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.
It might look like we’re digging a well but this is the hole for our new biodisc sewage treatment plant which will replace the old septic tank at Lawson Park.
Discussions continue on how we will supply water to the new building, the ground source heat drilling is beginning to show signs of discovering water but how you establish if this will consistently provide the quantity we require I'm not quite sure?? I guess that's why we have so many experts involved in the project. The alternative to the proposed water borehole is to revert to extracting and storing water from a nearby stream, which is how the existing building was supplied. The stream used to date is prone to running dry throughout the summer so we would need to relocate the supply and storage system to an alternative, more consistent stream on the site, which may need additional planning consent. This approach will needs us to confirm an average occupancy for the building throughout the year and agree how many weeks supply we would like to store, maybe we should be digging a well.
After a few weeks of technical and mechanical problems the drilling for the ground source heat pumps seems to be getting into its groove. They are just moving onto the 5th borehole and the last two have reached the desired depth of 75m, this seems to have been achieved by the addition of biodegradable industrial strength washing up liquid, which is added to the water used during the drilling process. Only four more to go..
We got some samples today from smile plastics, who produce a range of plastic sheets made from recycled waste products such as; yogurt pots, mobile phones, wellies and refrigerator parts.
We're thinking of using them in the interiors of Lawson Park, it could be an interesting material for one of the commissions within the building. Here are few of my favourites..
After much anticipation the drilling rig has arrived on site to start work on the ground source heat pumps. Progress has not been easy so far the drilling rig has been delayed, in need of repair, missing parts and now appears to have found the 'wrong kind of rock' and this is only day three, lets hope it gets better from here. We also have scaffolders, roofers and dry stone wallers on site this week and suddenly it feels very much like a building site, theres mixed feelings about that but mainly pleased things are progressing, just keep off the grass!
While surveying the structure of the building from the scaffolding you can't help but notice the view, but as Barry our site manager points out "you don't really want to take your eye off that chimney to look".
I can see his point, especially as we're up here to look at how precarious parts of the dry stone walls are looking now the roof is off the cottage.