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Solar panels installed at Grade II listed building in Lincolnshire

It is not just state-of-the-art modern properties that can benefit from the efficiency of solar panels.

Modern designs and installation techniques mean that solar panels can often also be fitted to period properties without detracting from their appearance.

This has been demonstrated this week by the news that a Grade II listed residential building in the Lincolnshire town of Boston has been fitted with solar photovoltaic panels as part of plans to radically reduce its energy usage.

Swan House was built in 1877 for the processing of feathers used in pillow cases but was converted into 23 flats in 1998.

Because of its listed status, the building's single glazed windows cannot be replaced with double glazing, meaning that the flats have a very low rate of energy efficiency.

But now, after ten months of work, the building has been equipped with a host of eco-friendly technologies designed to lower heating bills for residents and reduce its carbon footprint.

A new plant room containing four new communal gas boilers was built, new radiators and heating programmers were put in each flat and a number of solar panels were installed on the roof.

The project, completed in partnership between L&H Homes, Aaron Services and heating product manufacturer Vaillant, has now been shortlisted for Sustainable Project of the Year at the national 2012 Heating & Ventilating Review Awards.

"We are delighted that Swan House has achieved the accolade of being highly commended for this award," said John Bailey, commercial systems director at Vaillant.

"The project is a testament to how older buildings can be refurbished and make the most of modern technologies without compromising their heritage.

"It was also a great pleasure to be involved in a project where the client, the contractor and the manufacturer worked together to achieve a successful end product that is appreciated by the tenants."

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