28th June, 2022

The best of both worlds

In recent years sustainability, environmental impact and social responsibility have become key parts of the conversation when planning restoration or renovation projects with clients. The question is often asked - can an authentic, sensitive restoration of an historic home or estate include the environmentally-friendly, efficient, state-of-art technology that you would find in a quality new build with looking ‘modern’?

The answer is yes and it’s something we at Kishorn Heritage have been passionate about since before words like sustainability even entered the common vernacular. A great example is the Biomass Building and Boiler Room we have recently delivered as part of a five-year restoration and renovation of a picture-book Category A listed Highland castle.

Purpose-built, the 250kw biomass plant was the key component of a centralised district heating system on the estate that would heat the castle, four cottages, maintenance buildings and steading. As principal contractor, we worked with CDMM, who designed the biomass plant, Parker Technical Services, who carried out the installation, and CC North, who did the system integration enabling the various components to talk to each other.

It was a fantastic team effort with the resulting system powering underfloor heating in new structures built as part of the renovation whilst also serving the existing central heating system in the original buildings. Burning locally-sourced wood chips - the plant saves 48 tonnes of CO2 annually for the environmentally conscious client.

As much as the inner workings of the plant contained cutting edge technology, the exterior looks like it has always been there. This is down in no small part to excellent design and use of native materials. The brilliant Ptolemy Dean Architects-designed building blends seamlessly with existing outbuildings on the estate. With our skilled team of stonemasons and carpenters entrusted with bringing their vision to life, the result was a beautiful, authentic building that looks like it belongs.

With all materials sourced within a 50 mile radius of the estate, in many ways, it truly does belong. The stonework uses stone from nearby Achnasheen quarry while the large timber posts that form part of the structure were felled, and cut just 20m from the new building. Native materials don’t get any more local…