With high thermal mass structures, all energy generated on site, all water collected on site, and all waste processed on site there will be zero cost to the environment to run these lodges. Our construction methods will capture more carbon than they consume, ensuring this will be amongst the most sustainable accommodation to build and run in the UK.
The first foot of topsoil will be put aside, and subsoil dug out for the foundations, pool and thermal store. The clay and deeper sand will be stored for the build, and after it’s lined the thermal store will be piped and backfilled.
The clay and sand will be stored and dried in polytunnel structures. The clay will be crushed and sieved. The clay and sand can be mixed in advance, with lime and water added before use. The mix proportions must be consistently controlled and tested.
With the support of the local community and business we plan to reuse a substantial amount of material that would otherwise end up in landfill. This includes polystyrene that if we bought new would not be very sustainable, but if we can capture polystyrene packaging that is destined for landfill and process it so that it can be used for insulation that is very sustainable. Our catalan ceilings will need 1200m2 of floor tiles but they are hidden from view, so we can capture a myriad of spares, damaged or rejects that would also be destined for landfill.
Subsoil clay and sand will be quarried on site and stabilised with natural hydraulic lime to create 300mm thick inner walls, height 3m. The insulated high thermal mass structure acts as a thermal battery, collecting heat in the day and releasing it at night. This gives a near constant internal temperature with no artificial heating. Reinforced eco-concrete plinth and ring beam provide robust support top and bottom.
This provides the means to construct a high thermal mass ceiling that has strength to support its own weight, with no concrete. The lodge ceiling will be a collection of 1.5m wide arches supported between structural beams, which will be a composite steel and timber. The arch structural geometry is 1:10 height to width, constructed in 3 layers of tile with mortar interlayers. The lower layer of tiles is set longitudinal, the middle layer at 45° and the top layer 135°. Above the arch is further mass of tamped stabilised earth. This is topped by insulation and roof covering. An aesthetic layer is added below the lower layer of tiles, consisting of a random mix of materials, artfully placed.
Tataki tamped earthen floor made from sand, clay, lime & calcium chloride, laid 100mm thick in 3 tamped layers, then sealed with 5 coats of sun-dried linseed oil and waxed top coat. Radiant underfloor heating piping is installed within the floor mass. Floor tiling is used in wet and heavy use areas.
The locality has a long history of brick and tile making. Having fired a lump of clay dug straight from our subsoil, the result was a satisfying block of deep red. We now have an electric kiln and pugmill so will experiment with clay/sand mixes to make our own bricks and tiles.