William Birch & sons Ltd
Sustainability
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William Birch subscribes to sustainabilty through the projects that it constructs and the policies that it pursues.

The Company was part of the team awarded the Building Magazine’s Sustainable Building 2006 Award for Gibson Mill at Hebden Bridge. This project was completely “carbon neutral”.

The judging panel summary stated:-

“Could this possibly be the most challenging design brief ever? Overhaul an isolated, abandoned mill in West Yorkshire to be carbon neutral and handle 100,000 visitors each year without connecting to any national grids using fossil fuels – only renewable resources available on site. By a cunning combination of wood-burning boilers, sheeps’ wool and newspaper insulation, solar energy and hydro power – from the original turbine no less – William Birch and Eco Arc Architects managed to deliver exactly what the National Trust wanted. They were so grateful they called it “..a beacon for how we all lead our lives in a more frugal and sustainable way”.

 
What made Gibson Mill the winner?
 
  • Heating by Biomass boiler using timber from the Estate
  • Electricity from photovoltaic and hydro generation with
    back-up batteries
  • Drinking water from a spring in the hillside
  • Insulation with sheeps’ wool and newspaper
  • Waste-treatment with composting toilets and a leach field
  • One of the first hand-powered disabled lifts
  • Reusing the exisitng building and building materials to
    save resources.
If that’s not enough, the complex provides a self-contained house for the Warden and a cafeteria selling food and hot drinks to visitors.
 
 
 
Registered address: William Birch & Sons Ltd, Link Road Court, Osbaldwick, York, YO10 3JQ Tel: 01904 411411 Fax: 01904 428428
Company Registration No: 129834 VAT No: 168 874506