Tory Bush Cottages
This document sets out the Environmental intentions of the operators of Tory Bush Cottages; the present status, what the immediate plans are and what the long-term aspirations will be. The implementation date of this plan was the 1st of January 2005 with subsequent updates since then.
There are three main objectives of the plan,
- Reduce the impact that a holiday destination such as Tory Bush has on the environment. Not only on the immediate local environment such as with waste water disposal but on a more global-scale such as consumable product sourcing and reducing carbon production of guests travels.
- Improve the profitability of the business by reducing costs. For Example, Tourism in a temperate wet west European climate such as Northern Ireland is always going to be highly seasonal and never mass-market orientated. It is important therefore in such a marginal business profitability-wise that all outgoings are minimised, in particular energy consumption.
- Target new markets that value the environmental principles on which the cottages are operated. This sector of environmentally aware consumers is a growing sector, not just in terms of market-places such as Holland, Germany and the Nordic Countries but the growing number of domestic visitors who wish to bring environmental practices into all aspects of their lives, including taking holidays.
Accreditations to Date,
NRRTI, Green Tourism Pilot Green Scheme Merit Award, 2005.
BS8555 Environmental Management phases 1-3 2008
Down District Business Awards 2011 Best Green Business
Irish Responsible Tourism Silver Award 2015, Best Small Hotel or Accommodation.
Action Renewable Association Award 2015, Best Energy Saving SME
Shortlisted Tourism NI ‘Most Sustainable’ Tourism Business 2015
Promotion of this Policy
This policy will be available on the Tory Bush website with a link from the home page.
A full copy of the policy will be included in the Guests Information Folder left in every Cottage.
A short extract will be displayed on the Cottage notice boards asking guests to be environmentally considerate, e.g. switch of lights etc.
Marketing Literature targeting the environmentally aware customer will include parts of the policy and direct them to the full document on the website, www.torybush.com/greenpages.
The Cottages were designed and built 20 years ago and even then environmental guidelines were being followed.
The Cottages were built using what was considered at the time, highly insulated Timber-Frames, 90mm studs with Fibre-glass insulation. This suited the nature of the business, short term rentals often only 2 days with periods of no use between rentals. The low thermal mass of the building together with the high insulation allowed the building to be rapidly heated up prior to arrivals unlike with more traditional buildings.
The buildings were orientated to gain maximum passive heat gain from the path of the Sun with all the large windows and patio doors on the East and South sides of the buildings.
All glass used in the buildings is Pilkington K Glass considered at the time to be the most efficient at retaining this passive heat gain.
The heating system is based on a Gas Combination Boiler that only heats the Domestic Hot Water as it is used, there is no wasted cylinder of hot water on departure and water consumption is reduced.
The Cottages were added to in 2007 with a Conference Room, Reception area, Laundry and an additional rental unit called the Eco-loft. These additional units incorporated the advances in Environmental and Sustainable Building techniques and included.
Timber frame construction, again but with 160mm studs and using sheep’s wool insulation.
Wood Pellet Heating System
Solar Hot Water Heating
Heat Exchanging Air ventilation system.
Rain Water capture system.
Compressed News-paper wall-board instead of plaster board.
This Environmental Plan will look at the following issues and assess the present environmental performance and indicate areas where improvements could be made both to reduce the environmental impact and improve the sustainability of the business.
- Energy Use
- Water Use
- Use of Chemicals
- Management of Waste
- Vehicle Use
Electricity is used at Tory Bush Cottages for internal and external lighting and to operate all appliances apart from the Gas Hob and Gas boiler, although it does circulate the hot water. In 2005 when the baseline for this policy was established a total of 1,200 kWh of electricity were used per year which at a conversion rate of 0.78kg of CO2 per kWh equates to 9.36 tonnes of CO2. Since then there has been significant plant additions to the Cottages, commercial Washing Machines, Tumble Driers so a fresh consumption analysis is required.
This is obviouslya significant environmental impact from a facility that did not exist 10 years before that, so it was decided to source this entirely from Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) Green Tariff where all the electricity is generated by renewable techniques.
Internal Lighting, As old incandescent bulbs came to the end of their life they were replaced by low wattage long life bulbs, so at present less than 10% of bulbs are incandescent.
External Lighting, external lighting is essential to permit safe movement around the site after dark, and this had been provided by 500watt floodlights controlled by the guest, now most of these have been fitted with lower wattage bulbs, 150 watt is the minimum in this type of fitting and are now controlled by dusk to dawn sensors and movement detectors with a time limit. As the fittings need replaced the will be replaced by the latest external lighting used CFLs or LEDs.
Subsequent to this in 2013 we fitted Photovoltaic panels on one of the out buildings at Tory Bush and now produce 90% of electricity on site, buying only only 850kWh of electricity on a Green Tarif from NIE. We are also starting to replace all outside lights at their ‘end of life’ point with 10watt LED fittings controlled by motion detectors. It is calculated that the Carbon saving from the move to PV and lower energy fittings has been 2.5 tonne.
Up until 2013 Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) was used as the main fuel source for Heating and Hot Water as well as gas hobs and our own laundry Tumble Dryers
The annual consumption of LPG in the 2004 was 6000 litres in 2009 and it was 12,000 which equates to 19 tonne of CO2.
The heating system was based on a LPG combination boiler that only heated the DHW as it was used; the intention being that there is no wasted cylinder of water on departure of short term bookings.
The heating system is controlled by a timed room thermostat that is set to 210c with set on and off periods, the system can be over-ridden by the guests so we display notices setting out the comfortable living temperature and of there is the chosen on – off periods to coincide with activity in the cottage. In December 2004 gas meters were installed so that customers are aware that any adjustments to the settings will have an effect on what they pay. It has been seen that since then people are a lot more responsible in their usage of the gas.
All the radiators have thermostatic valves so unused rooms in a house can be zoned off.
Subsequent to this in 2013 we replaced all the LPG boilers with Heat Exchange units based on a district heating network fuelled by wood pellet. Our gas consumption has decreased to under 1000 litres from 12,000litres, a Carbon Saving of 18 tonnes.
Our total Carbon saving across the year with these measures were