5 Rivers and Live Project Visit

Guest post from Bryn Davies:

Tuesday 22nd October – Five Rivers Co-housing and SSOA Live Projects

Five Rivers co-housing, a Sheffield based group who are currently looking to build their own co-housing scheme together, came to visit the Open House Project last week.  For the past month Five Rivers have been taking part in a Live Project in collaboration with students from Sheffield School of Architecture (SSOA).  Last week members of Five Rivers and several students from SSOA were given a guided tour of Open House Project by resident and architect Leo Care.

Visiting the project provided the group with a fascinating insight into the workings and logistics involved in delivering a successful scheme, a great example of how co-housing can be delivered here in Sheffield.  Particular highlights of the scheme included the innovative ground-source heat pump system that services the scheme, and the wonderful growing spaces that have been cultivated by the group.  The Open House Project truly showcases how anybody, even without any prior experience in the field or in project management, can play a pivotal role in delivering progressive and exciting housing.

You can find more information about Five Rivers here: https://www.diggersanddreamers.org.uk/communities/forming/five-rivers-cohousing

For more information about live projects you can visit the website here: http://www.liveprojects.org/

Humanitarian Architecture Society Visit

Guest Post from Tom Matthews

On the 16th of October 11 students from the University of Sheffield group, Humanitarian Architecture Society, came to visit the Open House project. Our society aims to educate its members and the wider community about issues in architecture of social consciousness and sustainability. We were therefore very excited when Leo agreed to give us a tour of this project and to find out more about what goes on at Barnes Hall farm!

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Despite the best efforts of the Sheffield bus system to stop us, we greeted Leo on a glorious Wednesday afternoon to look around the site.

It was fascinating to see the builds in their various states of completion, from Leo’s finished and inhabited house, to the co-house and west barn which are still a work in progress. Seeing the agricultural heritage of the latter in the form of concrete cattle pens, and huge timber columns was a particular highlight.

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Sketches by Nina Vacic

Leo gave us a great description of the systems at work in the plant room, and how the project is reducing its environmental impact with equipment such as the ground source heat pumps.

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We finished the tour with a cuppa in Leo’s kitchen and a fascinating discussion about the experience of living and working as the lead architect on a co-housing project.

We are all very grateful to the Open House project for welcoming us, and to Leo for the tour and inviting us into his home, and we look forward to seeing how to project progresses!

A budding Community

The Open House Project was featured in the Ecology Building Society Autumn Newsletter. You can see the whole article here: Open House Project Case Study

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It’s great to be associated with an organisation that has such strong environment principles and we hope that we can play our part in addressing the Climate Emergency too through the Open House Project.

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Raising the roof!

After much planning and preparation, we have been able to get cracking on the works to the roof of the West Barn and Granary!

When the scaffolding was erected, the views from the top were stunning! We hope to frame the vista of the Wentworth Estate through the new rooflights.

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The first task was to remove the existing asbestos sheeting from the roof. Having been tested, we knew that it posed a fairly low risk, but all the same we had specialist contractors to remove  the asbestos.

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After removing the roof covering the skeleton of the roof was revealed.

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We were then able to see what repair was required to the existing stone walls as well.

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The wildlife survey called for bat boxes to be installed into the existing walls, in order to try and maintain the habitat for the bats. the boxes were carefully built into the walls, and are barely visible from the ground. But they are definitely there!

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The light coming through the naked roof structure gave a unique view, which would soon be covered again.

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In order to make the roof structurally sound we had to replace the existing ridge beam with a new steel. Removing the original timber ridge required a crane, due to the height and weight of the pieces.

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The 1980’s structure to support the asbestos roof was removed, along with the old warped and rotten timber rafters.

The roof was then nearly ready to start rebuilding!

New Social Media Links

We now have feeds from this website to our Instagram and Facebook accounts!

This means you can view some of our social media posts without having to use separate apps.

The feeds should be accessible on the right hand side of the screen if viewing on a computer, or scroll down on your mobile phone!

We have also done away with any adverts on the website, which we hope will make for a more pleasant reading experience!!

