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The 19th century stable yard

The 19th century stable yard
NTPL Zoƫ Colbeck

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

More snow at Morden Hall Park and while the builders have been digging service trenches in the snow, surveying drains in the snow and shovelling snow in the snow, we have spent many a happy hour researching A+ rated fridges and finding out where the nearest cash point and pharmacy are as part of the BREEAM assessment for the project. As exciting as that sounds, it doesn't make a good picture so here's a photo Lucy took of the park instead
NTPL/Lucy Alfred


BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) is the world’s leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. Credits are awarded in ten categories according to performance: Management, Waste, Health and Wellbeing, Pollution, Energy, Land Use and Ecology, Transport, Materials, Water and Innovation. The credits are then added together to produce a single overall score on a scale of Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.

As our project falls outside of the scope of the standard BREEAM schemes (courts, offices, prisons, beehives etc - only joking, although a beehive should score quite well considering the good potential for natural ventilation, reduced night time light pollution and easy access to outdoor space) we will be assessed under the BREEAM Bespoke process.

Our initial meeting to discuss the assessment with the consultants covered everything from the likely Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating to the distance to the nearest bus stop. Because of the high standards that we have set ourselves during the design stage and the choices we have made our Pessimistic Target Score is 'Good' and the Optimistic Target Score is 'Excellent'.

There’s a lot to do over the next few months to pull all the information together but with a predicted pessimistic score of good, it’s encouraging to know that all the discussions during the design stage about paint, insulation and our commitment to making the project as green as possible is paying off.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

London-based charities add their support to the project

Metropolitan Public Gardens Association
has kindly agreed to support the cost of planting new holly and box trees around the new maintenance yard. These will replace the trees that we had to remove from the area earlier this year and will significantly reduce the visual impact of maintenance yard.

Metropolitan Public Gardens Association helps protect, preserve and improve London’s open spaces to improve the local environment and been helping to improve amenities along the river Wandle, which flows through Morden Hall Park, since 1910. Long may it continue.

Heritage of London Trust have agreed to contribute towards the restoration of the original Victorian stalls within the stable yard. Preserving and restoring these important historic features of the building will help interpret the history of the stable yard. The restored stalls will be rented to local craft workers and artists.

The Heritage of London Trust is the only building preservation trust to cover all the London boroughs. It provides small grants to help restore specific architectural features of historic buildings which are used by the public or community.

A big thank you to both organisations for bringing us nearer to our fundraising target.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Let it snow - just not too much

© NTPL / Jon Whitehead 

© NTPL / Jon Whitehead

After snow stopped work on the building site for two days last week, the milder weather over the weekend has melted most of the snow in the park and the builders have been able to get back to work today digging new drainage and services trenches.

It’s still too cold to pour the concrete for the floor slab - the temperature needs to be 1˚C and rising and it was -2˚C this morning - so here are some pretty pictures that Jon, a volunteer working on the project took of the stable yard covered in snow instead.

Insulation, insulation, insulation

This is the first in a series of posts about how we are going to insulate the walls, floors and ceilings in the stable yard building. Sound dull? Well don’t switch off just yet and because according to the Energy Saving Trust around half of heat loss in a typical home is through the walls and loft.

One of the many discussions we have had whilst developing the project is what materials to use to insulate the stable yard’s floors, walls and roof spaces. We wanted to demonstrate various different insulation options to suit a range of budgets and we also had to consider how the insulation would perform in a building which is on the flood plain and which needs to breathe. We finally settled on a range of products, from cutting-edge new materials to traditional and recycled materials such as sheep’s wool and cork, more of which later.

The first areas of the building to be insulated are the floors in the rooms on the west side of the building and so after a brief appearance, the 17th century wall has been covered up again with an 18cm thick layer of Celotex.

That’s it for now but watch this space for the next instalment in our series on insulation. It’s guaranteed to make you feel all warm inside...