Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Permaculture Designers Course Day 5

Gale & Snowden's 5th Permaculture Designers Course training day was held on 26th January at our Bideford office.  The day was part of a full Designers Course in Permaculture design leading to a certificate in Permaculture design. Attendees on the course include all Gale & Snowden staff, Clients and some key Consultants that work with us.  The course, as well as leading to a Diploma in Permaculture Design, is a good venue to discuss current design projects and establish a common understanding about ecological and ethical principles and how to apply this to our work and personal life.

The workshops in the afternoon focused on our TSB (Technology Strategy Board) Future Climate Change Adaptation work for a swimming pool in Exeter and a Passivhaus Office development at Devon Gate, Tiverton.  These workshops reviewed the scope of the climate change adaption work, the individual projects and looked at how the external landscaping and Permaculture design could contribute to the climate change adaptation strategies.  Sketches were undertaken and are now being drawn up along with notes of the workshops so as to record all the feedback and interesting ideas generated.  Keep watching our blog for more ongoing information about our TSB Future climate change adaption of buildings projects.

More information about Permaculture can be found on our website, here.

Passivhaus presentation goes down well at Taunton Deane Council Chambers

On 16th January 2012 Emma Osmundsen of Exeter City Council and David Gale of Gale & Snowden Architects presented the Exeter City Council Passivhaus projects to Councillors. The presentation included the 21 Passivhaus dwellings at Rowan House and Knights Place Built in 2010 and 2011 and the planned ‘Extra Care’ facility and new city swimming pool both of which have received substantial funding from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to investigate future climate change adaption.

The presentation generated much discussion and positive feedback including the following comments made afterwards from Councillors;

• ‘it really does prove that exemplary standards can be achieved in new build and that Councils can be at the forefront of sustainable design. We should learn a great deal from this and I am hoping that the Council's affordable housing and housing service staff who were there utilise Exeter's advice’

• ‘it was very inspiring and it was interesting to hear from a very passionate officer and architect regarding what can be done, and who believe in the benefits of these sustainable properties. I hope that Taunton Deane can follow on from this and develop passivhaus and high levels of sustainable buildings here. I also hope that we can influence the way developers build their properties when they put in for planning applications. We also need to look at different ways we can fund, build and expand our housing stock to the same high standards that the people of Exeter are receiving’

• 'Thank you. Excellent presentation. We do need to keep upfront the reason for our (TDBC) interest, the very low cost of running these houses/flats for our prospective low income tenants and the relatively low maintenance they offer to us as landlords. Sometimes this can get sidelined in the hype!!'

The presentation made by Emma and David can be viewed below. David has been asked to make another presentation on March 30th.