Innovation set to go on display

The Garage Door Restore company, which is based on the Whitehills Business Park in Blackpool, is pioneering the use of energy-generating garage doors. Showroom Manager Kathryn Benn with some examples of the company's doors.

The Garage Door Restore company, which is based on the Whitehills Business Park in Blackpool, is pioneering the use of energy-generating garage doors. Showroom Manager Kathryn Benn with some examples of the company's doors.

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AN INNOVATIVE way to help reduce carbon emissions has taken a step closer to going into full production – and is set to be the star display in a leading design exhibition.

Garage Door Restore, situated on Whitehills Business Park, has developed garage doors which can generate heat and energy through a variety of different methods, including photo-voltaic cells, and air source heat pumps.

Partner Damian Webb said: “What we’re doing is incorporating a large area of a property and utilising it to help reduce its carbon footprint.

“The Government has tough European targets to meet on emissions and wants housebuilders to build zero-emission homes.

“Builders now have to look to be more environmentally aware when applying for planning permission.

“We can put a heat pump inside a door instead of outside a property, or solar panels in the structure, rather than on top of a house where they are unsightly.”

Originally set up to manufacture glass reinforced polyester veneers to be fixed to worn or damaged garage doors, the firm saw a gap in the market and started also looking at how to create energy from a door.

Now, two full-time students and a professor from Lancaster University are set to spend two weeks with the firm to help get the products into full production.

Mr Webb added: “We’re now looking at international patents and are working with UK Trade and Industry to get our products abroad.”

The garage doors and the technology used inside them will be displayed at CUBE – the Manchester architecture and design centre dedicated to broadcasting best practice in developments.

And the firm will then begin a series of exhibitions around Europe to show off its cutting-edge technology.

The latest design would allow heating stored within the door to be used within a home – saving work which could have included ripping up floors.

Mr Webb added: “It is a very exciting time for us – there’s a lot going on.

“The exhibition will be seen by industry leaders throughout the construction sector as a method of best practice for the future.

“Developers used to look at the cheapest option but now they have to look at environmental matters just as much. I believe this is a cost-effective way of getting a home’s carbon footprint even lower.

“If you take a photo-voltaic cell, it might only be 20 per cent efficient, but it is chipping some more off the total. The really exciting stuff is the heat pumps which are far more efficient.”