The new carbon neutral Alitex glasshouse at Logan Botanic Gardens in Scotland (one of four gardens which sit under the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh parentage) has proved to be a big hit with visitors since its recent opening at the end of June this year.
John Lawson, Director of Alitex, who was involved with the project from the outset said:
“The Logan structure breaks new boundaries as it is the first public glasshouse in the UK to be entirely heated by green energy. In order to reduce environmental impact the Logan glasshouse is heated by an air source heat pump, located at the rear of the glasshouse and which works in a reverse manner to a fridge, taking in cool air and producing heat.
To offset the energy required to run the heat pumps (for every 4/5kWh of heat produced they require 1KWh of electricity to drive it) solar power is created from renewable green energy solar panels which are located on a nearby south-facing roof. These panels generate in excess of 3,700kWh hours per year. (To put this in context the average electricity consumption of a UK home is 4,600kWh hours per year.) The energy generated equals the heat consumed by the greenhouse, creating a carbon neutral growing environment.”
He continued, “Alitex is extremely happy to be associated with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, which has such a fantastic reputation for horticultural excellence, whilst also being at the forefront in the adoption of new technologies to minimise their environmental footprint.”
Richard Baines, Curator, Logan Botanic Gardens and daily user of the new glasshouse reveals: “Visitors have been flocking to the structure like bees to a honeypot. At Logan Gardens, there is a sub-tropical planting theme – the larger collections include an extended South African flower collection with an abundance of heathers and geraniums – and a reliable and trustworthy heat source was necessary to maintain the kinds of plant collections nurtured here”.
Other greenhouses at Logan are heated by traditional fossil fuels but the aim is to switch to greener forms of energy, such as biomass in the future.