L’Arole’s renovation would be inadequate without significant focus on sustainability. A key mantra of the current owners was to undertake the refurbishment with a strong emphasis on sustainability.
The renovation design emphasised reducing energy consumption by reducing electricity usage, eliminating oil burning and limiting natural gas usage and greatly improving insulation, reusing water both rain water harvesting and internal grey water recycling and recycling materials. The owners thoroughly thought out and planned every element often using commercial level equipment to make this home as efficient as possible.
The property has LED lighting throughout, drawing a fraction of the energy that would be used with traditional lights. The lighting is controlled with a lighting control system for both ease of use and energy efficiency. This can be operated remotely to ensure when the property is empty the lights are all switched off. The heated towel rails and the TVs are all controlled through this system to ensure they are not left on unnecessarily. PIRs detectors have been used in key areas which only activate the lights when movement is detected.
It is intended that the under floor heating is connected to a ground source heat pump and that there will be solar panels placed on the Gym Cabin. To date this is still awaiting planning permission. It is intended to complete this as soon as the snows melt in spring 2012.
Two new plumbing systems were designed and installed – one for foul ‘black’ water and the other for ‘grey’ water recycling. The bath, shower and basin effluent is recycled through the plant room using the Hansgrohe Pontos aqua cycle system where three filtration tanks produce water for toilet flushing and clothes washing. The garden irrigation system uses rain water harvested from tanks buried below ground outside. Both these initiatives considerably reduce the water consumption at the property even with luxuriously large bath tubs and powerful showers.
The showerheads are fitted with aeration devises with add air to the water before dispensing to further reduce the amount of water that is used.
In the kitchen Aga’s new AIMS oven can be switched on and off. This enhanced functionality brings it in line for the environmentally conscious and works off a 13 amp fuse. Hardwearing and antimicrobial ECO by Silestone counter tops are an elegant reminder of how beautiful recycled products can be. They are made from 75% recycled materials which are bound together using environmentally friendly resin which comes in part from corn oil.
The preservation and restoration of the majestic wooden structure rather than the demolition and a new build was a testament to the philosophy of sustainability.