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Chacombe Hill Farm, Chacombe

Ground Source Heat Pump Case Study
Chacombe Hill Farm, Chacombe

Chacombe Hill Farm, Chacombe

A stunning five bedroom, 4,500 sq ft, newly built home has put sustainability and the surrounding environment at the heart of the development to future proof the home and restore the surrounding land to its historical landscape. Chacombe Hill Farm was purchased by Mike Drabble and his family in September 2003. The dilapidated farm house was demolished to make way for a visionary new build home that would suit the needs of Mike and his family and also provide the family with a modern home that was sympathetic towards the environment.

The property is of vernacular construction which integrates local stone with a slate roof to ensure it blends seamlessly with the style of architecture in the surrounding area. The two storey property includes a basement where a NIBE F1145 17kW Ground Source Heat Pump has been housed in a designated plant room, and which provides hot water and heating for the underfloor system that is featured across the property. It is important to note that as part of the development the owners have also re-instated a 2.5 hector natural springs pond which had been drained off in the 1950 for intensive farming purposes. These land drains had started to break causing the land to be water logged. Furthermore almost 4,000 trees have been planted in the 45 hectare plot which will save approximately 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 10 - 15 years.

The Solution

“Chacombe Hill Farm is a fine example of how sustainable heating systems can be integrated into new build homes with great effect and we were delighted to support Mike and his family in creating this wonderful family home,” said Doug Shepley Director The Intelligent Heating Company in conjunction with Yorkshire Renewable Energy Solutions. “1200m of collector loops were laid horizontally in the land to generate the energy required for the spacious home and the NIBE pump had its own designated plant room in the basement of the property together with a 300 l buffer tank and a 500 l hot water tank.

“We worked with Mike from the very beginning to ensure his vision of making his home as green as possible was delivered. Planning permission has also been granted for a wind turbine. Solar panels will also be integrated into the system in the coming months now that the family have been able to settle into their new home.

“NIBE has a proven record for the reliability of its Ground Source Heat Pumps and I was happy to recommend this to Mike. As the colder months have arrived they have all been extremely happy with the performance delivered by the system.

“Furthermore, the property is eligible for Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments from the Government led scheme and it is anticipated that payments will be in excess of £4,000 a year over the seven year period.”


Mike Drabble homeowner commented; “It is our vision to create a home that embraced nature and utilised it where possible to generate energy, heat, hot water and that we re-established the landscape of the farm which had been eroded over the decades due to intensive farming.

“One element of this was to ensure nature provided us with our heating and hot water and after much research by myself, and then consultation with our installer, it was evident that a Ground Source heat Pump would provide the perfect solution.

“The result is a warm home, plentiful hot water and a system that is efficient and performing well. We are pleased that the installation was so straightforward during the construction process and now that the system is operating during colder temperatures it is clear that we have made a wise decision, making sure our house is warm and comfortable and doing this in a sustainable way.

“We wanted our home and its surroundings to be as carbon neutral as possible and we are well on the way to achieving that with the installations, planting and landscaping that we have done so far.

“Sustainable heating is clearly the way forward for all homeowners. Those that are off grid or building a brand new home would be well placed to make this a priority when they are at the design and architect stage. We shall now look forward to enjoying the home that we have created knowing that we have also made a significant contribution to the environment .”

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