Historic Calderdale buildings to be fitted with new technology to increase carbon savings

Marrying sturdy old buildings to new energy-efficient heating measures will ensure some of Calderdale’s traditional landmarks can play a greener part in shaping its future.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 1:28 pm
Updated Friday, 26th March 2021, 1:32 pm

On Monday, March 29, Calderdale Council Cabinet members will be asked to approve measures which will see carbon methods of heating six buildings with modern energy-efficient heating methods adopted that will suit them down to the ground.

Using grant funding of £2.8 million from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, the changes will boost buildings from Todmorden to Brighouse.

The council will also put in £350,000 from the recent £1m million Carbon Neutral Fund, agreed as part of the council’s budget.

Halifax town Hall

Bankfield Museum at Boothtown, Halifax,, Brighouse Library, Todmorden Market Hall, Manor Health jungle experience at Halifax, Spring Hall register office at Halifax and Halifax Town Hall have all been identified as sites which would benefit, replacing existing gas fuel systems with electric heat pumps.

Last year the council declared a carbon emergency which set a target for the council and the borough of having net zero emissions by 2038, with significant progress made by 2030.

The sites identified are all older buildings, with ageing heating systems which are expensive to run.

The briefing paper to Cabinet members says replacing the systems with the new technology would cut the carbon footprint of these buildings by 82 per cent.

The Victorian buildings are of traditional heavy construction featuring substantial stone and brick exterior and interior walls.

The heavy construction results in the buildings having substantial thermal mass which naturally suits heating systems that operate for longer periods at lower peak temperatures to maintain a steady building temperature, councillors have been told.

There could also be some financial benefits – the new installments are expected to require less energy to deliver the same level of heat and protect the council from anticipated gas price rises.

Roof insulation improvements are also planned for Halifax Town Hall.

Coun Scott Patient (Lab, Luddenden Foot),the council’s Cabinet member for Climate Change and Resilience, said since declaring a Climate Emergency in 2019, the council had reviewed processes to identify how we could better support its climate response.

“Following a successful bid for Government funding, we’ve identified six key public buildings which would benefit from the installation of new technology to support a move away from gas heating.

“This project would considerably reduce the carbon emissions associated with these sites,” he said.

If approved, detailed design work could start as early as this month with construction estimated to start at the end of June.

The construction programme would be scheduled for delivery by the end of September this year.

Cabinet will discuss the item on Monday, March 29, from 6pm, the meeting screened via the council’s YouTube channel.