As well as conserving the cottage and its history we want to make it efficient and sustainable. In terms of heating and hot water our current thoughts include the new, efficient wood burning stove linked to solar panels set up on land to the rear of the house.
The supply of firewood could eventually come from about one hectare of willow/poplar coppice on a 5 year rotation which would supply the 8 - 10 tonnes/annum of logs it is estimated will be required.
We are hoping to put in a borehole and establish our own private water supply and will undertake a survey of the land in coming weeks to see if there are any suitable water sources on site.
Options including bio-digestors and reed/willow beeds are being considered for sewage treatment.
Any improvements to the insulation levels of the cottage are going to have to fit in with the conservation work which will take priority. All materials used will be natural and/or recycled wherever possible. The carbon footprint of the new extension will be kept to a minimum. No concrete will be used in the build with preference given to oak frame with recycled plasterboard/wool insulated walls and reclaimed slate roof.