19th Century Devon Church Goes Green
In Newton Abbot, Devon, the charming St Paul’s Church has had a slate solar energy system installed on its roof in order to reduce its environmental impact, whilst also adhering to strict regulations from its Grade 1 listing on maintaining the 19th century character of the church’s structure.
The ecology group at St Paul’s had begun research into renewable energy solutions for the church back in 2005. Plenty of proposals for installing a standard solar PV system had been rejected time and time again by the planning authority over the years, given the unsuitably modern look of solar PV panels.
Solar slates, a real game changer
St Paul’s architects, LSN Architects, suggested solar slates for the church’s slate roofing and took the idea to a local firm called SunGift Energy who designed a 4 kWp system using a subtle Solar Century slate roofing tiles system. Using this design, the church appealed the decisions of the planning authority and the Teignbridge Planning Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of the solar slate solution.
“Opting for solar slates was a real game changer as far as the planning committee was concerned,” said the church’s Reverend Russell Chamberlain. “It’s taken a number of years to get here but we finally have an excellent working solution.”
SunGift Energy, based in Exeter, was able to design a bespoke system after discussions with the architects, taking all the church’s needs into account. It specified a 3.95 kWp Solar Century C21e system, installed on the south facing shingle roof of the church to generate maximum yield.
Being highly compatible with a wide range of existing roof tiles and roof slates, the solar slate roof tiles were able to integrate seamlessly into the shingles roof of St Paul’s.
How solar slate roofing lowers a building’s carbon footprint
The Solar Century C21e panels are revered in their field, having won multiple awards including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Excellence in Innovation, the Ecobuild Best Building Product and the Sunday Times R&D Award. The solar slate roof tiles are also extremely durable and have full wind, fire and weather testing, a 25 year power warranty and a 10 year performance guarantee.
After having the system in place for a number of months, Reverend Chamberlain is overjoyed with the effectiveness of the system. “The solar slate roofing tiles are the perfect solution for us. They have allowed us to preserve the look of the church while generating renewable energy and lowering our carbon footprint,” he said.
About the author: Westwood Roofing provides slate roofing, shingle roofing and roof repair services in Sydney, Australia. Westwood Roofing has a wealth of experience in the restoration and repair of roofs on historic buildings – such as churches and colonial homes.