This self build project was designed closely with the client. Shown under construction the monolithic 3 story timber and hempcrete building houses a textiles workshop, two apartments enclosing a raised external courtyard. The approach to massive construction was based on the carbon sequestering capacity of the materials used – the more mass the more carbon was captured. The building is highly flexible, capable of being occupied as three independent units or as one integrated home-studio.
The sustainable approach to the project was holistic and driven by low embodied carbon and lifecycle analysis. The building is low tech, self-regulating and manually controlled rather than technology driven. The workshop and apartments were designed to be robust and built by unskilled labour and to celebrate the materials from which it is made creating a richness of character.
The frame, floors and skirting boards are all constructed out the the same section of timber. The sections of timber are overscaled to allow for charring without the requirement for intumescent coatings. The large section size allows for a hybrid ballon / portal frame system with 1.2 column centres and floor board spans of 1m.
All unnecessary layers of the construction have been stripped back allowing the primary materials to perform multiple functions simultaneously. The thickness of the floorboard means that they provides structure, acoustic insulation, thermal insulation, and fire resistance between floors thus eliminating the need for a soffit.