At Skyhouse Sussex, being greener is a way of life that we’d love to share with you. Not only is the house incredibly energy efficient and low-carbon emitting, we also go the extra mile in running our B&B to care for the environment. Read here about our extensive range of ‘behind the scenes’ green technology and environmental initiatives.
The eco house on the hill
Skyhouse Sussex is the first Zero Carbon* Bed and Breakfast in Lewes and amongst a small but growing number of luxury B&Bs in the UK which operate using sustainable energy. Completed in November 2014, Skyhouse is a one-of-a-kind eco house by German specialists, Baufritz. Put together at breath-taking speed over four and half days in May 2014, our pre-fabricated house was designed using low-carbon construction processes, sustainable timber, and other recyclable and biodegradable building materials.
Features at Skyhouse Sussex which meet the Zero Carbon standard include:
- High grade insulation and airtight construction including triple glazed windows
- Heat exchanging ventilation (warms the fresh air coming into the house using the stale air going out)
- Renewable electricity from solar PV panels
- Heating and hot water from biomass boiler using wood pellets from sustainable sources
- Low energy (LED) light bulbs throughout
- Light sensors and timers are used on internal and external lighting to save energy
- Making the most of daylight with extra-large windows
- Using A rated energy efficient electrical appliances where available
- Making the most of the warmth of the sun to warm the house (passive heating)
Other measures we are taking to be more environmentally friendly are:
- Rainwater collection tanks used to flush WCs, run the washing machine and water the garden
- Recycled paper is used in our stationery as well as for all tissue products.
- Wherever possible, we purchase Fair Trade products, non GM foods, free range eggs.
- We buy local produce from suppliers actively demonstrating good animal husbandry and welfare.
- Kitchen and garden waste are composted to provide organic mulch for gardening
- Recycling bins with biodegradable bin liners available for guest use
- Biodegradable ‘green’ products are used for all on site cleaning and laundry.
- Environmentally friendly guest toiletries from re-usable pumps to avoid wasteful packaging on smaller items
- All office paper is used on both sides before being shredded.
- All gardening is pesticide free and we aim to encourage beneficial insects.
At Skyhouse Sussex we encourage guests to consider their environmental impact. We hope you will consider taking green action by:
- Using your bath towels and bed-linen more than once, thereby reducing energy and detergents
- Switching off the TV rather than leaving it on standby
- Recycling your rubbish in the bins provided
- Arriving on public transport, bike or foot
- Exploring the information we provide on what makes our home Zero Carbon
- Leaving with knowledge of green actions for your home and life
We are always looking for more environmentally friendly ways of doing things and learning what works well is part of our quest. We welcome the exchange of ideas and suggestions from guests.
We promote sustainable tourism by:
- Encouraging guests to consider arriving by public transport, bike or on foot and offering a 10% discount on the first night’s stay to guests who leave the car at home (unless it’s electric, of course)
- Making provision for walkers: we provide storage for muddy boots and walking maps of the area
- Making provision for cyclists: we provide bike storage, can arrange bike hire and recommend bike tour organisers (see details on our Location page)
- Encouraging awareness of the environmental sensitivity of the South Downs. We provide information produced by the South Downs National Park, Sussex Wildlife Trust, RSPB, and promote events and walks organised by such bodies.
- Encouraging our guests to support local producers, pubs, restaurants and cafes and promoting local tourist attractions and events.
We welcome your support and look forward to receiving suggestions from you, our customers, as to how we can improve our environmental policy to protect the environment and increase the enjoyment of your stay.
*Zero carbon: Skyhouse produces at least as much energy as it consumes and we’ve managed this by:
- Making everything in the house as energy-efficient as possible, so no energy is wasted.
- Using the energy of the sun in various ways.
- Reducing to a minimum the amount of energy used in building the property.
Companies and organisations that inspire us:
Sussex Wildlife Trust guide to local nature reserves and outdoor events near Skyhouse
Transition Town Lewes local solutions to global problems. Initiatives include Lewes Food Market, Eco Open Houses and Organic Allotments
Railway Land Project nature reserve by the River Ouse, 10 minutes walk from Skyhouse, ideal for dog walking
Lewes District Green Party Lewes currently has 9 Green town councillors and 3 Green district councillors
Brighton and Lewes Downs Biosphere internationally recognised by UNESCO as a new World Biosphere area
South Downs National Park information on the park and South Downs Way
Responsible Travel guide to visiting the South Downs National Park
National Trail how to plan your walk along the South Downs Way
So Sussex guided outdoor activities inc. guided hikes, Nordic walking, fishing trips, woodland excursions, mushroom walks and more
Lewes Golf Course our neighbouring golf club, 5 minutes walk from Skyhouse, with magnificent views across the South Downs
Housedean Farm to hire bikes, delivered to Skyhouse, contact Nick Taylor
Self-propelled Sussex offers bespoke guided bicycle tours along quiet country lanes and off-road tracks.
A Greener Alternative affordable, ecological heating. Specialists in biomass, solar thermal, air source and ground source heat pumps
Green Tourism Making tourism greener and developing sustainability in the hospitality industry
Green Traveller green and gorgeous places to stay around the world
BeAShadeGreener lifestyle blog with write-up of Skyhouse
CoolStays guide to UK top 10 eco chic retreats
Zap Map EV charging points map let’s hope we’ll all be driving EVs in the future