The world famous University of St. Andrews founded a Botanic Garden in the precincts of St. Mary’s College in 1889. In the 1960’s the garden was moved to its current site of 7.5 Ha and has been run under the auspices of St Andrews Botanic Garden Trust since 2015.
In the heart of St Andrews, the St Andrews Botanic Garden is widely regarded as a national treasure. It is a haven of rare and unusual plants set in surroundings where visitors can enjoy ponds, waterfalls, rock gardens, herbaceous borders and woodland walks.
In 13 individual zones, there are also over 2000 square metres of heated glasshouses to protect cacti and large collections of tropical plants and alpines, as well as a special unit for butterflies which has become one of the star attractions.
However, Director James Hearsum and Glasshouse Supervisor Kirsty Wilson were very aware that the existing glasshouse controls were labour intensive, wasteful of energy and failing to reliably provide the correct environment. So, following a tendering process, CMW Horticulture were invited to modernise the controls. This involved not only the installation of a Priva Compact climate controller, but the fitting of motor actuators for the ventilation system into existing heritage glasshouses, as well as the control of 5 existing boilers.
Kirsty is more than happy with the result: ‘We’ve finally got the environment we need. Not only are we saving substantial amounts of energy with the new system, but the plants are now thriving in the improved climate.’ The days of volunteers having to return in the evening to close manual ventilation systems are also a thing of the past. And now, the boiler control system saves energy by activating the 5 boilers in sequence according to demand. More often than not, this means that only one boiler has been required to maintain the correct temperature since the system was commissioned.
The butterflies are happier too. Volunteer Butterfly team leader Bob: ‘The better environment in the butterfly house, which now closely replicates the native climate of over 30 butterfly species from tropical climates all over the world, has led to considerably better conditions for butterflies.’