Got a conversion to do? Building project? Got questions? Need Answers? Offering a product or service? Visit our forum...

My Barn Conversion

Login

canadian pharmacy
About | Shop | Privacy | Forum | Gallery | Contact Us

Visit to the Centre for Alternative Technology November 2010

Category: Barn Conversion Journal December 9th, 2010 by mbc

I visited the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) again recently and I wanted to share the impression it made on me as I came away a little bit disappointed.

From Travel

I first visited CAT back in 2006 before I had ventured very far into the world of construction or conversion. I was still bright eyed and excited by the prospect of converting a pile of stone and slate into a home. I was looking for inspiration – for a roadmap through the technology, materials and techniques I should employ in following the ‘healthy house, sustainable, ecological & environmental’ approach to conversion that I saw as doing the right thing. At the time CAT at least started to provide that inspiration – it was somewhat informative if a little shabby. The technology I was looking for was here, albeit not with all the supporting information I desired – but at least it was a start. I didn’t discover the roadmap I was looking for, but from the information I picked up from the displays and the information sheets & booklets I bought in the shop I was able to begin my journey. Much reading, searching and spending of money later here I am with my renewable based heating, solar hot water panels, UFH, insulation, an inclination toward PV and an impossible desire for the barn to be facing directly south.

This time I came to CAT with a different agenda. I wanted an update from the horses mouth. After all, ‘CAT is concerned with the search for globally sustainable, whole and ecologically sound technologies and ways of life‘* so I turned to CAT to get a view of the current state of play. In that I was disappointed…

From Travel

Things don’t seem to have moved on at CAT over the last four years, at least from the perspective of the ‘casual’ day visitor. To be honest, except for the shiny new training and education centre, I can’t recall a single new exhibit or shiny bit of technology since my last visit. By the time we left my disillusion had reached a peak and I could even bring myself to buy any further information sheets or booklets from the shop – our only trophy was a small lady bird shaped torch that my son had taken a fancy to.

In fairness perhaps the casual day visitor isn’t CATs focus – perhaps they see themselves as being a campus for the training of missionaries for spreading the word. All those trainee architects and designers who seemed to be so engrossed with their laptops and lecture notes ready to venture forth and make the previously unsustainable sustainable. I must admit I’m attracted to the MSc in Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies by distance learning myself – If I ever have a couple of lean years in prospect and a few grand in the bank I’ll be putting my name down. BUT I’d still like to some more shiny new inspirational exhibits…

* from CAT’s Mission Statement

Posted in Barn Conversion Journal | No Comments » « Leave Yours
Tags: , ,

Progress

Autumn 2013

Right that’s the summer over with, now I can get on with some real work without the distractions of other things (like holidays and playing with children, all that enjoyable stuff that gets in the way of progress)… With few major jobs (painting, boxing in – nasty stuff!) left inside, mainly fiddly things that need […]

I’m having a moan on twitter… https://twitter.com/barnconversion/status/368427314868396032

A lovely Flemish barn conversion

I love the interior of this conversion and the great use of horizontal slats on this conversion. I retains the essential ‘barnyness’ of the building… flemish-barn-by-arend-groenewegen-architect

Coming soon, my barn conversion guide… Interesting earthship greenhouse project on Kickstarter

I really like this Kickstarter project >> The Farm of the Future: Earthship-Inspired Greenhouse This project is “Prototyping the First 100% Off-The-Grid, Affordable, Low-Maintenance Greenhouse using Earthship Principles and Aquaponics“. If any of those words meaning anything to you you’ll be interested in the project if not, pass it by… It’s already funded so I […]

Barns

Barns Gallery on Remodelista

There is a lovely gallery of barn related inspirational photographs available on Remodelista.

Barns – the Long House

Situated on the North Norfolk coast, this is a building to admire…

Barns – the Balancing Barn

A stunning piece of architecture, although not entirely to my taste…

New fast-track planning permission for the development of barns proposed

The Daily Mail reports on a new fast-track route through planning controls for the conversion of barns…

De-assembled, re-assembled, re-cycled barns

“A bit like a private sector, modernising, repurposing St Fagan’s…”

Design

What is a shadow gap?

A shadow gap – a mysterious dark place between two plains…

Your barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Thoughts on making YOUR barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Building Regulations, Approved Documents Part D – Toxic substances

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents Part D – Toxic substances

Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture

Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part B Fire safety

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part B Fire safety

Architecture

Your barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Thoughts on making YOUR barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

The Stirling prize 2012 winner – the Sainsbury Laboratory

The 2012 Stirling prize was won by a outsider, the Sainsbury Laboratory…

The Stirling prize 2012

I think that this years Stirling prize has some exciting projects on the shortlist…

Our engineers … our architects – Le Corbusier

The efficient, shiny world of construction in 1923…

Design in Storage

When designing a layout it’s easy to forget to plan for storage…

News

Green Deal slow beginnings?

Oh dear! The green deal hasn’t got off to a very auspicious start… As reported in the Telegraph today since it was launched nearly a year ago just 12 homes have taken advantage of the Green Deal with a few hundred more in the pipeline. 71,210 households had been assessed for Green Deal measures such […]

The property roller coaster – planning reform to be rethought

Eric Pickles vague compromise on planning reform keeps the house happy (for now).

Energy policy, smoke screens, fracking, confusion and big bucks

There seems to be only one thing that is certain in the world of energy policy and that is that costs will rise annually above and beyond anything that inflation can currently throw at us. Beyond that, smoke screens & confusion seem to reign. Take the recent news for example… It’s reported today that the […]

Flanking manoeuvres and good design…

It seems that the government are undertaking flanking manoeuvres on the green belt…

Green Deal Launch

The Green deal launched in the UK on Monday of this week. Fanfares? fireworks? a deluge of marketing? … read more …

Plaid Cymru’s Green New Deal promise

The leader of Plaid Cymru has promised a “Green New Deal” to rejuvenate the Welsh economy and help maintain Wales’ position at the forefront of Green policies.

Permitted development extension limits to be doubled

The government is due to announce a temporary increase in the maximum depth of extensions that can be built under permitted development rules.

Lloyd Khan, making shelter simple.

I wanted to share an interview with Lloyd Khan that I recently found…

Just what is ‘sustainable development’?

Sustainable development – with the term now enshrined in planning law, what does it mean?

Sir Patrick Abercrombie – “It is a matter for serious thought…”

While reading up on the response of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) I came across this quote from Sir Patrick Abercrombie…