galson estate offices, lewis
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project details

Galson Estate Trust
(Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn Ltd), Lewis
c. £350k
October 2008 - October 2011


The 56,000 acre Galson Estate in the very North-West of Lewis was purchased by the community in January 2007 to be managed by Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn (UOG) – the Galson Estate Trust. The Trust has wasted no time in setting about improving conditions in the area with initiatives to increase tourism and access to education in particular, taking into account the unique social, cultural and environmental heritage of the area.

Following a competitive interview process, Locate were appointed to work with the Galson Estate Trust to prepare plans for a new Office building for the Trust along with further offices to rent for local small businesses, a Crofting Archive / Meeting Area, and a Local Food and Produce Retail space. It is hoped that the facilities can act as something of a “hub” for the local area.

Working with Cost Consultants Ralph Ogg & Partners and local Engineer Malcolm Maciver, the project is now complete (October 2011) and the Contractors, Alex Murray Construction have done an excellent job.

The proposed building has been specified to ultra low levels of energy efficiency, with good thermal insulation (high levels and low thermal bridging) complemented by good airtightness (final test: 0.77 ach @ 50 pa) This has resulted in a modelled EPC rating of A and a modelled consumption of energy of 59kWh/sq.m/yr (which we believe will be bettered in practice). The heating is provided by underfloor heating, the warmth for which is provided by Ground Source Heat Pump supplied by a 20kW wind turbine, and the building is ventilated using a high performance heat recovery unit.

As well as ensuring the building performs well in energy terms, care has been taken to consider issues of health in the building with attention to natural finishes and avoidance of known risks. The issue of resource use has also been addressed to ensure, for example, that most of the building by volume could be safely biodegradable at the end of its service life.

Galson Estate Offices,Lewis

exterior with 20kw wind turbine

View of the nearly completed reception and gallery area.