What is environmental friendly buildings all about?

We have improved the eco credentials of the old buildings and built some exciting new ones

Before it was headline news we always tried to preserve our environment. We try to think of ways to continually improve and educate our customers & staff alike.

The Apple Store

Our environmental classroom and apple store

The Apple Store is built near the vegetable gardens and is used as an environmental classroom as well as to store and press our apples for juice. It is a meeting place for the ‘Garden to Table’ activity and children are shown about sustainable building methods and materials, renewable energy sources and organic food production.

The Apple store was built by MoB staff and some lovely people from the Hambledon Hill Conservation Volunteers who applied the cob. It is a hexagonal building with a Cornish Red Cedar roof, straw bale walls covered in a clay, sand, straw and cob and a timber floor supported and insulated by tractor tyres and sleepers.

The build

We thought that the apple store would be a perfect tool to draw our environmental ideas together. Tony was the creative link. For the roof we used cornish red cedar shingles. The red cedar wood is high in resin which is a natural waterproofing.

Completion!

The apple store has been used as the centre for apple juice production & preparing the vegetables in the garden to table activity. We have also added a clay oven with recycled tin roof to protect it from the elements. Outdoor cooking such as pizzas, bread and making charcoal are very popular activities with all ages.

The Solar Drying Room

Using the sun to dry our clothes

We have been spending too much money on drying clothes when the sun could do it for us!

Our conventional drying room works well for groups staying in the farm house and clubhouse. However, camping has become increasingly popular and the drying room becomes less effective with so many items of clothing to dry… hence the solar drying room!

The concept

Air is trapped in a confined space and heated by the sun before being circulated around the room by a fan.

The build

We wanted to use the existing site of the craft centre….an old mobile home and re-cycle some of the materials to build the drying room. The craft centre was carefully dismantled with the aluminum shell kept intact.

Completion!

We’ve been really impressed with the temperature difference between outside and inside the solar drying room. In March the outside temperature read 16oC but inside the solar drying read a sweltering 39oC!!

The Longhouse

The Longhouse at Mill on the Brue outdoor activity centre at night.

The Longhouse was designed with the environment always at the forefront, in line with Mill on the Brue’s ethos. We wanted to make The Longhouse an environmental showcase for the south west of England.

Minimum foot print

The design has purposely minimised the amount of concrete used to cover its base for foundations. Instead a mixture of reinforced pillar foundations and where necessary, the conventional concrete flooring, means less impact on the overall area of the site.

Heat & insulation

  • The majority of the heat comes from geo-thermic heating (coils sunk 2m into the ground filled with diluted anti freeze) working exactly the same as a fridge. The heat is then be transferred to under floor heating.
  • In the winter months a highly efficient wood burner stove can provide extra heat fuelled by wood from Mill on the Brue – however because the building is so well insulated with sheeps wool and warmcell, even in January/February 2010 it was too warm to light it.
  • Double glazed Pilkington K glass has been used.

Water management

The build incorporated a 27,500 litre rain water storage tank. The water is pumped up to the building to flush all the lavatories. All have half and full flush facility.

Solar energy

  • The 49kw PV array is linked up to The Longhouse as this building uses the highest amount of electricity.
  • The south facing side is predominately glass maximising the passive solar gain.
  • Solar thermal panels provide around 60% of the annual hot water for our kitchen and loos within the Longhouse.

Materials used:

  • Re-cycled rubber tyre slates used for the entire roof.
  • Sheeps wool insulation.
  • Warmcell recycled newspaper insulation.
  • Locally sourced sustainable wood for the majority of the wood used.
  • Doubled glazed doors and windows.
  • Chemical free paint.

Local Architect and Tradesmen

Bruton based architect and building company employing local sub contractors.