Solar Cymru / Pencader / Carmarthenshire / Wales
18th of February 2015 – Article created by Wales Online
Is Restoration Man visiting the greenest, cleanest house in Wales?
The family come round for the Welsh school revisit with George Clarke
We all know about fixer uppers, but the Carmarthenshire couple who bought a derelict church have had more to do than put up a few shelves.
Recession-hit builders Ian and Jayne Hall-Edwards bought a derelict Victorian school in Pencader, Carmarthenshire, with the aim of turning it into both a place of business and a home.
The property, which featured on The Restoration Man on Channel 4, is featured again this evening as architect George Clarke returns one year on.
Ian and Jayne Hall-Edwards with George Clarke
Ian and Jayne were set to transform the church into a centre to showcase the latest green technologies.
Renamed the Hen Ysgol centre, its features were set to include a green roof, rainwater harvesting, under-floor heating and an ‘intelligent’ water tank for cheaper water and central heating.
However, they failed to win a grant to help finance the project, and were forced to battle through harsh winters while living in a caravan on site.
George returns tonight to find that the owners, who run a green technology installation business, have not only largely reconstructed the building from scratch, but also transformed it into a modern family home with impressive energy-efficiency levels.
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17th Febuary 2015 – Article created by Llanelli News
500k Pencader Eco-Centre gets a TV boost!
Keep an eye out on your screens this week as local business owners Ian and Jayne Hall-Edwards get a second airing on Channel 4’s Restoration Man. The couple who are proprietors of two local businesses have previously been seen on George Clarks Channel 4 show ‘The Restoration Man’.
In the latest episode George and the crew have returned to Pencader to follow up on the progress of Ian and Jayne’s restoration of ‘Hen Ysgol’ (Welsh for ‘Old School’) in the heart of Pencader, a rural community in Carmarthenshire, West Wales.
Ian and Jayne run two companies, Pecs Ltd which focuses on general building work, joinery and the installation of green technologies as well as Solar Cymru (www.solarcymru.co.uk) the online sales arm that supplies a diverse range of green technologies and home enhancements such as underfloor heating, rain water harvesting, PV roof panels, Solar thermal panels, air to air pumps, air to water pumps, low energy lighting, low energy pumps, permeable paving, green roof installations, Bio digestive tanks and multifuel wood burning fires and stoves, as well as Biomass options including pellet and log gasification units.
Both companies are based out of Hen Ysgol a stunning restoration of Pencader’s historic school now a comfortable and ecologically friendly green technology showcase, sales, training centre and home.
Ian and Jayne are keen to point out that all of these green technologies do not have to be installed as isolated units but can be linked together with modern and ecologically efficient intelligent buffer tanks to provide hot water and central heating on demand saving the home and business owner pounds in the long run.
Ian and Jayne have worked on the project for the last five years having brought the derelict and failing building only to find that the condition of it was much worse than the initial survey suggested. The project has in total cost them over five hundred thousand pounds of their own money, though following a visit from Economy Minister Edwina Hart has been boosted with the addition of over fifty thousand pounds of economic support from the Welsh Government.
Against all odds and throughout a very difficult economic climate Ian and Jayne have almost completed the restoration even though times have often been incredibly difficult.
When asked to comment Ian simply replied that ‘Only the mad will succeed!’
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19 August 2014 – Article created by the Welsh Govnment
Victorian village school set to become unique eco centre for new green technologies
An old school building at Pencader, Carmarthenshire, is undergoing a mammoth £500,000 transformation with support from Welsh Government to become a unique training and demonstration centre where an extensive range of sustainable green technologies can be seen in operation.
Pictured outside Hen Ysgol are Ian and Jayne Hall-Edwards with Economy Minister Edwina Hart.
The Hen Ysgol centre is set to be one of the greenest buildings in the country with the technologies in use and on show throughout the building. Earlier this year the project attracted the attention of Channel 4’s Restoration Man with one episode celebrating the £67,500 grant from the Wales Economic Growth Fund that supports five new jobs.
The technologies that have been installed include: underfloor heating, PV roof panels, solar thermal panels, air to air pumps, air to water pumps, low energy lighting, low energy pumps, permeable paving, a green roof, internal and external wall insulation, double and triple glazing, rain water harvesting, a Bio-digestive tank, multi-fuel wood burning fires and stoves, biomass, to include pellet and log gasification units. All these technologies are linked together with the intelligent buffer tank to provide hot water and central heating on demand at a fraction of the cost of the mainstream fuels.
