ECOLOGICAL ARCHITECTURE

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Community Projects

We specialise in working with community groups and helping them to develop their projects, which by their very nature often take a long time to come to fruition. The Big Shed (pictured above) is a low carbon building, owned and managed by a community group The Lochtayside Community Interest Company. We have also completed feasibility studies for Holmlea Gardens Allotment Society, and the Burrelton Village Hall Committee. 

 

The Big Shed

The Big Shed is a Community owned building in Highland Perthshire, which opened in 2011. The design brief was for flexible spaces for use by individuals, groups and small businesses in the community; the project was to demonstrate the use of locally sourced and natural materials, reduce carbon emissions in both the building construction and in use, and to provide training for contractors and volunteers involved in the build.

Sitka and Norway Spruce was harvested 15 miles away, and the logs were milled on site to provide green timber for the engineered timber beams and frame construction. The timber for the external Larch cladding and the Beech floor were also obtained locally. Sheep's wool provides the main insulation material, and was installed by volunteers. An additional internal skin of Hemcrete blocks adds thermal mass, and a wood pellet stove and solar thermal panel provides the space heating and hot water.


The project was grant funded by The Big Lottery, Climate Challenge Fund, Community Energy Scotland, Perth & Kinross Council and SUST.  Facilities include a community hall, which is used for a wide variety of events such as weddings, private hires, concerts, celidhs, talks and workshops, as well as regular yoga classes. A catering kitchen is available for functions and for hire by individuals, a first floor studio makes use of attic space, and a separate workshop provides an opportunity for small businesses.

The Big Shed was awarded first prize in the Low Carbon Building Awards 2013, in the new-build category. Paul Wedgwood, General Manager, Carbon Trust Scotland said "Our two winning buildings, The Big Shed and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (refurbishment winners) not only embody low carbon design principles, but also deliver reduced energy demand and emissions, sustainability and a high quality of occupant experience. They should be held up as exemplary case studies of best practice"

"A low key community hall in Perthshire and a nationally significant institution in the heart of the capital couldn't be further apart in terms of budget, function and setting, but what they share is a unifying embrace of low carbon principles as the foundation of successful design" 

For more information on events and how to book the Big Shed, go to www.bigshed.org.uk

 

Children's Playground Shelter

Kilmodan Primary Schol is located in Glendaruel, Argyll, and currently has 15 pupils. The project came about as a result of a successful funding bid to Tesco by the school and they were awarded £10,000 to build an outdoor learning and play space.


A series of design workshops were held with the pupils, staff and parents over a six week period. Each session was designed to investigate a different aspect of design with the final session spent marking out a 1:1 mock up of the building. The children were given sketchbooks at the beginning of the project to note and draw any ideas they had for the building. The next steps are to ascertain what permissions might be required, and to carry out a cost analysis of the project to know whether any addition funds will be needed.