 

Sheffield Society of Architects Visit

In June, we hosted a visit to the Long Barn by the Sheffield Society of Architects (SSA) in collaboration with the Sheffield Design Award (SDA) organisers. The feedback has been fantastic, including some very kind words received in the last SDA newsletter:

SDA Building Visit – The Long Barn!

“SDA have collaborated with the Sheffield Society of Architects to bring you visits to SDA winning and nominated buildings. The first of these took place in June at the Long Barn. 2018 winner of the Conservation Award, The Long Barn by Chiles, Evans and Care is far from your average barn conversion. The project forms part of a wider cohousing vision committed to the restoration and reuse of a model estate farm from the early nineteenth century.

The architect, in designing a home for his own family, has created a sensitive, yet self-assured, intervention into an existing listed structure, and in doing so forges opportunities for family life that can be both inclusive and private through the playful use of different volumes within the historic shell. The attention given to division and connection of space, clever detailing and imaginative materials makes for an altogether masterful composition. The attendees particularly enjoyed hearing first hand how the project came to life.”

The long Barn 6 - kitchen dining
Photo: Matthew Bradshaw
The Long Barn 10 - an ongoing project
Photo: Matthew Bradshaw

 

 

 

Our ground source district heating/water system explained!

From the first time that we discussed our proposed ground source district heating and water system, we have all struggled to understand how it really works! Now that we have installed it, we can feel how it works from being in the first house to make use of it. However, it still seems fairly miraculous, complicated and intangible. There are so many operations and actions that occur in the system that you simply can’t see. Having tried to explain the system to a range of people, including friends, colleagues, students and residents, I thought the best way was to draw it! I am still not sure that it is 100% accurate, but it gives a pretty good idea!

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Sheffield Design Award Success

Shortly after it was announced we rang home to let people know the news… “we have won the conservation award”, “Oh, that’s a shame” was the response. “No, the Conservation Award!” we repeated! Once the penny had dropped and social media had started to kick-in, we began to celebrate our success at the Sheffield Design Awards!

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Having missed the beginning of the presentation, following a stressful drive across Sheffield, Kate and Greg arrived just in time for the announcement! It was great to be given the award amongst such an excellent range of  design projects.

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It was a great evening, and we were delighted to be recognised for our ongoing work! The Sheffield Design Award Judges produced a lovely description of our project and we received a certificate as well!

SDA2018 CECA Long Barn

Although the award was named for the Long Barn, the supporting information that we submitted and the judges visit took onboard the project as a whole. We would be delighted to welcome the SDA team back in the future to see our next phase of our conversion!

 

An award for our hard work?

Since the completion of the Long Barn in April, we have been personalising the space and making it feel like home! We have also really enjoyed seeing the building in different weather conditions and during the changing light throughout the summer. We feel like we have created something special and wanted to celebrate it!

The Long Barn 10 - an ongoing project (1)

When colleagues from the architecture practice visited, they were really taken with the building and suggested that we submit if for the Sheffield Design Awards! Brad, Jen, Howard and Claire (CE+CA) were able to take some great photos and we forged the application with their help!

The Sheffield Design Awards are organised by the Sheffield Society of Architects and Sheffield Civic Trust, and run every 2 years, to champion design and innovative architecture in our area. So the timing was right to have a go.

After a few weeks, we received news that our hard work had paid off, as we were one of 16 projects shortlisted from the initial entries. There are a number of different award categories that the Long Barn could be considered for, including housing, environment and conservation award.

After being shortlisted, the next step was to welcome the judging panel and give them a guided tour of the site and the Long Barn itself. Unlike many of the other projects entered for the awards, The Open House Project is ongoing, and with plenty of work left to do. We tried to explain and capture the environmental and social aspirations of the project as a whole, as well as describe the design approach to the Long Barn. We also tried to get across how the building is very much a functioning home for our family. We are not sure that there will ever be so many people stood in our bathroom again!

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We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Sheffield Design Awards 2018! We will find out if the The Long Barn has been successful at the SDA awards evening on 25th October.

We hope that we will also be able to put forward the next buildings for awards in the future! Fingers crossed!!