Saltoun House is a beautiful listed property to the south of Edinburgh. It consists of the main house which is split into two sections, a two-storey tool-shed/plant room and two adjacent garages/workshops. The owners were undergoing a full internal renovation of the house itself, upgrading the heating provision at the same time to include a combination of under-floor and radiators. The initial plan was to replace the two old oil boilers like-for-like.


Nova Power were engaged by the client to deliver a new low-carbon, cost effective and sustainable heating solution that could be connected to the upgraded system and would encompass all properties. The ancillary buildings were being used for a number of different reasons throughout the year and were being heated by a combination of electricity and oil. Nova Power assessed the options available to the client for including these buildings in the scope of the new heating installation.


A priority for the client was to limit the number of fuel deliveries required throughout the year. Given the listed nature of the building, care had to be taken to meet the highest aesthetic requirements and to limit impact on the surroundings, particularly the trees around the property. Nova Power were on hand to provide advice and input throughout the planning process.


Taking all this into account, Nova Power proposed installing a wood pellet biomass heating system in the tool shed. Given the lack of space in the tool shed this is connected to a 10-tonne external hopper (shown in picture) which pneumatically feeds the boiler with pellets through the rear wall of the plant room.


This system is designed to deliver heat via an underground district heat network to heat exchangers inside the buildings. This system includes a 2,000l water buffer tank to manage the demand on the system throughout the day and to ensure the effectiveness of the boiler. Heat is delivered to the ancillary buildings via radiators and warm air blowers (shown in picture) connected to the heat network. This installation is estimated to save around 30 tonnes/year of carbon emissions.


Nova Power were on hand through the tricky process of deciding whether or not to go with biomass, and the equally tricky installation itself. I am grateful for their patience and their professionalism.– The Client