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Saturday, 28 March

Winery Embarks on Sustainable Accommodation Project

Work on a 1,200 ton winery in the South Downs is due to finish in September 2014 as the estate prepares to welcome the first round of seasonal workers all of whom will be housed at the brand new on site accommodation. Desco has been commissioned to provide design and consultancy services for the entire Rathfinny development, alongside architect Anthony Sherwin and designer Martin Swatton, with further architectural design by Design Cubed.

Work on redeveloping the derelict 19th Century Flint Barns began earlier this year with a key element of the project involving the use of sustainable design techniques and low carbon technologies across the whole of the 46 bed hostel style accommodation and wider estate. Alongside this, the core design team is taking extra consideration to remain sensitive to the historical nature of the building, developing accommodation that sits within the backdrop of the natural landscape.

A host of energy saving building techniques have been incorporated throughout the accommodation building and winery, including the use of locally sourced cladding to ensure minimum wastage from the cutting process and the use of quality composite window frames (aluminium and timber) for improved energy efficiency. The development of the on-site renewable cooling systems have also been a key mechanical focus, with air source heating pumps developed to lower carbon emissions.

Ken Beall, Director at Desco, said: “It has been extremely rewarding to see the team’s vision begin to be realised. To work on such a highly acclaimed, one-of-a-kind development is a fantastic opportunity for the whole project team.

“We know there are certain green credentials that any modern day project must adhere to but Rathfinny is truly revolutionary in its approach with a sustainable infrastructure built to support the vineyard. A photovoltaic solar farm which has been developed to support the entire site, ensures that the enterprise is as energy efficient as is practical within a national park environment.”

Desco has led on the engineering services of the development of a 50kW solar farm at the winery which includes photovoltaic generation capacity and incorporates a host of energy saving building techniques. Strongly supporting the estate’s aim to become one of the most environmentally friendly wineries, the investment in renewable electricity will save 16 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Ground water is also being sourced from the Estate’s own bore hole, purified to remove calcium and microbes and the waste water used within the wine making process will be treated on site and released back onto the land. With an extensive wildflower green roof to blend seamlessly into the national parkland setting, the roof will help to support thermal insulation of the building, whilst also providing significant solar shading avoiding the need to air condition spaces.

Mark Driver, owner of the Rathfinny Estate, said: “Every aspect of construction throughout the entire project to date has revolved around protecting the natural landscape – its beauty and ecology and sustainability is very important to Rathfinny.

“It has been an exciting step forward achieving planning permission for the accommodation building and starting work on the next phase of development, which will play such an important part in providing high quality accommodation for seasonal workers at Rathfinny, the first of whom will arrive next autumn.”

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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