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Sumburgh Head Lighthouse - Community Renewable Heating Solution using Ground Source Heat Pump technology

Aerial -shot Of Lighthouse

Community Ground Source Heat Pump for Shetland Amenity Trust

As part of a £5.4 million restoration project to Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, built in 1820, Shetland Amenity Trust have installed Ground Source Heat Pump technology to the complex providing the community organisation with affordable renewable heating. Additionally, the Trust has since received an award in Shetland’s Environmental Awards for their commitment to sustainability. 

“We were particularly impressed with their Quality Assurance and Project Management procedures; at all stages of the work from initial design through to commissioning their staff ensured that the client was fully briefed, understood what was being proposed and the cost implications”

(J. Mackenzie, Shetland Amenity Trust, 2013).

Drill Machine 2

NIBE Ground Source Heat Pumps with Boreholes

The system consists of 7 vertical boreholes at depths of 200m transferring the thermal energy stored in adjacent land to 2 NIBE F1345 ground source heat pumps which increase the temperature using small amounts of electricity. The renewable heat is stored in cylinders which provide hot water and feed into an underfloor heating system throughout the complex, including its external buildings, to provide a sustainable heating solution for the community development. The borehole installation was completed in very difficult circumstances, overcoming difficult site access for the drilling rig, poor water pressure necessary for the works and having to coordinate operations alongside other onsite contractors. Regardless of these circumstances, the project was completed within 10 months in line with the timeframe for opening the Visitor Centre – operational in July 2013.


 Borehole 1 Borehole 2 Borehole 3 

“Notwithstanding these challenges, all work was delivered to a very high standard, for the agreed price and installed by the pre-arranged delivery dates. The works are now complete and the GSHP system working to our complete satisfaction”

(J. Mackenzie, Shetland Amenity Trust, 2013).

Community Renewable Heating

The restoration of Sumburgh Head Lighthouse by Shetland Amenity Trust could be termed as both a quest to revitalise local history and heritage as well as a community renewable heating development – both of which complement each other and are proving to be effective. Putting the Lighthouse on the international tourism map and reducing running costs places them in a strong position in terms of long-term sustainability and economic viability.

The Ground Source Heat Pump installation completed by Ecoliving reduces the overall running costs, allowing focus to be placed on maximising their visitor numbers in the long term – an asset to the local economy and a worthy investment for the Trust. This project exemplifies the benefit in establishing a Community renewables project, resulting in a positive commercial and economic impact as well as contributing to a more sustainable future.

“Shetland Amenity Trust would have no hesitation in using Ecoliving on future projects”

(J. Mackenzie, Shetland Amenity Trust, 2013). 

Lady at window


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Ecoliving is a specialist provider and award winner of micro-renewable energy solutions - heat pumps, biomass boilers, combined heat and power (CHP), underfloor heating, solar and wood burning stoves. We also offer service, repair and maintenance.

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65 Craigton Road
G51 3EQ

T: 0141 309 5543