind turbine and solar thermal panels, but both failed to reach the BRE benchmarks that are required for grant funding, and were therefore not recommended.

The annual energy consumption and carbon emission resulting from these 2 schemes was expected to reduce by around 7,800 KWh of electricity and around 3.4 tonnes of CO2.

In fact the reduction was 10,140 KWh saving around 4.36 tonnes of CO2.

Sustainability Features

Ground Source Heat Pump

Completion January 2010 –  Cost £45,315

A Dimplex 17kw output ground source heat pump with a design COP efficiency of 4.6 is installed with a ground collector consisting of 4 bore holes, approximately 80m deep.

The main hall, community meeting room, main toilets and the changing rooms are    heated from the ground source heat pump by a warm air system using wall mounted heat exchangers.

The heat pump also supplies the under floor heating system in the annexe

The heat pump was estimated to produce 3,9 tonnes CO2 per year compared with 6 tonnes CO2 for the existing electric heating. In fact in the last year running the heat pump produced 2.8 tonnes CO2.

Solar Photovoltaic Panels (PV)

Completed July 2010 – Cost £30,610

This scheme enabled us to generate electricity during daylight hours from Solar PV panels that were mounted on the southwestern side of the main hall roof covering approximately 32 square meters.

The output is 4.68 Kwp and electricity not being used at the time will be purchased from us by feeding it back into the grid.

In the year July 2010 – June 2011 the Solar PV system generated renewable energy displacing 3574KWh of grid electricity thus saving 1.5 tonnes of CO2.

Building Insulation

During the period 2002 to 2010 the building has been extended and completely refurbished incorporating double-glazing throughout with wall, ceiling and part floor insulation meeting the Local Authority Building Control requirements.

Electrical Monitoring

A range of electricity meters is installed to monitor the amount of electricity used in different parts of the building.


Design Process

Before the refurbishment work commenced in 2002 the hall was cold and damp as there was minimal wall, ceiling and floor insulation in place and the doors and windows were mainly single glazed.

During the refurbishment and enlargement of the premises opportunity was taken to provide a building that is now well insulated to reduce heat loss and energy consumption.

After seeking further advice it was then concluded that the upgraded building was suitable for the installation of renewable energy to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.

Further research showed that grant funding was available to cover the capital cost of

BRE approved schemes for community buildings.

Consequently a feasibility study was carried out, a report produced and funding secured for the installation of a ground source heat pump and solar photovoltaic panels.

Although we were advised that planning consent would not be required it subsequently transpired that consent was required for both schemes and this was applied for and granted.



Grant funding has been provided to cover the cost of the heat pump scheme and the Solar PV scheme.


  • Low Carbon Building Programme Phase 2
  • Community Sustainable Energy Programme
  • Green Suffolk Fund


Green Lifestyle

The measures taken in our community building ensure that we are doing our best to keep carbon emissions low.

In taking these measures we are promoting public awareness of carbon emission and what schemes are available for them to reduce their carbon footprint in their own homes.

In providing a high quality, well used, village hall within the community for local residents and the surrounding area, the need for people to travel long distance has been greatly reduced. For many people the hall is easily approached by foot and the number  arriving by cycle is also increasing.



The results achieved to date have been very satisfying, measured by the number of groups and people using the premises and the wide range of activities on offer.

We have a building that is effectively heated at minimal operating costs with low carbon emission.

If money were no object we would:

  • Install under floor heating throughout the entire premises as this is more effective than the fan assisted radiators we have installed in the main hall and other parts of the building.
  • Install smart meters to provide remote readings of electrical consumption in all parts of the building
  • Install control features to enable heating and lighting systems to be monitored, programmed and controlled remotely.
  • Install solar panels for hot water
  • Provide a secure shelter for cycles


Suppliers and Professional Services Used

It is our policy to use local professional Services, Builders,Contractors and Suppliers where possible and the following are recommended:

Architect  – M A  Johnston, Architectural Technologist and Building Design Consultant, Great Barton, Suffolk
Builder  – Construction Ltd, Building Contractors, Woolpit, Suffolk
Electrical Contractor –  SECELEC Electrical Services, Thurston, Suffolk
Heat Pump Scheme –  Econic Ltd., The Sustainable Energy Business, Norwich, Norfolk
Solar PV scheme    –    Solar Energy Alliance, Responsible Energy, Lowestoft, Suffolk



The following awards have been made:

  • June 2007       ‘Havebury Community Investment Fund Award’
  • Nov. 2007        ‘Winner – Suffolk ACRE Village Hall of the Year Award ‘
  • Nov. 2009        ‘Second Place – Suffolk ACRE Village Hall of the Year Award’
  • Nov.  2010       ‘Second Place – Suffolk ACRE Village Hall of the Year Award’
  • March 2011     ‘Winner – Creating the Greenest County Award’ (Community – Building Energy & Water category