With the worrying onset of climate change, it has never been more important to consider your actions and their consequences. Logie Country House is a green wedding venue (well we are trying hard) where we have been considering the environment since the day we bought the house as a ruin in 2008, which coincidentally was just before Al Gore predicted catastrophic sea level rise. It makes fantastic long term business sense to think about the future. So we though Eco Wedding.
If you are looking for an Eco wedding venue, we don’t want to feed you a load of blah, blah greenwashing. This post is written to give you a bit of fine yet maybe tedious detail. We didn’t even use a picture of a tree or a nice green thing to grab your attention. The picture is our smokey biomass boiler room while we are replacing the boiler fan, which is of zero interest to any brides & grooms. Probably
Logie Country House Green Wedding Venue Building
Firstly the house and ballroom. When we rebuilt most of the house from a ruin, we installed 150mm of Kingspan insulation on all of the outward facing walls and the floors. This was well over what we needed to install. We also put two layers of extremely thick fibre insulation in the open roof spaces and more 150mm Kingspan in the closed roof spaces. This is high performance insulation that minimises the amount of heat loss from the house. We did the same when we built the ballroom. Also, the attic in the guest wing has been sprayed with thick expanding foam insulation. Fascinating to watch that go on, I can tell you! Now you could say we should have used lambs wool or more natural insulation, but that wasn’t really available back then and try pouring concrete on top of it too!
Most of the windows in the house are modern double glazed. So are the skylights. We double glazed most of the original cast iron skylights where we could or replaced the damaged ones with traditional modern skylights. The outhouses in the courtyard have double glazed panes in the old frames. The ballroom windows are double glazed phonic glass and are over 2 inches thick!
We used natural lime render and mortar in place of cement during the restoration so the building breaths. Every room on the ground floor of the restored house is under-floor heated. This is the most efficient way to heat a room. Also, Dogs like it!
Eco Wedding Pool
No green wedding venue is complete without an indoor pool. Our indoor pool has 200mm of Kingspan insulation on all four sides and the equivalent on the bottom of the pool. The pool has a heat retaining insulated cover, that is pulled over when the pool is not in use. You really can’t get any more insulated than our pool. It takes the absolute minimum to heat it. The pool room itself incorporates a waste heat recovery unit rather than the traditional dehumidification system. This waste heat recovery uses low energy fans to suck out warm damp air and transfers the heat to fresh (dryer) air from outside. Cold damp air blown out, warm dry air blown in. Ta-Da, minimum use of energy.
Eco friendly wedding venue heating
The house is heated by a 50kW timber burning boiler that uses wind-blown timber from the surrounding estate. So we will have enough wood for about 200 years after storm Arwen in 2021. We even have our own timber processor on the estate. We use the same timber for our five fireplaces, four of which have energy efficient enclosed stoves. Additionally, one of these stoves has a back boiler that heats the house too. If the wood boiler is not on, we automatically flip over to new, high efficiency oil boilers. The ballroom is heated by electric heat pump air conditioners. These are only turned on during the wedding day and are good for both cooling and heating.
We have 18kW of solar panels and a 9kW inverter on one of the estate buildings to partially offset our energy use. We also have 22kWh of batteries to store any excess power. To date (Oct 23) we have generated 10MW of electricity.
Yeah Yeah, we are flood lit every night you drive past. Lit up like a Christmas tree. Well that’s good advertising, you’ve just proved it. But we have changed all of our lights to super low energy LED, including all of the fluorescent tube lights. Even the festoon and colour floodlights are low energy LED. All of our outside lights are set up on Wi-Fi control so that they only turn on at dusk and then turn off automatically. No leaving lights on when they aren’t needed.
Eco friendly wedding reception and Wi-Fi everything.
All of our controls are on WiFi timers. Nothing is left on when it’s not needed. The pool pumps only go on during the day when people are in the pool. The Pool room fans sense people in the pool or high moisture in the room before they switch on. We turn off the boilers when everyone has gone to bed and the ballroom heating and water heating only go on when needed.
Every room in the house is fitted with individual temperature control. Bedrooms are colder at night, living areas are warmer in the day. Rooms that are not used are turned off. Leave a window open and the heating will turn off in that room.
Even the electric under floor heating in the bathrooms is just turned on when people are using the bathroom.
Some of our hall lights have motion sensors and only turn on when someone is there. Just remember to keep doing star jumps if you hang about in hallways too long!
The electric immersion heaters in the hot water tanks are only turned on when the water temperature drops too low.
Lots of the pretty outside lights are only switched on when needed, during weddings or events too.
Eco friendly wedding venue and green wedding venue everything else
Needless to say, we have tried to use only high energy efficiency appliances throughout. They may cost more to buy, but they pay for themselves many times over. If it’s not high efficiency now, it will be when it blows up and we have to replace it!
We recycle as much waste as we can. That is ours, our guests and our suppliers. We send hundreds of kilograms of recycled glass and 52 large skips of recyclables back every year. We even get in metal recycling skips for bigger waste items. Got any old copper? or gold? Drop it off round at ours and we will get rid of it for free.
We have two sewage treatment works that pretty much discharge drinkable water (although we haven’t tested that!) into a huge soakaway. No nasties floating out of a byre and down the river here! We even use rainwater harvesting for our toilet flushing.
50% of the main lawn is cut by electric mowers.
We use Ecover cleaning products and try and minimise the amount of chemical cleaners we use. Additionally, we also minimise the use of disposable anything. We refill containers (except for the liquor bottles behind the bar!) and reuse where we can. Even our rags and sponges get washed between cleaning shifts!
On the guest front, although we let our guests decide what the want for themselves, we have banned plastic confetti, Chinese lanterns and fireworks.
Eco Wedding Friendly plans
So, what else can we do? We are always looking for improvements and we have big plans for the future.
One thought was to install a new all electric heat pumps but this will be dependent on SSE installing a 3 phase electric supply.
If SSE do not install a 3 phase supply, we will look to install a new, larger biomass boiler that will used timber or straw from the estate.
Plans are afoot to get another electric mower that will bring us up to about 75% of the lawns electrically cut.
Our new EV charging points were installed in 2022.
We have a longer term plan to install a turbine in the river Urie and put in for a scheme around 15 years ago.
So, if you are looking for an eco friendly wedding venue, we are pretty much saving the world. Well, we are doing our best.
2023 Green wedding venue updates.
- We have just installed a sensor and humidity system that only uses a new, very low power pump normally when no one is in the pool. Once someone enters the room, the large pump starts up, as do the inlet and extract ventilation fans. Everything turns off after the swimmers leave, unless the room humidity is high (where the ventilation stays on until it drops). This has reduced our pool electric usage by 65%.
- We have just had an Energy Performance Report completed. Normally EPC certificates are not required for listed buildings (as they use lots of E and have terrible P). We scored a respectable C energy performance rating at 73% (the average in Scotland is D/61%) and an a CO2 impact of 96% (the average in Scotland is D/59%). Bear in mind that we are about to plant thousands of native trees and we will be sucking up hundreds of tonnes of CO2 every year.Our only options to improve (by 2%) are to replace the original single pane windows with double glazed (We will not be grand planning consent to do that and we think that we will use up way more energy binning some windows to put in some other windows) and put in a wind turbine, which we are already considering.
- We intend to put in planning permission to install another 18kW of solar panels taking us up to 36kW. We will also install 40kWh of new batteries. This should be enough for all of our normal day to day electric usage in the house. We already use green energy electric tariffs, so we are net positive on the electric front.
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