Work on the Old Dairy renovation has been progressing well. With the driveway complete, work has progressed with removing the roof and internal walls from the building. Never far behind builders Duncan and Roger, is mum! She is always there to ensure that they are doing the job properly and sends regular reports to everyone in the office.
Those of you who have met mum (Connie) before, will know how passionate she is about Fordhall's heritage and how conscientious she is about retaining it. Over the last few weeks Duncan, Roger and Charles have taken mum under their wing, and she seems to have become the new 'apprentice builder' on site. Each morning she is ready to go at 7.30 with her his-vis jacket, boots and hard hat. She has now progressed from guardian of the past, to helping the builders progress the building for the future... and more than just in support... evidence suggests that she has been sneakerly having a go in the driving seat... watch out lads!
Meanwhile, our QS, Gavin, Jonathan and Jeremy from Shingler and myself have been meeting with renewable energy companies to confirm the technologies we will put into the building. Yesterday we met with Eco Living. Ground source heat had been a favourite, however our sandy soils at Fordhall, although great for out wintering our cattle, are not suitable for a Ground Source Heat pump as they do not hold enough embodied heat, which then reduces the efficiency of the system. The alternative may prove to be an Air Source Heat pump, but we will let you know as soon as decisions are made. Thought is also going into to PV cells for electricity generation, recovering warm air from the butchery refrigerators, and recovering warm moist air from within the building and converting that energy to fresh air to help keep the building warm (heat recovery system). There is a lot to think about. There are now many technologies available and we must be sure that we are investing our funds in the most sustainable and efficient system for Fordhall... perhaps we should see what our new apprentice builder thinks?
We are young and determined people assisted by over hundreds of volunteers who have come together to ensure this beautiful traditional countryside is saved. We are increasing the rich biodiveristy of the farm and helping to educate people about the pasture to plate cycle. Demonstrating that small-scale farming connected to the local community can offer a viable way of life for generations to come.