Carymoor Environmental Trust

Carymoor Environmental Trust

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Charity no:1089668

Sustainable buildings

The main building is constructed with a green timber frame that uses mostly Douglas fir and a little oak. Two of the external walls use chestnut lath and lime render while the rest are timber clad with red cedar. The timber is locally sourced from a sustainably managed woodland. The concrete foundations are minimal because the timber frame has 'stilts' which stand on concrete pads. This method uses considerably less concrete than the more usual strip or raft foundations. The building faces south and has its main windows on the south, east and west of the structure, in order to make maximum use of the sun for natural lighting and winter warmth. South facing is also most efficient for the operation of the solar panels on the roof. All of the roof tiles are reclaimed, as are some of the doors. Insulation throughout is provided by recycled newspaper or sheep's wool products.

strawbale buildingAdjacent to the main building is the straw bale building. As the name suggests this building is constructed from bales of straw, another natural and renewable material. It is rendered and plastered with 'Blue Lias' clay, found onsite, mixed with sand and finely chopped straw. The finish is lime wash. The foundations have no concrete and are made of 'reused' tyres filled with clay and gravel. The doors and windows are also reclaimed. The roof has a camouflaging habitat of annual weeds and grasses across it.

Renewable energyeye

The main centre has a 3.99kw photovoltaic solar panel system and a smaller 600w array of photovoltaic shingles which produce green electricity. The centre is grid connected so that any surplus power is exported when the centre is not in use, or power can be imported when the weather conditions dictate it. A solar panel also helps with the water heating and a wood burner provides some of the space heating.

Water use and treatment

A rainwater harvesting system supplies the toilet flushes and an outside tap. Effluent from the centre is treated using a composting chamber and reed bed filtration system.