Butterflies and shingles…

Speckled Wood - the finished results

Speckled Wood – the finished results

Speckled Wood - the interior

Speckled Wood – the interior

I have been privileged to work on the Speckled Wood project over the past few years. Speckled Wood is a sustainable new build, built by the National Trust as a home for long-term volunteers. It was designed by Ben Law, the woodman that everyone remembers from TV’s ‘Grand Designs’, and its sustainability largely comes from the fact that most of the materials for the build come from the estate on which it was built. It also has a log boiler, photovoltaic panels, solar hot water and a substantial rainwater harvesting system. The local community, volunteers and NT staff all got involved in the project in a variety of ways – not least, making thousands of roof shingles by hand.

Early days - the raising of the frame.

Early days – the raising of the frame.

Making shingles in the woods

Making shingles in the woods

The ‘people’ side of the project was not just about involvement with the build. Speckled Wood is adjacent to an NT base camp which also boasts a community orchard, bees, chickens, a vegetable plot and, not far away, a community allotment. To celebrate this, Speckled Wood has recently been shortlisted for a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors South East Award  for community benefit.

Dave demonstrating the log boiler

Dave demonstrating the log boiler

We recently had a wrap up meeting to review what we had learned during the project. There were many lessons. One of the main lessons for me was the importance of drive and passion in initiating an innovative project such as this one. The building came about because of one man – the Head Warden, Dave Elliott – and we have all been inspired by Dave’s knowledge and determination. For more information about the project, please have a look at Dave’s blog: http://swanbarnfarm.wordpress.com/

Speckled Wood - some of the team

Speckled Wood – a small subset of the large group of people that made it happen

This entry was posted in Biomass, energy efficiency, Energy generation, Hydro, PV, South East, Water and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Butterflies and shingles…

  1. Mike Howe says:

    Looks fantastic, a real achievement by everyone involved, nice one 🙂

  2. Miranda Campbell says:

    So looking forward to seeing this. That episode of Grand Designs really struck a chord; in fact I watched it twice. This is a sustainable project in every sense – well done!

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