Nuclear bunker converted into sustainable, energy efficient home

A former ROC 9 Group control bunker built into a steep wooded hillside in Yeovil has been successfully converted into a sustainable and highly energy efficient five bedroom home with the help of leading specialists in heat recovery ventilation and air source heat pumps, Total Home Environment.

The former group headquarters was constructed on the site of a Second World War base and was used as a practice bunker until 2001, when it was sold by the Ministry of Defence and later granted planning permission to convert the building into a domestic property in 2010.

The accommodation has been arranged on four levels, two underground within the existing bunker and a two-storey timber frame new build, erected by homeowner, Brian Lemmy.

After initially specifying and installing two GES Energy units from Total Home Environment it was found that due to changes on site the units would no longer provide sufficient ventilation to the property. One of the GES Energy units was then replaced with a GES Energy 2 ventilation appliance equipped with a counter-flow heat exchanger suitable for ventilation of living areas of up to 312m².

Total Home Environment worked with Brian Lemmy to resolve the initial problem quickly and professionally, as Brian explained, “Total Home Environment wasted no time in identifying the problem and supplying a more industrial system at no additional cost. The company performed with great honesty when it came to customer service and were superb in resolving the issue. I am delighted with the results.”

Prior to the conversion, the interior was left untouched and still contained signs of the building’s original function such as radiation warning signs and a ventilation system, dormitories and steel blast doors. Ventilation to the bunker was provided within a ventilation and filtration plant room with all the original ROC plant remaining in good condition including the main intake fan which drew air through the filters into the trunking system running through the bunker.

The original system and ducting has now been replaced with the high quality system from Total Home Environment, providing whole house ventilation with temperature efficiency and low energy consumption.

The GES Energy heat recovery ventilation and GES Energy 2 ventilation systems were required to provide good levels of ventilation and a degree of zoning within the converted building, one unit ventilates the top extension and the other provides ventilation to the lower floors. Both appliances are equipped with a counter-flow heat exchanger with a recovery rate of over 90%.

As the upper levels of the house are timber frame and maintain heat up to approximately 15°C, no heating has so far been required, however plans to install underfloor heating within the property to work alongside the GES Energy systems are to be carried out over the coming months.

Further information and technical advice on the range of heat recovery units from Total Home Environment is available on 0845 260 0123, email info@totalhome.co.uk or by visiting the company’s website at www.totalhome.co.uk

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