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Our Green Story: The Grain Store Lewes
Image credit: Ben Harvey
From an original drawing on the back of a large brown envelope to the beautiful building we have today. The Grain Store has been several years of hard work, with a vision to create a space where people could relax and retreat into nature, enjoying every aspect of the South Downs. We are now proud to offer luxury holiday accommodation, a unique meeting space, and a creative photoshoot location nestled in the heart of the Downs.
We had three key design principles applied throughout the building: simple, functional, and beautiful. It is these principles that guided us whilst building and furnishing The Grain Store, which has led us along our green journey.
Eco-conscious comfort by design
Anni (Creator & Collaborator of The Grain Store) lives by her sustainability ethos, which is why she wanted to make sure sustainability was at the forefront of the new design.
We purposely keep the original concrete frame of The Grain Store visible, which you see echoed in the polished concrete flooring. The cedar-clad exterior and earth tones throughout the build were chosen to reflect the colours found in nature, helping us to create a luxurious yet sympathetic conversion.
Building materials, where possible, were sourced locally and chosen carefully, for example, our locally milled cedar cladding, sheep wool insulation, and repurposed railway sleeper fencing. The old walls made from breeze blocks were even repurposed as a base for our car park.
Our furnishings are principally purchased from local businesses, and always with sustainability in mind. A few of our favourites are Freight (based on Lewes high street), and our gorgeous Piglet bedlinen (which we wash and line dry ourselves for that fresh feel). We particularly love our dining table made from one solid piece of oak, expertly crafted by local carpenter Alex from Outerspace Living.
Our garden has been carefully designed to work in harmony with nature and the changing seasons, and have recently planted a beautiful wildflower meadow, our latest sustainability project.
Image credit: Luke Carlotta
Powered by green energy
As a sustainable business and eco-friendly holiday home, we’re committed to using, where possible, green sources of energy. We have an air source heat pump, solar panels, and underfloor heating. By providing a charging point for electric vehicles, recycling facilities, and eco-friendly products to use at The Grain Store, we aim to minimise the environmental impact.
Solar thermal heating is four times as powerful as solar panels, and not only heats the water but also the underfloor heating and towel rails. The air source heat pump is a backup source when there is not enough heat from solar, meaning we are able to use green energy all year round. The Grain Store can run almost entirely from these sources of power and is incredibly well insulated with triple glazing throughout, meaning it costs about one-quarter of a normal household energy bill.
The eco-ethos is reflected in everything at The Grain Store, for example, no single-use plastic and all eco-cleaning products. Our aim is to reduce the environmental impact of the business, without compromising on the guest experience.
Image credit: Fable20
Our local partners
At The Grain Store, we pride ourselves on the relationships we have built with local businesses and services. We have carefully chosen like-minded businesses, that like us, are working hard to be responsible citizens and improve our planet. Partnering with local businesses allows us to carefully curate the guest experience we offer, whilst reducing our carbon footprint and collaborating with local members of the community.
Our sustainability journey is continuous and one we are always looking at ways to grow in. We recently won a Green South Downs Bronze Award, a collaborative project between The South Downs National Park and Green Tourism to create an internationally recognised certification scheme that champions sustainability. Our green journey is one we are constantly evolving and are committed to.
Rebecca Tennent, House Manager
Find out more about Grain Store Lewes:
Find out more about the Green South Downs sustainability certification
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