The Artizans of Wood have a wealth of experience creating community buildings including a village shop and several outdoor classrooms. Projects that actively involve the community are the most rewarding as local people have the rare opportunity to get involved and form an attachment to the building.
As such we are constantly on the lookout for new opportunities to build with and for communities.
Affordable Housing Proposal
We have teamed up with a varied range of partners to work on a proposal for affordable housing within the South Downs National Park (SDNP). The organisation has diverse experience, knowledge and training in ‘natural’ buildings, design, and environmental impact assessments.
Our proposition is for an innovative, forward-looking model for sustainable Affordable Housing that encourages more self-reliant, vibrant and cohesive and communities. We passionately believe that this project can and should be imagined, designed and implemented with the intention to foster the wellbeing of residents and to create flourishing communities.
Local Renewable Materials
We favour the preferential use of local, renewable materials and energy sources to promote the stewardship of the natural environment, benefiting both present and future generations, and in so doing this approach will make direct and indirect contributions to lower carbon emissions.
The use of natural building materials makes sustainable building highly suitable to self- or community-build projects under the guidance of leading practitioners in low environmental-impact construction. Incremental development of settlement projects is preferred, to ensure the better transfer of skills locally and more sustainable natural resource management.
- light, comfortable, healthy, durable and adaptable homes.
- guarentees to meet basic needs of people in an affordable and accessible manner
- has high regard for the energy performance of buildings, reducing their energy bills
- Includes provision for communal amenity, local food production, local management of waste
- help communities protect and enhance their local natural resources
- creates a distinctive sense of neighbourhood and place
- encourages communities to work, play, learn and socialise locally
- promotes sustainable land management practices – e.g. the use of local timber reinvigorates traditional coppicing, enhances local biodiversity and creates local employment; the use of sheep wool insulation supports sheep farming and in turn helps to maintain valued chalk grasslands in the SDNP
Round pole Timber Frames
To illustrate some of the design and construction criteria involved in sustainable building a timber Cruck Frame structure is presented here. Such criteria readily apply to other sustainable building styles, techniques, and methods. Roundpole timber frame structures sustain traditional woodland craft and joinery skills, utilise timbers readily grown and available over much of the South Down National Park.
Cruck frames require minimal groundworks, are speedily and safely erected, and readily employ various “low impact” building envelopes, such as straw bale or sheep wool insulation, timber cladding, cob, lime or clay render, stone, as well as shingle, thatch or clay tile roof covering. These techniques are durable, breathable and adaptable with low energy demand. Due to the modular characteristics of their bay construction, such structures are well suited to a variety of building sizes, configurations, internal layouts and adaptability over time. They optimise internal air quality, acoustics, light and space.
We favour a “fabric first” approach over consumable, costly and environmentally harmful fittings and finishes. Preferring to utilise recyclable materials while avoiding materials with a ‘toxic legacy’ to ensure low-impact decommissioning of buildings
Enthusiasm and motivation in our team for this proposition is very high. However we fully recognise that considerable effort is still required to formulate a deliverable pilot project
Our next milestones are:
- To identify a suitable location and forward-looking partners for undertaking pilot project.
- to identify credibly funding streams
- to develop a robust business model
- to establish the legal parameters for the organisation
- to ensure the local community has opportunity to engage in th eproject from the earliest stages
- to identify local needs for sustainable social housing
- to undertake site specific assessments
- to refine appropriate long-term low-rental occupancy parameters
- to identify the most suitable construction methods for a chosen locality for a pilot project
- to ensure a successful planning application for delivering Sustainable Social Housing.
We would be happy to open discussions with sympathetic landowners throughout the SDNP as well as research and educational organisations with an interest in promoting Sustainability.