ZSEA Banham Zoological Gardens

Ground-breaking heat pump delivers a decade of tropical warmth and energy savings for ZSEA’s sustainability strategy

Posted: 21st June, 2022

Banham Zoological Gardens in Norfolk, which is run by the conservation charity Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), is celebrating 10 years of energy savings and keeping the animal inhabitants of its Tropical House warm with a ground-breaking heat pump.

Tropical House is a South American inspired paradise which is home to sloths, reptiles and birds, including the endangered sun conure. With the inhabitants used to living in temperatures of 25°C+, it is essential the building remains consistently warm.

The system was installed in 2012 by Finn Geotherm, a leading supplier and installer of ground and air source heat pump systems, and was awarded a National Energy Efficiency Award in 2013 as an early example of a ground-breaking renewable heating system.

The system uses more than 70% less energy than an oil boiler and has made a significant impact on reducing carbon emissions, having saved an estimated 170 tonnes of C02 since its installation when compared to an oil boiler. It works by taking energy from the air to heat water which is used for Tropical House’s underfloor heating and air distribution units mounted in the ceiling.

Claudia Roberts, CEO at ZSEA, said: “Sustainability is at the heart of our vision to accelerate the preservation of wild and native species for a sustainable future. Our goals are to be a sustainable business by 2025 and a restorative business by 2030, achieving a positive overall life-cycle impact, operating sustainably and replenishing the planet’s resources. The renewable heating system in Tropical House has been a trailblazer and will continue to be a fundamental part of our strategy and 10 step plan to sustainability.”

Tropical House also boasts other eco-conscious systems including an irrigation system for the extensive planting provided by roof water collection tanks, triple glazed translucent roofing sheets to provide natural light whilst retaining the heat and an inbuilt thermostatically controlled roof venting system to provide natural cooling during the summer.

Jandré Smuts, Head of Estates at ZSEA, said: “The Zoological Society of East Anglia is committed to reducing our environmental impact and we continually strive to improve our energy efficiency. The heat pump fits in perfectly with our aims to minimise the consumption of electricity for producing heat and is a step towards reducing our carbon footprint. Finn Geotherm have provided us with an excellent system and great technical support over the last 10 years.”

Guy Ransom, commercial director for Finn Geotherm, said: “We are delighted to see that 10 years on, our heat pump installation is continuing to provide the ideal habitat required for Tropical House’s residents, during even the coldest winters. Over the past decade, Banham Zoo has not only made significant savings on its heating bills, but also saved a huge amount of carbon emissions by choosing a clean, green heat pump."

To find out more about ZSEA’s sustainability strategy, visit: https://www.zsea.org/conservation/sustainability

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