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Maes Yr Onn Farm at Manmoel

Maes Yr Onn Farm

The Building

Owned by the Davies family, and established in 1825, Maes Yr Onn Farm at Manmoel in the County Borough of Caerphilly has been farmed on a commercial basis for over 30 years. However, the original farmhouse fell into disrepair many years ago and the family lived off-site.

Wanting to establish a farm house on their land again, the Davies family were hindered by the fact that the upland site had no electricity, gas, water or sewerage services. The new building design was inspired by traditional Welsh long houses, but developed to suit an off-grid, 21st century farming lifestyle.

The Goal

Create Wales’ first fully ‘off-grid’ and truly self-sufficient farm house.

The Results

Energy Performance Certificate grade A
Certified as Code for Sustainable Homes level 3

The Environmental Features

  • 20kw biomass boiler fed from the family’s own woodland
  • 1,200 litre combined capacity thermal store
  • Innovative skirting radiator system
  • A 2.88kwp capacity solar photovoltaic array across the south facing roof
  • A battery bank to store surplus power
  • Electric meters to monitor both sockets and lighting
  • Indoor air temperature and humidity monitors
  • External air temperature, humidity and rainfall monitors
  • Efficient sensor controlled lighting
  • Rainwater is harvested from the main house and barns into a 5,500 litre tank
  • Tank water passes through a UV purifier lamp

The Benefits

The temperature of the house remains around 19°C in winter and 21°C in the summer.

The family are able to control and operate all aspects of the building services.

The PV array is capable of meeting the electricity demand of the occupants, with the diesel generator only needed during winter months to ensure battery charge levels remain above minimum levels.

The family can monitor the water tank storage and water pressure from the device in their kitchen.

Their behaviour has changed, with the family carrying out tasks like washing and ironing on sunny days to make the most of the solar energy collected from the PV array.

The Reaction

"We’ve been so happy with the whole project from start to finish. Thanks to everyone involved, including the great team at Melin, we now live in Wales’ first fully ‘off-grid’ and truly self-sufficient farm house."

The Davies Family, Maes Yr Onn Farm

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