The National Trust along with help from Objective One
funding, Cornwall County Council and South of England
Regional Development Agency have installed solar roof
tiles on both the café and the cottage, which
generates electricity to run the new toilet block and
produces hot water for the café. The new toilet
block is as environmentally friendly as possible and
designed to be sensitive to this environment and to
blend into the landscape. The walls are hidden behind
traditional Cornish stone hedges of local serpentine
rock. The hidden roof is alive with wild flowers such
as tormentil, heather, housewort and yellow rattle.
The sophisticated Bio-Bubble sewage treatment deals
with all the waste from the toilets and the café.
1. Waste is collected and aerated in a balanced tank.
2. A full load is then pumped into a biological reactor
tank where it is digested by bacteria.
3. The treatment liquid is disinfected by ultra violet
4. The clean clear water is discharged.
On busy days this process takes just 24 hours. Over
a year the treatment system uses less electricity than
is generated by the solar tiles on the roof.
Finally, to conserve water the toilets are supplied
by a nearby spring and uses low flush cisterns.
The café roof tiles are not just normal slates.
They are PV (photo-voltaic) solar tiles, each one a
miniature solar panel, feeding energy into the national
The Kynance café is the first National Trust
building to be roofed with PV solar tiles. The solar
tiles generate more than five thousand kilowatt hours
of electricity a year - enough to make 45,455 cups of
tea, and supply energy even on cloudy days in winter.
The café and cottage roofs are tiled with 564
solar tiles supplying more than 5,000 kwh of electricity
a year and saving 2,150 kg of carbon dioxide.
In addition the cafe building is kept cool in summer
and warm in winter using using sheeps wool insulation,
a completely natural product.