Learning from the Past to Preserve our Future

Strawbale Bunkhouse, Fordhall Farm, Shropshire

A unique project carried out as Principal Contractor in the construction of a sustainable new build structure formed from a large structural roundwood frame and straw bale walls on a Community Owned Organic Farm in Shropshire.

The foundations were constructed using recycled car tyre piers bedded into the ground and secured to the “on site” manufactured Glulam structural beams.  A roundwood structural timber frame was sourced from native woodland and manufactured to form one half of the building with the other half being entirely made from compressed structural straw bales and a traditional cut roof.

The roof was covered with 20,000 cedar shingle roof tiles which were individually dipped in Stokholm Pine Tar, imported from Scandanavia and mixed on site.  Roof lights and solar panels were installed resulting in a highly sustainable roof covering made from renewable materials, letting in light and generating energy to power the building.

External walls were covered with several coats of Lime render and a large timber framed gable end was fitted with glass to allow natural light into the dinning area.  We carried out the design, manufacture and installation of all external joinery including softwood painted windows, oak windows, oak suffolk style doors, a large set of oak sliding doors and a triple bifolding oak window.

Internally Clay plaster finishes were applied to all of the straw bale walls and the timber framework was fully insulated using natural sheepswool insulation from Wales.  The entire building was painted using natural, breathable clay paint ensuring a minimal carbon footprint and a healthy environment for future use.