Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Timber construction everywhere!

WOW, everything is coming on at speed at Fordhall. Last weekend lots of wonderful volunteers helped us to re-erect our yurts.Bex organised a good clean and some well needed tlc, before our yurts were erected in the fields, with a beautiful view across the Tern Valley. It was heavy work and 7 of us worked on it all weekend, working over 8 hours a day to ensure we completed them in time. Perhaps the most difficult bit was getting the timber base where we wanted it. It was like piecing together an enormous jigsaw, with at least 4-5 people required to move each section, it was a big heavy jigsaw!
We eventually got the bases where we wanted them, only 3 hours later! Then we had to lay the insulation on the base and another timber floor on top of that. Once the floor was in, we could begin to erect the lattice structure. All made from steam bent ash from Shropshire Wildlife Trust Reserves. This was great fun and probably the easiest bit. With the basic structure in place, it was time to add the insulation to the sides and roof - lovely sheep's wool from the lake district; a cosy, warm blanket.

..and then came another tricky bit - pulling the canvas over the insulation without it all coming off... With Phil directing things from the middle and others pulling on ropes or pushing from the bottom, we soon pulled it over. And as 6 o'clock on sunday evening approached, the yurts were finally water-tight and insulated. We also have a new found respect for native Mongolians, who take down and move their yurts more than once a year - once every 5 years is enough for us!

Meanwhile, work has continued with the renovation of our Old Dairy. Another site meeting was had today with our fantastic design team to ensure that everything is on track. Sitting amongst our community growing area, the ideas were flowing. We have been busy organising renewable energy solutions, finishes, drainage and paints. All in all, we are currently due to complete the build at the end of April and therefore hope to be open early May - possibly even in time for the Royal Wedding...

The design team (Shingler Construction, WCP Associates, Seven Architecture and
Charlotte and Ben) meet in the picnic area to discuss progress.
As you can see from the images below, the build really does do Fordhall justice. The design is in-keeping and classic and the detail is finished with skill. This was evident again today, as Castle Ring Oak Framers arrived with our timber frame for the grass roof canopy.

The last of the scaffolding is removed to uncover the beautiful gable end of Fordhall's NEW classroom.

In the same format as the oak on our gable end, this oak canopy is pegged together through real joints and then lifted into place with the help of a crane.

By the end of the day the canopy was in place, sitting neatly on the stone plinths and awaiting the green roof that will soon cover it. This oak framing company are only across the border in Wales. Everthing is bespoke and made with care and attention.
The whole building is fantastic.

We really can't wait for you to all come and visit - and I haven't even shown you the new compost toilet yet...


Fordhalls new facilities have been generously part funded by Advantage West Midlands

1 comment:

Lady Jane ;) said...

Wow!! This looks incredible!! I can't wait to see it. Good job!