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Nottingham Local Group visit ‘Farmeco’ Eco Centre – Sunday 30th October
October 30, 2011 @ 12:00 am - 11:00 pm
Gil Schalom – leader of the Nottingham & East Midlands Group – has arranged a visit to the new part straw bale eco centre building at Farmeco http://www.farmeco.co.uk/ecocentre/.
RSVP as the event is free but we need realistic numbers
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Gil Schalom (Group Leader)
Date and Time: 11 am Sunday morning 30th October 2011
Venue: Farmeco Community Carefarm, Shackerdale, Car Colston, Nr Bingham Notts, NG13 8JL The Ecocentre is in a beautiful working farm setting in Nottinghamshire close to both Newark and Leicester and is easily accessible from the A46/A1/A52 by car or public transport.
What Farmeco have to say about their new ecocentre . . . . . .
This new ecocentre has been designed using sustainable principles, aiming for the highest environmental values. (also see www.farmeco.co.uk/ecocentre_photos/)
- A green, sedum roof covers the main roof, reducing water runoff, reducing the building’s carbon footprint and creating new habitats, the roof was designed to have a U-value of at least 0.10 W/m²K
- The walls include a rammed-earth thermal mass wall, which both supports the roof structure and provides a heat store; this works by absorbing heat from the sunspace, and releasing it when temperatures drop at night.
- The remaining walls are constructed using straw bales, which is a waste product from the farm, and as it was grown and baled on the farm it has low embodied energy. This results in a highly-insulated structure which has a small carbon footprint. The larger Hesston bale (big bales) wall has a U-value of around 0.05 W/m²K, while the standard bales are around 0.13 W/m²K (when they are complete with internal and external lime render).
- The recycled timber floor a U-value of minimum 0.15W/m²K.
- The building uses a steel substructure sitting on block pads, which both reduces the concrete use of the building and minimizes ground disturbance.
- By creating a triple-glazed sunspace to the South, the building uses passive solar techniques to maximize the heat gain from the sun and introduces high levels of natural light, thereby reducing the need for heating.
- The external doors are argon-filled triple glazed, with warm-edge spacers, giving a whole door set U-value of 1.5 W/m²K
- The small upper windows are argon-filled triple glazed, with warm-edge spacers, with glazing U-values of 0.56 W/m²K, giving a whole window U-value of 1.3 W/m²K. These windows can be referred to as daylighting windows, which, when combined with the light colour the eco-paint on the ceiling, take daylight further into the main room.
- The electrical installation has used low energy fittings and lamps, metal rather than plastic wherever possible for whole-life considerations, 100% recycled flexible PVC conduit, and also includes activity monitors. The electricity supply is 100% renewable energy from Good Energy.
- Our project manager has paid very strict attention to air leakage through the timber frame and the quality of the lime rendering, we aim to achieve an ACH (Air Changes per Hour) value of 3.
- Solar hot water reduces the energy input requirement further, while all waste streams are managed onsite closing the nutrient flow loop. This has been achieved by harvesting rain water from the green roof, storage capacity will be 4500 liters. Toilets are waterless, which means that solids are composted and urine is separated then diluted for use as a fertilizer. There are plans for grey water treatment, using a reed bed and pond system that cleans the water as well as adding to local biodiversity.
All these features combine to create a comfortable and stable internal environment which will require minimal heating and lighting energy input. These low impact technologies serve as a demonstration of what is possible using sustainable building whilst expanding on the learning potential that the site offers.