Excavations continue as the external drains
are put in, I never though I'd become so preoccupied with holes in
the ground (unlike a group of Slade MA students who I recently met
at the Merz barn) but the cost of digging trenches and holes out of
the bedrock means this aspect of the redevelopment is getting quite
a lot of my attention.
Needless to say it was a bit of a nasty surprise to find the two giant concrete rings that have just arrived onsite need a hole 3m deep, to provide an inspection pit for the ground source heat system, it all seemed so simple on paper..
This pic by Nina Pope shows Adam, Karen & Lisa outside the Grand Designs exhibition in London last week. Behind them is Kevin's 'real' eco-house by the Thames, and we can confirm he was on site in a hard hat.
The show itself was a mixed bag indeed, it would have benefitted from a tighter selection (there was 4 or 5 'live' painters churning out landscapes, for example) but we all agreed on the joys of sparkly tiles.
Although we are all enjoying the fantastic weather it feels a bit like Butlins for plant equipment today at Lawson Park, they're sitting everywhere soaking up the sun, things are strangely quiet and although its a relief to be able to hear yourself think for a change, I am concerned there is so little activity on site with projected delays to the programme mounting up.
Work began yesterday on the undergrounding for the overhead power supply but has already been halted by repairs needed to their equipment, the ground source drilling crew were hoping to be finished on Friday but broke the head of their rig on the sixth hole tbc...meanwhile the two stonemasons quietly work away and Barry our site manager continues to make a valiant effort, I think I've seen him in nearly every machine on site today, but there is only so much one man can do! It seems, to the untrained eye (see webcam) that there’s plenty to do so I’m hoping the last few days have been a lull which will soon be followed by a mass of skilled labour flooding onsite to start rebuilding the new and improved Lawson Park (well maybe not a mass, we’re not in China now)
Visiting the site last week were Joyce Nicholson (left) and Nancy Nicholson-Sheffield, two sisters now living in Canada. Joyce had been born in Lawson Park, during her father's farming tenure here in the immediate postwar era.
Last week the Grizedale team visited Grand Designs Live to seek out interesting products and materials for Lawson Park (more on this soon) While we were there we visited the eco house in the grand village they've been building in Royal Victoria Square as part of the show. Although they were trying to complete the house in a week they still had time to take advantage of the onsite masseuse! Not sure if I should post this picture in case we start getting requests for similar ‘facilities’ at Lawson Park.
The giant bright orange sewage treatment plant that has been sitting on the turning circle at Lawson Park has now been installed. Seems to fit quite snugly into the giant hole that had to be made for it.
View of the North elevation taken last week with Leck in the foreground measuring the levels for the new drainage system.
Despite being surrounded by heaps of builders materials, the Honesty Stall makes a bold return for 2008 Bank Holiday weekend, sporting a fine selection of forced rhubarb, wallflowers and sprouted kale.
After this weeks site meeting I thought there really was going to be nothing to see, quite literally, as more issues arise with the structure of the building requiring further demolitions. As we already knew additional barns and extensions have been added to the original cottage at a number of stages throughout the buildings history, but when the roof came of this section of the building it has revealed that most of these haven't been tied into the existing structure, making it difficult and potentially dangerous to carry out the alterations required. After much discussion, including calling the planners (which I usually try to avoid at all costs) , speculation and worry, it was agreed to follow my current mantra “save every square inch you can.”
It may appear quite extreme some of the work being carried out on the building but the majority of the demolitions, additional openings and changes of level are being undertaken to make the building accessible, which is not only desirable for us but also a requirement of building control and our funders. In the long run the hope is that this renovation will secure a productive future for Lawson Park, for many years to come.