John Lewis adds biomass to sustainability credentials

The John Lewis Partnership has upped its commitment to wood heating with the installation of a Euroheat biomass boiler at a new-build spa and wellness centre for its staff.

The John Lewis Spa and Wellbing Centre on the banks of the Bala Lake is now fuelled by a biomass boiler

The John Lewis Spa and Wellbing Centre on the banks of the Bala Lake is now fuelled by a biomass boiler

The HDG Compact 50kw wood chip boiler now provides heat and hot water for the swimming pool and underfloor heating systems at the John Lewis Spa on the banks of the Bala Lake in Snowdonia.

The building is estimated to be saving some 27 tonnes in CO2 when compared to an oil system. It is also eligible to receive £5,500 every year thanks to non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments.

Lee Maher, owner of renewables installation firm Menai Heating, which took on the project, said: "We had previously worked with the timber frame company who took on the complete build and, as a result, we were asked to quote for the biomass install. We worked closely with Euroheat on the design and installation and, because everything was built as specified, the installation ran very smoothly.

"It was only our second wood chip installation and the HDG Compact boiler is very installer-friendly and problem-free, which helped us a lot."

The biomass system will use approximately 26 tonnes of G30 wood chip, which is sourced from local woodland already owned by the John Lewis Partnership, helping to make the building as sustainable as possible. The HDG Compact boiler itself features a vertical heat exchanger, which is designed to burn woodchips, pellets and shavings.

The two-storey Spa site, which incorporates a swimming pool, therapy rooms, gym, games rooms and multi-activity space, also includes a water harvesting system to process waste water from the complex due to the location of the hotel. The building has been constructed to BREEAM Excellent, with timber frame walls which have been highly insulated, as well as sporting locally sourced external cladding.

Sustainable business

Late last year, edie reported that the John Lewis Partnership had signed a new energy supply deal which will see more than 380 Waitrose and John Lewis sites supplied with 100% renewable electricity.

Under that agreement, electricity is now purchased from independent generation projects, including a wind turbine at family-run Dewlay Cheesemakers in Lancashire; the Rainbarrow Farm anaerobic digestion project in Dorset and the Udny Community Turbine in Aberdeenshire.

Luke Nicholls
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