Our project to convert the 19th Century Warksburn Old Church to become an ultra energy efficient 21st Century Passivhaus is now well advanced. If you’re interested, you can follow the conversion project on its dedicated Instagram feed here.
The PDF linked here describes how the church was originally funded in 1875 by the eminent Victorian engineer, Sir George Barclay Bruce and how, when he became President of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1887, he set out an extraordinary vision of the renewable generation and storage of electrical energy.
It is uncanny that we now have the privilege of transforming his highly prescient vision of Net Zero into built reality, on the very building which Sir George himself paid for. In bringing the vision Sir George first expressed 136 years ago to life, we are putting everything we have learned about ‘How To Electrify Your Life’ from our GreenTech at home into this project, with one important difference.
- At our home, we have simply applied various electric technologies to substitute for other, carbon intensive, ways of powering the building, notably resulting in over 50% of our total carbon saving due to replacing an oil boiler with an Air Source Heat Pump, to power the central heating and hot water
- At Warksburn Old Church, by contrast, we’re rebuilding the fundamental structure to Passivhaus standards of super-insulation and airtightness, thus fundamentally reducing the Primary Energy Requirement of the building in the first place.
With its helpfully church-sized south facing roof, facing the sun at an acute angle to maximise winter solar generation, and a couple of chunky batteries to store any surplus solar we produce, coupled to an ultra-low energy design, we are expecting Warksburn Old Church to take the ‘next step’. We anticipate a carbon positive building, meaning that, every year, it will generate more energy than it consumes.
The build programme is on schedule to complete in a few months time. From late-summer 2024, Warksburn Old Church will be open as a three bedroom luxury holiday rental home, sleeping up to six guests. The rebuild to the extremely demanding Passivhaus standard will enable guests to experience for themselves how the highest levels of comfort and luxury can be achieved in a Net Zero building which generates more energy than it consumes, whilst enjoying a holiday in beautiful and historic Northumberland, just north of Hadrians Wall and south of the Scottish border.
If you are interested in booking a stay, or just want to make an enquiry, please email us on