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LEGO business builds a greener workspace

Solar PV is next step at former police station

A former police station has been transformed into a green home for bricks with the introduction of energy-saving technology.

LEGO artist and author Warren Elsmore has plans to continue his transformation of the former Newbattle police station, with the installation of solar PV panels.

The 1970s office complex was ideal for Warren to expand his business of creating bespoke commercial models built from LEGO, but it was clear the building needed some updating.

Warren was keen to make his new home as sustainable as possible to reduce running costs and approached Zero Waste Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Business Support Service for guidance.

A consultant visited the site and looked at three key areas: heating, lighting and insulation.

The property was being heated by an old gas mains boiler that was operating at below 80% efficiency and nearing the end of its life.

Warren used an interest-free Scottish SME Loan to replace the boiler with an electrical system using radiant heaters.

Radiant heating differs from the convectional heat we receive from radiators in that it warms an object or person rather than the surrounding air. It is not as common as other systems, but for Warren it was the ideal set-up as he didn’t need to waste money heating areas that weren’t being used.

To ensure the heat stayed within the building and didn’t escape through the roof, new loft insulation was put in to replace the patchy existing material that was just 50mm deep in places.

The existing lights were all replaced with LEDs, and motion sensors were included to ensure that no lights are left on when an area is unoccupied.

Warren is happy with the changes he has implemented but wants to continue creating a green space by having solar PV panels installed on the roof to produce his own electricity.

Warren said:

“It’s not just a tick in the box, it’s more than that. We have a lot of big enterprise customers that are really pushing all of their suppliers to make sure they are dealing with things in an environmentally friendly way.”

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