Category Archives: Castle Hill School

External cladding: Larch and lime

10 Oct 14
Michelle Gaffaney
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Now the straw walls of our eco-classroom at Castle Hill School have had their first coat of lime render, it’s time for the cladding. We’re using Scottish-grown larch boards – a durable hardwood which will naturally mature over time to an attractive silvery grey. Other parts of the building have been simply rendered using traditional […]

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Cosy cob reading nooks

09 Oct 14
Michelle Gaffaney
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One lovely feature of our straw bale eco classroom is the creation of two cosy reading nooks. They’re made from cob, a mixture of clay, straw and aggregate (more on cob here) and are specially designed so that children can curl up inside with a good book. They’re not yet finished, but these photos show […]

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Straw bale classroom: Lime render and clay plaster

02 Sep 14
Michelle Gaffaney
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Our straw bale classroom at Castle Hill School is really starting to take shape now! The walls are up, the roof is on, and it’s time to start covering the walls. Externally, we’re using a lime render to protect the building from the elements. Lime is often used on straw bale and cob buildings and is […]

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INNO-THERM / Metisse recycled denim insulation

01 Sep 14
Michelle Gaffaney
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Our straw bale classroom has all kinds of eco-friendly features on top of the straw itself, from non-toxic clay plaster surfaces to low-impact cob reading nooks. Another way we’re reducing the classroom’s impact on the environment is through the floor and ceiling insulation: INNO-THERM/Metisse is a unique insulation material which is made from recycled denim and cotton. It […]

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Adding a green roof to the straw bale classroom

28 Aug 14
Michelle Gaffaney
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The walls are up, and it’s time to add the green roof to our straw bale classroom at Castle Hill School. First the beams go on Then we need to edge the roof It will be a green roof – a living ‘lawn’ of sedum on top of the classroom, so a strong ‘fence’ around the […]

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VIDEO: The classroom so far

11 Aug 14
Michelle Gaffaney
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Take a look at our straw bale classroom in progress! Our wonderful work experience student Autumn has put together this fab video showing the build so far at Castle Hill School. It shows the foundations being dug and built, the straw bale walls going up, and finally the timber roof going on: Of course, there’s […]

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