Top accolade for green mill

Charles Booth in front of the Old Corn Mill at Millhouse Green, near Penistone, one of only a few commercial buildings in the country that are "carbon negative."
Charles Booth in front of the Old Corn Mill at Millhouse Green, near Penistone, one of only a few commercial buildings in the country that are "carbon negative."
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Historic centre beats modern developments

A FORMER South Yorkshire corn mill has been transformed into one of the first commercial buildings in the region that actually reduces the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere.

The Old Corn Mill at Millhouse Green, near Penistone, produces more green energy in a year than it consumes, making it one of only a few commercial buildings in the country that are “carbon negative.”

The original 1750s three-storey mill has been renovated and a new, two-storey extension added.

Energy efficient features include triple glazing; substantial wall, floor and ceiling insulation; low-energy appliances; eco lighting, and an insulated lobby.

Underfloor heating is provided by a geothermal water source beneath the car park and photovoltaic cells on an adjoining warehouse create more than enough energy for the Old Corn Mill.

The energy left over is fed to the rest of the site and the national grid. Two wind turbines in neighbouring fields also feed electricity to site and a hydro water turbine is due to be installed on the River Don this summer.

The combination of energy saving and generation has made the building one of only 14 in the UK to secure an A+ Energy Performance Certificate

Mike Tofts is a senior consultant at National Energy Services, which is approved by the Government to provide Energy Performance Certificate accreditations.

He said: “Brand new buildings built to the latest regulations would normally achieve a B rating, so achieving an A+ rating is no mean feat and requires significant investment in energy efficiency measures and renewable generation technologies.

“This building’s design is a tremendous example of what can be achieved.”

The Mill has been owned by the Booth family for years and is home to the Booth Brothers promotional merchandising businesses as well as a number of other companies.

Charles Booth, who had the idea for the environmentally friendly project, said the location on the edge of the Pennines was perfect.

“We have everything we need here to create electricity: sun, wind and water. It all sounds like a bit of utopian dream, but we have created a sustainable building for the businesses of the future,” said Mr Booth.

The development has showers on every floor as part of a policy to encourage people to cycle to work and is close to the Trans-Pennine Trail, which is part of the Sustrans national cycle network.

Mr Booth is currently considering making the development even greener, by extending the geothermal heating to the rest of the site, which comprises 75,000 square feet of industrial units, workshops and offices.

The site also includes start-up offices run by the Enterprising Barnsley business support programme, which helps businesses with high growth potential.