Our Green Pages
Tory Bush Cottages
This document sets out the Environmental intentions of the operators of Tory Bush Cottages, the present status, what are the immediate plans and what are the long-term aspirations. The effective date for the main implementation 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 in consumable product sourcing, carbon production of guests travel.
- Improve the profitability of the business by reducing costs. 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 in such a marginal business in terms of profitability 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.
BS8555 Environmental Management phases 1-3
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 15 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 obviously a 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