light earth extension, borders

  click images below
to view larger version


project details

Neil Cockett and Ann Morgan

c. £40,000

Design start: August 2000. Site Works: March 2001 ­ June
2002 (large part self build)


This small Study / Guest Annexe features light earth walls, made using a mix of blocks and monolithic (shuttered) clay and woodchip or straw within a timber frame. It was the first stand alone building in the UK constructed with this technique, the first building in the UK to use woodchip-clay, and was entirely conceived, designed, and partly built by Chris Morgan whilst working at Gaia Architects.

The building was integrated into a £90,000 DTI sponsored research project (see into the validity of this technique in the UK. Walls, floor and ceiling are vapour transmissive. The walls are plastered with clay internally and externally, internal walls are of unburnt earth brick, floor and ceiling insulation is UK sourced sheepswool. The heating is provided by hot water pipes within a clay/sand matrix in the floor and walls.

The building was monitored as part of the research and showed that this type of construction and heating regime creates a healthy and comfortable living environment with balanced humidity and low level radiant, draught-free warmth.