Castle Hill School

External cladding: Larch and lime

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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…

Cosy cob reading nooks

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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…

Straw bale classroom: Lime render and clay plaster

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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…

INNO-THERM / Metisse recycled denim insulation

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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…

Adding a green roof to the straw bale classroom

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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…

VIDEO: The classroom so far

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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…

Straw bale compression – finishing off the walls at Castle Hill School

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The walls are up at Castle Hill School, and we’re preparing to add the roof. Missed the wall-raising? You can read about that here. Meanwhile work has been continuing at a pace. We’ve had a mixed bag with the weather – plenty of swelteringly hot July days, but some rainy…

Straw bale walls going up at Castle Hill School

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straw bale walls

The new straw bale classroom at Castle Hill School is progressing well! Since the pupils broke up for the summer holidays, building on-site has been continuing at a fantastic pace, with most of the straw bale walls now in place. We’ve had two different site managers looking after the build. Craig…

Straw bale delivery!

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Straw bale delivery

With work beginning on-site at Castle Hill School shortly, last week we received a delivery of 420 straw bales from a farm in Bedfordshire. The straw bales, measuring just over a meter in length, will be the building blocks of the new classroom. Fortunately it was a lovely sunny day for…

What is cob building?

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Cob building

Cob and clay walls will form an important part of the new classroom at Castle Hill School. But what exactly is cob, and how can it be used in building? ‘Cob’ simply means ‘lumps of earth’. Earth is the oldest building material in the world and there are many cob buildings around the UK….

 

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