|Cost of work||£ 2,400|
|Features||Insulation and Glazing|
Originally built as a doctor’s surgery and residence in 1908, Lattice Lodge Guest House is now a large bed and breakfast business which manages to make sustainability a key goal without compromising the business or the Edwardian feel of the building. Built with solid walls and suspended timber floors, it has been extended twice in the last twenty years to bring the number of bedrooms up to fifteen. By using wireless technology to make the heating system more efficient, and by increasing the amount of insulation, Martin and Mosaic have managed to cut their energy bills hugely. Within one year they brought their gas bill down by 38%.
They regularly blog on their latest building modifications at http://latticelodge.blogspot.com/.
Recycled Newspaper used to insulate the loft. Costing around £600, whilst it has made the building feel much warmer, it was messy to install.
Home Made Radiator Reflectors
These were cheap and very simple to make and install, comprising only recycled tin foil and thin sheets of fibreboard.
Knauf Space Blanket Insulation
Recycled under floor insulation. This cost around £200 and significantly improved levels of comfort in the rooms in which it was installed.
Eco-friendly paints used for all redecorating. Whilst they are more expensive than conventional paints, each room is usable again more quickly as less fumes are given off; an important business concern.
Wireless Thermostat System
Honeywell CM927 wireless thermostat system. This means that parts of the building that aren’t in use can have their temperature turned down to the bare minimum, whilst others are heated to pre-set temperatures that can vary throughout the day and week. The first set cost around £300, and along with other minor improvements to the gas boiler system, is the main reason for the brilliant cuts in gas usage.
Each bedroom comes with a low energy television that is compliant with Energy Saving Trust recommendations.
An excellent composting system using a Green Cone and Bokashi bins, costing around £70 and £30 a pair respectively.
Doors and Windows
A secondary front door to enclose the porch, stopping heat escaping when guests leave the front door open. Also on that principle, Martin examined every window for drafts, which were then blocked up with mastic.
Martin and Mosaic have sustainability in mind for every decision they make, but still each decision must make business sense. They are happy to pay a small premium for more environmentally friendly products, for example buying locally sourced muesli, but are concentrating on improving the efficiency of their 15 year old boiler rather than replacing it before it breaks. Being sustainable has certainly helped the business, as their energy bills have tumbled and customers really appreciate the locally-sourced breakfasts.
Lattice Lodge has not received any grants or loans, though may well look to take advantage of the Enhanced Capital Allowance in the future.
Waste is something that the Lattice Lodge minimises at every turn. Their excellent composting system ensures that no food is sent to landfill. Even guest bedrooms have small pots to collect tea bags. Rather than providing individual toiletry sachets to guests, Lattice Lodge uses refillable dispensers filled with environmentally friendly toiletries. This approached is matched in their choice of cleaning chemicals. Breakfasts are almost entirely locally sourced; sausages and bacon from Bramfield, kippers from Lowestoft, etc.; as part of the Suffolk Breakfasts Initiative. Everything that can be reused is reused; Martin and Mosaic are keen patrons of Ipswich Freecycle and have sourced several pieces of energy saving equipment from eBay.
This building’s biggest success is in its energy efficiency. Whilst a more efficient boiler could be fitted, this does not make financial sense until the old one is no longer functional. Further equipment, such as an air source heat pump has been considered but is not as yet considered practicable. This building has achieved a great deal of success with its heating and hot water systems whilst investing little.
Suppliers and Professional Services Used
Decorating Supplies: Earth and Reed Ltd, Needham Market
Heating Modifications: N Boreham Heatcare, Ipswich
Composters: Elmers Hardware, Ipswich