Hoval boiler provides an education in biomass

A Hoval BioLyt wood-pellet boiler is contributing to the low-carbon credentials of a new primary school in Newark.
A Hoval biomass boiler is among a range of sustainable features incorporated into a new primary school in Newark. Bowbridge Primary School also boasts solar water heating, toilet flushing using rainwater and a sedum roof. It is also designed to make full use of natural daylight and natural ventilation. It is due to open in September 2008 and will have around 480 pupils aged from three to 11. The school was designed by Nottinghamshire County Council, and final-year students from Nottingham University’s School of the Built Environment were invited to propose innovative designs. It was decided to use eco-friendly construction materials and source as much as possible from within a 50-mile radius. This was one of the reasons for selecting the Hoval biomass boiler, which was made in Newark itself and which is one of many biomass boilers supplied to the council’s properties as part of its wood-heat programme. The BioLyt boiler will be used for space heating and to supplement the solar water heating. It will be fuelled by wood pellets produced locally from willow-based short-rotation coppice plantations. The school is also planting its own small willow coppice to demonstrate the principles of biomass fuels to pupils. The ash from the boiler will be used to fertilise the school’s kitchen garden, which will be used to grow vegetables for school dinners. Head teacher David Dixon is a champion of sustainability in education and has already embedded the concepts of sustainability throughout the school’s curriculum. The school also works to raise awareness of these issues in the wider community. He says, ‘The new building is designed to be as close to carbon neutral as we can manage and will be an exemplar of what can be achieved.’ David Dixon also says, ‘We evaluated fuel costs and found that as gas prices continue to rise, the wood pellets are on a par with gas and set to become cheaper. The boiler is also very easy to use, as it has automatic fuel feed and ash removal. The wood pellets will be stored in a specially constructed transparent pellet hopper so that people can see how it works.’
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