James Cole & Sons Nurseries cultivates nursery stock on over 180 hectares at seven sites across Leicestershire, growing over a million trees annually, and capacity for over two million container grown shrubs, Cole's has been recognised as Nursery Stock Grower of the Year for the third year in a row. With growth on this scale, the summer sun's warmth can sometimes be in short supply, which is why Cole's decided to create their own heat with an Uponor underfloor heating system.
864 square metres of Uponor underfloor heating pipe was laid by TLM Project Services and encased in concrete to hold it in place and protect it from erosion. Seed trays are then laid on top of the concrete where they enjoy constant and consistent heat from below. The system runs 24 hours a day to bring on young seedlings that would otherwise struggle to establish themselves in colder earth.
The illustrated project involves 8 manifolds supplying warm water, heated by a conventional boiler, which is then circulated through the system every hour. This will allow Cole's to grow the same quality of plants much faster, and therefore in higher quantities, giving it a great advantage over any of its competitors. It will also mean later flowering plants are available much earlier in the year.