Hen Ysgol, will be the new operations centre for Plumbers, Electricians, Carpenters Ltd (PECs), a business founded by Jayne and Ian Hall-Edwards who have re-trained in the installation of green technologies and diversifying with a focus now firmly on eco friendly systems.
“The grant support from the Welsh Government was vital in taking our project forward and used towards installing a range of green technologies and also enabled us to take on four apprentices.”
Economy Minister Edwina Hart visited the site today (Tuesday August 19) to see how work is progressing.
The Minister said:
”It is an extremely interesting project and I am pleased the Wales Economic Growth Fund made an important contribution. It is not only bringing an historic building back into use but ensures it will continue to play a part in the life of the local community, offering training opportunities, helping to create and secure jobs and provide educational experiences for local school children.”
The large showroom and salesroom will enable home owners and businesses to see the technologies in action before buying, while working ‘child friendly’ models will be displayed throughout to help school children understand and learn in a safe environment.
“We aim to raise awareness of what is available, savings that can be made and which technologies can be linked with customers’ existing primary heat source. They will be able to see a range of working displays such as solar photovoltaic and rain water harvesting, where they will be able to push a button and see them work. A large underfloor heating pod display will show the various types of underfloor heating available, where people will be able to take off their shoes and feel the difference in temperature by standing on the various floor coverings.”
In addition to supplying and installing the systems they plan to run a range of accredited training courses providing a residential package using local B&B operators and sourcing food locally to bring additional benefits to the local community. The company employs eleven people, including four apprentices, with opportunities for additional employment as the business – which has a full order book well into next year – grows.
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27th of January 2015 – A article from http://www.marmox.co.uk/
A 150-year-old school in a Welsh village has had a modern makeover – and the result is a technologically advanced eco-centre that serves as a showcase of energy-saving options.
Located in Pencader, the school had been left derelict since closing in 1994 and it required a significant amount of work to make it safe to enter – not to mention eco-friendly.
Jane and Ian Hall-Edwards from Plumbers Electricians Carpenters Ltd took on the £500,000 project. They told the Carmarthen Journal that they hoped the new facility would inspire people to introduce green technology into their homes that would save money on energy bills and help the environment at the same time.
“It was uninhabitable, falling down,” said Ms Hall-Edwards. Indeed, parts of the building had to be completely re-built before any other work could be undertaken – and the pair was determined to not alter the appearance of the building in any way. The existing wooden window frames were refurbished and old bricks and slate were polished and used in the rebuilding process.
The completed building features a variety of eco-friendly technologies, including solar-thermal and PV roof panels, air-to-air and air-to-water pumps, permeable paving, rain water harvesting, a bio-digestive tank, multi-fuel burning fires and stoves and biomass generators. There’s also a green roof, which insulates the building and allows plants to grow on the roof – thus supporting local wildlife.
While the green roof provides some level of insulation, more standard forms of insulation were also used – and Ms Hall-Edwards explained how important this was to the building’s environmental credentials: “If you don’t get the insulation right it doesn’t matter what you put in the room because it’s not going to stay there.”
In fact, throughout the refurbishment, one of the project’s mottos was: “Insulate before you generate.”
The eco-centre, which was awarded a £67,000 grant from the Welsh Government, gained exposure when it was featured on the Channel 4 show Restoration Man. The programme will be returning in mid-February to follow-up on the project’s progress. It’s set to open to the public in May.
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September 201th – A article from the Renewable Energy Installer
There aren’t many women working in the industry today, so REI spoke to two who are proving that it’s not just a man’s game the construction industry is very male dominated. When people think about the stereotypical plumber, mechanic or gas engineer, they’ll probably picture a man driving in a white van, and carrying a toolbox. And the statistics back this up. A recent survey of 2,000 people by WaterSafe revealed that less than 1 percent of plumbers in the UK are women. However nearly a third of women (31 percent) questioned would prefer a female plumber to carry out work on their home. The renewables industry is still (relatively) young but it’s growing fast, and what is clear from speaking to Jayne and Kate, could provide exciting opportunities for both men and women.
Jayne Hall-Edwards Jayne Hall-Edwards is the director at Plumbers, Electricians, Carpenters (PECs) LTD with her husband Ian. She has MCS certificates for PV, biomass and heat pumps, and is training to become a Green Deal Advisor.
