Case Studies

Foamseal Barn Conversion

  • Foamseal Barn Conversion
  • Chichester, West Sussex
  • Developer: John Langdon
  • 19th Century barns being converted into modern homes

Foamseal, a type of insulation made up of polyurethane, has been used throughout the house to improve insulation and air tightness; being added to the floors, roof and walls.


100mm of the foam is added directly to the concrete floor. Once dried, the under floor heating cords can be attached directly onto the polyurethane foam insulation. 65mm of self-leveling screed is then poured on top and left to set. Once set the flooring can then be laid.  
The clay roof tiles were stripped and re-laid, allowing for a gap to insert a Dupont Tyvek breathable flooring membrane. Once the roof is weather tight, 120mm of foam can be applied to the underside of the membrane. The foam is very quick and easy to apply and has a high thermal efficiency.
The flint stonewalls were studded out with 70mm of CLS studwork, allowing 75mm of foam behind it for weatherproofing. No fungal growth, dampness, water damage or rodents and insects can get in between or inside the foam, therefore the walls are very low maintenance. Timber frame is placed over the foam sealing and covers the layer, allowing for the walls to be treated and painted.
The foam allows the developer to keep the original characteristics of the barn, while still altering its efficiency.  

Biomass Boiler

  • Biomass Boiler
  • 17th Century Farmhouse
  • Owner: Andrew Wear

 The farm consists of an 11 bed-roomed house, camping barns, which hold 32 visitors, and another barn is in the process of being converted into a communal area, teaching rooms and a workshop for visitors. Each building is linked to a heating system, transporting hot water and heating to them.
A new boiler house was needed to store the boiler and parts, so a timber clad lean-to was built adjacent to the row of small workshops. The boiler house was built below the workshops, keeping it out of sight.  

The CSE (Centre for Sustainable Energy) was running a regional programme called South West Coordinated Wood fuel Initiative (CWI). They came to Mr. Wear’s farm and gave him a free site visit and a mini feasibility study by a consultant. The company recommended 8 different types of boilers but the owner decide upon a log-burning boiler, due to availability to trees and a lower cost. This type of boiler needs more work and maintenance than the other types but the farm workers help with this.
The boiler chosen was a 70kW Froling Log Boiler, with two 3000 litre accumulator tanks. There is also a separate 150-litre immersion tank in the camping barns. The tanks store the hot water that is used by the buildings. Electric heating, however, backs up the boiler, but the owner was planning to install a solar water heating system instead. This will allow hot water and showers in the summer months. 

Over 25 years, which is the lifetime of this type of boiler, you would be saving anywhere between £35,625-£97,875.
The installation price was £50,000, which included everything needed. With the CWI £10,000 was given to the owner for using the scheme. However, unfortunately the CWI programme has now ceased.
The system processes around 600kg of additional CO2 emissions, saving over 24 tonnes of CO2 annually.