Local village hall moves towards a sustainable future
A Trustee of a village hall in Sussex explains the recent changes they have made which will make it more energy efficient and secure its future for generations to come:
At Horam Village Hall we have recently changed our heating to be more efficient using a Tesla battery connected to our solar panels. The whole project is using the most up to date technologies to harness solar energy and use it efﬁciently to better suit the needs of the hall and provide improved thermal comfort for users. The new hot water cylinder is designed to store hot water for longer, we increased the loft insulation to 270mm and replaced the old windows with new PVCu, toughened, double glazed windows. We also replaced the existing lighting that used T8 tubes with LED equivalent downlighter lamps. These improvements help us to optimise the current resources that we have and adopt eco-innovative and low carbon solutions that will improve the hall at the same time as contributing to the protection and preservation of the environment.
In addition to the hall, we are also committed to managing the outdoor space (recreation ground) responsibly, we have recently received planning permission for our GAP project – Get Active Pathway to provide a 1km exercise path and pump track. We are planning to use surfacing made from recycled lorry tyres, and the spoil from the path excavation will be used in the construction of the pumptrack, saving on lorry trips to carry the soil away. The project will increase biodiversity through improved habitat management and tree planting, encourage people to get outdoors all year round and improve the access to the local environment. The recently installed playground, outdoor gym, skatepark and table tennis tables add to the GAP project and create an important health destination for a range of users, so that local people don’t have to drive elsewhere to exercise. We are aiming to install electric car charging points and cycle racks in our car park.
We surveyed various groups of people in Horam, which showed people were supportive of green energy, expressed that we should all do something to combat climate change to help the government meet climate change targets. It will educate the young users about renewable energy and the move away from fossil fuels. People had strong opinion that we need to all start with renewable energy or will we never work out a solution to climate change. People who had solar panels on their own homes were interested in latest technologies to store the electricity in the battery.
Reducing electricity costs by reducing heating demand will secure the future of the village hall which is the fabric of rural and community life.
Leigh Ellens, Trustee at Horam Village Hall