Green technology puts centre in hot water
HOT water running out of a tap marks a major new phase in the development of an innovative new building at a Clanfield visitor attraction.
A high tech wood burning biomass boiler is up and running providing hot water and heating for the £270,000 visitor centre nearing completion at Butser Ancient Farm.
The boiler is just one of a range of environmentally-friendly technologies being employed in the new building at the experimental archaeological research site near Chalton.
Farm director Simon Jay said: “It may not sound like a revolutionary development to most people but this will be the very first time that hot water is available from the taps at Butser Ancient Farm.
“Staff and visitors will be able to wash their hands in water heated in the most sustainable, environmentally-friendly way.”
The hot water is provided by a combination of the biomass boiler and a solar thermal heating system installed by Sowga of Pulborough, West Sussex, working alongside Forest Heat Energy and Devon-based Fair Energy.
The £35,000 cost was met by grants from ScottishPower Green Energy Trust and the Big Lottery Communities Sustainable Energy Fund. ScottishPower also helped pay for a solar power system which provides electricity for the building.
Agincourt Builders from Petersfield are currently putting the finishing touches to the new building which will be officially opened in March.
The new visitor centre incorporates a range of innovative sustainable technologies including fleece insulation, light tubes, rainwater harvesting tank and a reed bed toilet system.
Most of the funding for the building has come from grants from a range of local, regional and national providers.
Butser Education Community Interest Company, the not-for-profit company which operates the farm, has also invested heavily in the project.
Simon said: “Our plans will bring the farm up to date, provide great new facilities for visitors while harmonising with the rural location of the farm.
“Our overriding concern has been to ensure that any new development here is sustainable and fits in with our beautiful environment on the South Downs.”
The new visitor centre is to be called Janus after the Roman god of gateways who is always depicted with two faces – one facing the past and one the future. It is where we get our name for the month of January.
More than 23,000 people visit the farm each year, including 16,000 schoolchildren on educational visits.
A number of events will be held at the ancient farm, which is just off the A3 at Chalton.
During Easter holiday, there will be lots of hands-on fun for families, and a chance to learn maypole dancing on April 12.
The annual celebration of Beltain, including the burning of the wicker man, takes plac e on Saturday,May 4. This year’s event is set to be bigger than ever before, with live music, dance performances, fire juggling, food stalls and bar.
Then on May 17, it’s Open Night at the Museum– an opportunity to visit the farm in the evening.
To find out more about Butser Ancient Farm visit www.butserancientfarm.co.uk or call 02392 598838.
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Weather for Petersfield
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west