A Fresh Design

A Fresh Design

Having made the decision to redevelop the farmstead (see earlier blog – How to Reach Sustainable Utopia – Diary of an SME) and as part of it, build a new office we start thinking about the big picture and what we need to look into before coming up with a design.

So here’s the big picture – we’re on a farm; crops are grown, cattle are reared, meat (pork, lamb and  beef) is produced for customers that want to trace the meat they eat (www.a-good-life.co.uk),  Woods have been planted to stabilize the flood plain and sequest carbon , bats and birds  are encouraged to keep down the mosquitoes and 30kW solar pv provides power. dsc_0220

E4 environment provides advice on environmental compliance and sustainability to industry, retail and agriculture.  We want to demonstrate that the advice we give is workable and actually does what it says in the report.  Our aim is to work symbiotically, our business with the farm business so both can enjoy the benefits of a sustainable and economic outlook.

Things to think about

We started by thinking about the practical things that we needed to achieve, arguably the basics for any new (eco) office:

  • Flood resilience
  • Functionality
  • Water supply and drainage of foul water
  • Electricity supply
  • Energy efficiency
  • Heat and cooling
  • Aesthetics
  • Landscaping and ecology

In future posts I will go into more detail about these areas and explain what we found, the highs and the lows and the costs.

Being a consultant I had the advantage of knowing which architect would be thinking along the same lines as us in terms of eco build.  So we   commissioned Greenspace Architects.  We were familiar with their work and were keen to get them on board which has been a great decision thus far.

We, E4, worked with the architects (Kevin Slack and James Bennett) on the planning application focusing on the environmental reports.  We then did all those things that we advise our clients to do:

Write down:

  • what it is we’re actually developing in terms of buildings
  • why it’s being done
  • how it will be done
  • benefits
  • potential barriers and limitations

Once clear about the development we spoke to:

  • The parish council
  • Local people where there could possibly be an impact, positive and/or negative
  • The Environment Agency
  • Landlords
  • MOD

A design was produced

office-design1 office-design2

If you’re thinking of putting in a planning application to develop farm buildings and need assistance to pull it all together, then give us a call.

E4 environment also does planning applications for renewable energy installations.

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