Eco Building designed to minimise the negative impact on the environment :
- High levels of efficiency
- Non-toxic and environmentally low impact building products
- Use of local renewable timber and other wood products
- Innovative timber structure utilising low value local timber
- Solar radiation – The position of the building was largely dictated by railway regulations, however, within these limitations, the orientation of the building was designed to optimise the amount of solar radiation entering and warming the building. In contrast the large overhangs are intended to prevent overheating in the summer.
- Heat Exchanger – The heat exchangers take the heat from outgoing air and is used to preheat the cold fresh incoming air, which is then distributed around the building. It is calculated that the heat exchangers alone will maintain an average temperature of 11 degrees centigrade, which means that only a small heating system is needed to top up the building’s requirements.
- Windows – incorporating double glazed units and low emissivity glass, together with insulated spacer bars and extra deep window frames means the windows allow more heat in over the year than they let escape, leading to a net gain.
- Heat Storage – The internal walls are built using dense concrete blocks in order to store heat gained during warmer periods and retain warmth in the colder periods. This helps to maintain temperatures inside the building when temperatures are fluctuating outside.
Modern building products can seem simple and easy to use, but often have a high environmental impact due to the way in which their raw materials are quarried, transported and manufactured; the by-products of these processes can create large volumes of industrial waste, some of it toxic.
The Eco Building was constructed using only materials that are non toxic and local products to minimise the environmental impact.
Use of Local Products
The UK imports around 90% (43 million tones per year) of its timber and wood products, much of which comes from environmentally damaging and unsustainable sources. Indigenous people’s lives are lost in the violent quest for extracting timber from virgin forests and huge numbers of animal and plant species are being driven to extinction.
UK forests in contrast produce around 4 million tons of timber per year. However, due to low prices that timber commands the bulk of the timber goes to low uses such as pulp wood, fencing and into the chipboard industry. For this reason woodland owners are unable to invest in good woodland management, leaving woods being seen as wasteland and at risk from development. It is therefore crucial to develop ways in which this large volume of timber can be put to higher value uses, invigorating the health and economies of local woods.
The Eco Building was designed in such a way to demonstrate the possibilities of this “higher value” approach. Furthermore, by demonstrating that buildings can be constructed using “green” techniques, the college building illustrates the possibility of reducing the build up of hazardous toxins in the environment that we live in and share.
Innovative Timber Structure
The columns and roof supports which can be seen inside the hall are the main structure holding the building up, which carry the weight of the roof and support the external walls against wind forces.
The columns are made out of chestnut and the upper structure uses peeled ash poles, which have been designed to allow them to be removed and replaced to reduce maintenance problems in the future.
Eco building examples
This is a versatile building. Built with a mono-pitch roof sloping along its short or long side, depending on where the main entrance is positioned. Large overhanging eaves create shade from the sun and drive rain off the walls. The floor plans range from 10-30 square metres, while the interior height is a generous 2.1 metres. The sizes given here are internal sizes.
A pitched roof and is a taller building, extending in height up to 3.9 metres. A standard glazed gable wall, which is a great natural light source, and is an ideal wall to position towards a great view. The sizes given here are internal sizes.
This is a clean power plant in your garden with a roof integrated solar array above the main entrance. This is ideally oriented due south in order to generate the most energy from the solar array. The floor-plan chosen from the range determines the size of the solar array. Larger buildings usually have a greater energy demand; hence a larger array with greater output.The floor plans range from 10-30 while the interior height is 2.2 metres.
This building around fitting the maximum amount of solar panels per metre square of roof area. It is a home solar-power station that delivers you clean energy while earning you an income through the Governments Feed In Tariff.The sizes given here are internal sizes.