How the Unity Centre is bringing new life to the Old Turkish Baths in Lewes

The Unity Centre is a brand new community health and well-being centre located in the former Turkish baths in Lewes.  

There is a float pool, two large studios for yoga and dance therapy, a community arts room, a gallery, a sauna, two treatment rooms and a café.

Before the Unity Centre took over the property, there was nothing but an empty shell of a building. From the very earliest stages of development, BHESCo were engaged to design a low carbon heating and ventilation system for the building, in addition to a lighting layout that was sensitive to the needs of the Unity Centre.

The Unity Centre worked closely with BHESCo to optimise the balance between funding available through grants, donations and community finance with the environmental impact of their energy provision. 

BHESCo applied our expertise and professional network to ensure that this was achieved.

The Old Turkish Baths before any improvements were made

The building that was taken over by The Unity Centre was just a shell, with no heating, lighting, or plumbing. 

Because of the heritage status of the building, we would not look to install solar panels on the roof at this early stage in the centre’s development. This may be something that could be considered by The Unity Centre over time as the cost implications of occupying the building become more apparent.

The Unity Centre is located in the Old Turkish Baths in Lewes

BHESCo's recommendations for the Unity Centre

A heating survey was conducted by A Greener Alternative, based on a heating requirement in the building to 22°C. Should the Centre require a temperature up to 30°C for hot yoga in any of the studios, this system is designed to enable varying temperatures to be set remotely according to heat zone.

heating and hot water - air source heat installed by bhesco at the unity centre in lewes
Mastertherm 22kW Air Source Heat Pump

An underfloor heating network was laid on the concrete floor on top of a waterproof membrane covered by 100mm Celotex insulation.

All of the recommendations made by BHESCo were based on the needs of the Unity Centre and are intended to minimise the use of fossil fuels in the property while maximising the benefit of energy efficient heating sources.

To further improve the thermal efficiency of the property, insulation has been provided by Lewes District Council. 

"There were a few times when I considered stopping. Without BHESCo, none of this would have been possible”
sevanti attwood portrait unity centre lewes
Sevanti Attwood
Founder, Unity Centre

Low carbon technologies installed at the Unity Centre

Underfloor Heating

LED Lighting

Air Source Heat Pump

Loan agreement between BHESCo and the Unity Centre

We will enter into a 10 year agreement with The Unity Centre for the provision of heating and hot water in the building. The agreement includes maintenance of the system including replacement of parts over the term free of charge.

Once the loan agreement has been paid in full after 10 years the ownership of the heating system, all associated equipment, and the remaining 10 years of the 20-year Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) gets transferred to The Unity Centre.

This has an estimated value of £14,718.

£ 600
Annual Savings
Year Loan Term
Total Investment

Environmental Impact Reduction

We expect the energy generation and efficiency measures installed for this project to reduce annual carbon emissions by 17 tonnes.

Over the operational lifetime of the equipment this equates to 336 tonnes, which is equivalent to:

  • 833,747 miles driven by car
  • 370 flights from London to New York
  • 39 homes' electricity use for a whole year

What do you think about this project?

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1 Comment

2019 Summer Share Offer | Brighton & Hove Energy Services Co-op · 23/05/2019 at 16:18

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