At East Cambusmoon Farm we are committed to running our smallholding to the highest sustainability principles. Our two holiday cottages are no exception, being designed and built with low energy design at their heart whilst offering guests superb levels of comfort and amenity.
- Insulation – both cottages use a highly insulated and airtight timber frame structure insulated with dense mineral fibre and wood fibre board to keep the draughts out and the heat in. Insulation is 50% over that required by current building standards and ensures that even in the coldest winter we can keep the cottages cosy and warm for our guests.
- Daylight – we’ve taken advantage of natural light and heat from the sun through large areas of well insulated glazing to the south and east of the buildings.
- Air quality – the cottages are airtight to keep the draughts out, so a heat recovery system constantly brings fresh air in to the living spaces to maintain a comfortable and healthy internal environment.
- Heat and hot water – a ground source heat pump provides both under floor heating and hot water for both cottages for the cooler months, whilst solar thermal panels provide the supply for the rest of the year. Each cottage also has a highly efficient wood burning stove which takes its combustion air supply directly from the outside to avoid draughty chimneys
- Wood fuel - all firewood is sourced locally from wind-blown trees or managed woodland. Kindling is cut from 'waste wood' recovered from the demolition of the former buildings on site and construction waste from the cottages.
- Power – 6kW of solar PV panels (some installed on the south facing roof of Curlew Cottage) at the farm provide around a quarter of our energy needs for our home, our renewable energy business and the cottages. The remainder comes from renewable energy sources through a green energy tariff.
- Appliances and lights – the cottages use energy efficient appliances throughout and LED, CFL then halogen lighting in priority order where practicable.
These measures combine to provide comfortable living spaces day and night throughout the year, whilst ensuring the cottages use less energy than a small flat.
Waste & Recycling
We’re keen to minimise waste at East Cambusmoon and provide recycling facilities for glass, paper/cardboard, cans, plastic, food and kitchen waste.
All taps and shower heads are 'low-flow' to save water but still run at mains pressure to ensure you'll always get a decent shower! Hot water is constantly circulated through insulated pipes so that you won't need to wait long for it to warm up when you turn the tap on, thus reducing wasted water and energy.
Travel & Transport
We encourage guests to explore our local stunning countryside which is accessible by foot or bike straight from our doorstep, and provide OS maps and walking/cycling route guides in the cottages for the local area. Our nearest train station is just 4 miles away in Balloch from where there are direct trains to Glasgow every half hour, which can often work out cheaper and quicker than taking the car into town! Up to date timetables are provided for trains along with the less frequent bus service timetable through the village.
Garden Areas and Landscaping
We continue to improve the biodiversity of our smallholding and re-use materials already on site in the landscaping around the steading and cottages. All the dry stone walls have been built from sandstone recovered from the derelict farmhouse we demolsihed to make way for our house, whilst the raised beds in our vegetable and fruit garden are made from the old floor joists and are filled with composted green waste! In the fields we continue to plant native trees and have restored an old hedgerow which forms our southern boundary, whilst the field excavated in front of the cottages to install the heat pump collector was restored and re-seeded with a mix of clover and grass to encourage a wide range of insects, in particular bees.
Above all we want to maintain our superb level of comfort for guests whilst minimising our impact on the environment, but despite having built and managed the cottages to these high sustainablilty standards already, we recognise there is more we can do! As both technology and our knowledge improves, we plan to undertake the following measures:
- Energy Efficiency - continue to reduce energy use through ultra low energy lighting.
- Nature Conservation - further improve the biodiversiy of the site through improved magement of the fields for wildlife, and provision of nesting boxes for owls.
- Renewables - Increase the use of on-site renewable energy generation towards 100% of our needs.
- Food - aim to produce more food from the smallholding to make available to guests when in season.