In my experience there aren’t many women in construction. Ten years ago our company specialised in kitchens, and we would fit about 25-a-week. My husband can’t be in two places at the same time, so I started helping out on site. The first time I met a site manager he turned around to me and asked my directly: ‘What do you know about kitchens?’, and that’s the clean version. That was my introduction to the business, but I soon had them eating out of my hands. Some people might have the view that women are more about nails and heels than hard work, but it all comes down to who is the best person for the job. I’ve seen some horrible work carried out by men, and I’m sure I’ve seen the same with women. For me it’s about capability. I don’t mind if you’re a man or a woman, tall or short, if you can do the job to a high standard that’s good enough for me – we always use whoever’s best.
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19th of August 2015 – A article from BBC News Wales
Old Carmarthenshire school transformed into green showcase
Jayne and Ian Hall-Edwards either side of Economy Minister Edwina Hart at Hen Ysgol
The Hen Ysgol centre in Pencader aims to show the benefits of eco friendly systems to homes and businesses.Its features include a green roof, rain water harvesting, under-floor heating and an “intelligent” water tank for cheaper water and central heating.The owners, who run a green technology installation business, are spending £500,000 on the revamp.The firm, Plumbers, Electricians, Carpenters Ltd, had a £67,500 Welsh government grant towards the costs.Pumps extracting heat from the air, permeable paving as well as the latest solar panels and insulation are also been used in the building, dating from 1876.The project has previously featured on Channel Four’s The Restoration Man programme.
Jayne Hall-Edwards, who set up the business with her husband Ian, said the centre will allow home owners, businesses and school children to see green technologies in action.”We aim to raise awareness of what is available, savings that can be made and which technologies can be linked with customers’ existing primary heat source,” she said.”They will be able to see a range of working displays, such as solar photovoltaic and rain water harvesting, where they will be able to push a button and see them work.”The company said the grant, from the Wales Economic Growth Fund, had allowed it to take on four apprentices, so that it now employs 11 people.The firm also plans to offer accredited training courses.
A green roof sits on top of the office
Economy Minister Edwina Hart visited the project on Tuesday to see how work was progressing.”It is not only bringing an historic building back into use but ensures it will continue to play a part in the life of the local community, offering training opportunities, helping to create and secure jobs and provide educational experiences for local school children,” she said.The company believes the revamp could be completed in three months but might take between a year and two years, depending on how much further funding it is able to secure.
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25th of September 2013 – A article from the Carmarthe Journal Website
Former pupils reunited after school’s TV restoration
MORE than 100 former pupils were gathered in Pencader for a primary school reunion with a difference.
The old Pencader Primary School closed in 1989 and the building fell into a sorry state, but a reunion was organised to celebrate the building’s renovation
Saturday’s reunion was a chance to meet old friends, share memories and have a great time.
Some people had not seen each other for more than 60 years — and one person even travelled from Germany for the event.
The reunion was organised by Channel 4’s Restoration Man, which is filming an episode on the school buildings renovation. Alexandra Burke, from Tiger Aspect Production, the company behind Restoration Man, said: “We had people of all ages, from their mid-20s to their mid-80s, and it was interesting to hear the different stories.”We had more than 50 class photos which we displayed in the marquee and we provided light refreshments for everyone.
“Her father is the oldest living pupil from the school, but unfortunately couldn’t make it to the reunion.”
The school building was closed due to crowded classrooms and the school moved to the present site near the Pavilion.
Mrs Burke said: “George Clarke had a fantastic day and really enjoyed walking around and talking to lots of people, hearing all their memories, joking about the pranks they used to perform on teachers and talking about how great it was to see all their old friends.”
Please click on the image below of the Carmarthen Journal to view the full article on their website.
24th of August 2011 – A article by the Carmarthen Journal
Proposal for green technology centre
A CENTRE to showcase green technology can be built in Pencader after proposals for the scheme were given the thumbs up by county planners.
Jayne Hall-Edwards’s application to covert the old School in Castle Road into the eco centre, and create a home in its upper level, was approved by Carmarthenshire Council’s planning committee on Thursday.
In documents accompanying the plans, the applicant states: “The business will showcase sustainable green technologies for the general public and businesses to purchase.
“People will be able to touch, smell and feel the new technologies on offer.
“We will also offer advice on how much money people can save in the future by purchasing the new technologies and in turn they will be doing their bit to help save the planet.”
The committee heard that Llanfihangel-Ar-Arth CommunityCouncil had objected to the plans because of concerns over parking and extra traffic.
But the council’s head of transport raised no objections to the proposals.
The committee heard about the plans but there was no discussion on the proposals by the councillors. They voted and planning permission was granted.
Please click on the image below of the Carmarthen Journal to view the full article on their website.