Rain harvesting time.

Two-year labour of love to feature on national TV

Published:  14 January, 2010

UK: The trials and tribulations of two Nottinghamshire business people will be viewed by the nation next week as part Channel Five's Build a New Life in the Country, due to be broadcast on Thursday 14 January at 8pm.

 Michael and Lisa Farnsworth, directors of Stormsaver, the manufacturer of rainwater harvesting systems, were filmed for Thursday's hour-long episode, which features first in the eight-part series about rural property design.

The couple have been involved with the sustainable restoration of the 400-year-old barn, which began in August 2007 and has meant that the Farnsworth's, along with their two young children Thomas and Lucy, have been living in a caravan on site for the past two years.

Lisa Farnsworth said: "We are not your typical eco-warriors, but our plan has always been to demonstrate that it is possible to carry out an architecturally sensitive restoration using sustainable technologies."

The couple commissioned Allan Joyce Architects from Nottingham to design the eco-friendly house, which is situated in Thurgarton, Nottinghamshire. The first year of development involved the removal and crushing of 600 tonnes of concrete, which was re-used for the driveway and areas in and around the barn. Mr Farnsworth also recovered 300 tonnes of sandstone skerry blocks from the ground surrounding the barn.

As well as a number of energy-saving technologies, including a heat recovery system to remove stale air from the building before pumping fresh heated air back in, the house also features a Stormsaver rainwater harvesting system from the company's Monsoon range for domestic properties, providing 50% of the water needs for the property.

Groundsource heat pumps transfer heat from the surrounding fields into a special unit which heats the house via under floor heating and also provides the building with its hot water. It is estimated that this alone will use 75% less energy to run than conventional heating. The couple have planted 2.5 acres of trees in the field to offset their carbon emissions as well as providing fuel for the house's log-burning stove.

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