Restoration Man – St. John’s Church, Gamblesby

Dr Philip Evans and his wife Joanne bought Grade II listed St. John’s Church, in Gamblesby, in 2009 after two years of searching for a renovation project. The property uses an air source heat pump, supplied by Nu-Heat Underfloor and Renewables, to feed a low temperature heat emitting system. Nu-Heat specified and commissioned the air source heat pump to ensure exceptional seasonal performance.

“My main motivation was to install a system that would be cheap and efficient to run but also affordable. An air source heat pump seemed the best balance of initial capital outlay versus efficiency of performance. Since our location does not offer mains gas connection it meant that oil, LPG or electricity were the main contenders. Achieving running costs on a par with mains gas was also important,” says Philip.

The restoration of the church is featured on Channel 4’s ‘Restoration Man’, a series by Tiger Aspect Productions and presented by architect George Clarke. Philip tells us about the journey:

“We were smitten with the Church from the moment we saw it, even though the odds on getting it were against us. It had been empty for seven years and just two days before our enquiry a cash offer had been accepted. To our surprise this later fell through and we eventually managed to buy it. However, this all occurred during the meltdown of 2009 and financing the project seemed impossible on more than one occasion.”

“Handling the project with both of us working full-time was difficult and having our daughter, Harriet, four months before we started work in August 2010 only added to the fun! My brother-in-law, Alex Karanikolas, owner of design consultancy Into Architecture Ltd, lived and worked on site throughout the project and we used local tradesmen where possible. It was great having such a strong team around us.”

“The whole project has been a bigger undertaking than we ever imagined. In particular having to completely replace the spire with new oak was very stressful because we refurbished it using the same construction method that was used when it was originally built in 1868. Alex suggested we keep as much of it exposed as possible to show the contrast of old and new. The refurbishment of the spire alone put a massive strain on our finances and it made finishing the project really difficult.”

“On the ground floor we have a large open plan living, dining and kitchen area with a separate study and the first floor has three bedrooms, all of which are en-suite. The master bedroom is located in the spire and from the viewing platform we can enjoy 360º views of the Fell, North Pennines and the North Lakes. We were keen to keep original features such as the pulpit and some of the stained glass windows and I’m pleased to say they have been restored and incorporated into our home.”

“Despite the many original features and character of the church we were weren’t against modern technologies and ideas, so I did a lot of research into air source heat pumps and their coefficency of performance claims, water temperatures and length of guarantees as well as looking into the size of the units and sound levels. I like to be involved with these things and understand them so, when George and I received delivery of the unit, I couldn’t help but voice my geeky knowledge of the product! The system was installed with ease and the setup and commissioning process was smooth and faultless.”

“The Church is an unusual building with high ceilings and a large volume to heat. The system copes well with the heating demand and the building is always a comfortable temperature. As it stands we appear to be achieving comparable running costs to mains gas, as per Nu-Heat’s estimates. This gives me confidence in both the product and Nu-Heat’s ability to accurately design an integrated system. Given this and the excellent customer service, I would truly recommend Nu Heat.”

“The building is amazing and we’re so delighted with the finished article. We’ve made some excellent friends in Gamblesby; the residents have been so very welcoming and friendly.”

“Having the TV production team follow us was an experience we won’t forget. Given the amount of material shot we were really excited to see what had made the cut and how our story would come across. Besides meeting a great group of people, one superb outcome is having a documentary of Harriet’s first 18 months of life through the Church.”

Daily Telegraph Homebuilding & Renovating Self-build Awards.

Have you purchased a system from Nu-Heat and recently completed your self-build, renovation, extension or conversion project?

If so, you may be interested in entering the 2012 Daily Telegraph Homebuilding & Renovating Self-build Awards.

The Award includes self-build, renovation, extension and conversion categories and is free to enter. Closing date for entries is 31st July 2012.

If you decide to enter your project I would love to keep in touch with your progress, which can be done by emailing me at

Click on the image to view the previous winner


Nu-Heat: We aim to please

Adrian Troop, Sales & Marketing Director

‘After twenty years in business,’ says Sales & Marketing Director Adrian Troop, ‘we recognize that one of the major factors of our success has been our commitment to ensuring that every installer we work with receives all the support they need in order to achieve the right system for their customers.’

Nu-Heat began supplying warm water underfloor heating in 1992, adding renewables to the product range in 2008. Underfloor heating (UFH) has proved to be a flexible heating emitter for a wide variety of domestic and commercial properties and remains at the core of Nu-Heat’s business. As UFH also works incredibly well with lower flow temperatures it is also an ideal partner for heat pumps.

Nu-Heat’s range of products includes UFH, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal, so installers can source the best solution for every project and budget. All products are compatible, giving a choice of single product or fully integrated systems. Nu-Heat’s commitment to the design and supply of whole systems gives the company a competitive edge in the market.

Expert design – Nu-Heat’s experienced system design team really supports installers, aiming to provide the perfect system every time. Nu-Heat supplies an inclusive package including bespoke  CAD drawings showing all mechanical pipework and valves as well as electrical connections, award-winning installation manuals tailored to the heat source – whether conventional boiler or heat pump.

The development team works constantly to research new floor constructions, test heat pump performance, devise new design software and keep on top of developments in the market to ensure that Nu-Heat offers the most efficiently designed systems.

Suitable system specification – Nu-Heat is committed to supplying products that are right for an individual property. ‘We have been asked on a number of occasions to design a system incorporating a heat pump in an unsuitable property,’ says Adrian. ‘In such a case we will explain our reservations and look at alternative options with the installer. It’s not in Nu-Heat’s best interests to supply an ineffective system – we want every one to achieve optimum performance!’

Skilled service – Part of the Nu-Heat service is to provide a designated Account Manager who will be available to discuss existing projects and help with decisions for future ones. Customers also receive free technical support from an experienced team of engineers, although fewer call-backs are received in the first place because of the high quality of the user guides supplied with every system.

This team is on hand at Nu-Heat’s offices to answer queries efficiently by telephone or email. With one source of responsibility and one point of contact, installers receive a fast response to enquiries. ‘It’s our reputation on the line, says Adrian, ‘so we are committed to making sure that our systems achieve what we say they will.’

Installer alliance – In 2011, Nu-Heat produced an interactive online brochure, ‘Installer Partnerships’, featuring a variety of installers giving their thoughts on the company’s products and services and detailing a number of case studies ( Some of these installers work mainly with underfloor heating and others are achieving success with integrated systems.

Many of those featured have trained at Nu-Heat’s award-winning National Renewables Training Centre, which offers accredited courses in UFH, heat pumps and solar thermal installation. Courses focus on the principles and suitability of the technology, looking at the different models available, benefits, health and safety and the latest news on government initiatives such as the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Future prospects – ‘After twenty years in business,’ says Adrian, ‘installers know that with Nu-Heat there’s a long history of service, support and established expertise. When the RHI domestic tariff gets off the ground we will see a rise in interest in renewable products, much as happened with PV. Additionally, as we move towards a mandatory Level 5 in the Code for Sustainable Homes, developers will need to call on the expertise of experienced renewables installers even more. Nu-Heat is starting to expand into supplying systems for commercial buildings and we can assure installers that they will receive the same high standards from Nu-Heat in this as well as our traditional domestic market.

Nu-Heat’s bottom line is to provide a complete and individual support for each installer, making sure that they are happy and return to us time and again – that’s sound business sense!’

The benefits of working with Nu-Heat

  • Experienced design skills
  • Installer relationship
  • Product development
  • Technical support on tap
  • Award-winning training facility
  • Systems that achieve the right results