||news archive 2004 - 2008
New Project on Lewis
Locate have just been appointed to work on an interesting Office building on the North-West of the Isle of Lewis (see right). The proposed building is to provide office space for the newly created Galson Estate Trust, who run the Galson Estate following a community buy-out in early 2007, along with other offices to rent and a space for selling local food, produce and crafts. The building is to be very low energy and will be supplied by a dedicated wind turbine.
Moisture in Buildings 2
SelfBuild Ireland - The Irish Self-Build Magazine has run a few of Chris’s articles in the past and offered the opportunity to develop ideas first described in a talk a couple of years ago at the Falkirk Wheel regarding moisture in buildings. Starting with an analysis of “breathing walls” and a critique of conventional timber frame construction, the piece also discusses the potential of “moisture mass” or humidity buffering to improve conditions within buildings as well as to save energy.
Chris has continued to undertake “Eco-House Doctor” events for the Eco-Renovation Network including events in East Kilbride, Stirling and Glasgow and has been involved in several more ‘domestic appraisals’ for private Clients helping people to gauge the most cost effective ways to treat their own homes to be more energy efficient, healthy and resource efficient. In addition, as representative for SEDA, Chris attended a workshop in Glasgow regarding the Government’s proposals for improving energy performance of existing non-domestic buildings and has been involved in formal responses to Government on this subject.
Locate at the Lighthouse!
The Arts Studio extension at Taigh Chearsabhagh has been chosen as one of only a few projects to represent recent Architecture across Scotland in an exhibition entitled ‘Building Biographies’: Architecture in Scotland 2006-2008’ at the Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City in Glasgow. The exhibition also features recent projects from Europe and examines issues of culture of place and regional identity in the face of increasing globalisation. The exhibition lasts until 11th January 2009.
We’re welcoming Dave Seel for the three months from July to September. Dave will be helping out on the Burntisland Passivhaus Office in particular and the Village Hall for the ABC Group.
After contributing to a debate on Natural Materials at Ecobuild in February, Chris was invited by the Crichton Carbon Centre to present on the cultural and behavioural changes required when working on eco-design projects. Following a series of “Eco-House Doctor” events with the Glasgow based Eco-renovation network, Chris is also down to speak about Eco-renovation at the forthcoming Energy Fair in Ayr in September, organised by the Energy Agency.
In June, Chris was invited by Forestry Commission Scotland to take part in a seminar exploring issues affecting the quality and delivery of softwoods in Scotland and potential future planting regimes. Later in the same week, Chris was honoured to be invited to the Ardtornish Estate in Morven to take part in the Andrew Raven Memorial weekend investigating ‘Sustainable Affordable Rural Housing’ along with a host of luminaries in the field of Eco-design and Rural Development.
ABC Village Hall
Locate are nearing completion of the feasibility study for the refurbishment of an old Village Hall and a partial new-build in the village of Achnacarry near Spean Bridge (see image, right). Embracing eco-refurbishment of the existing building, the proposals include new build areas to comply with current regulations on access, while the highly energy efficient specification is based on natural materials, many of which it is hoped will be sourced locally and installed as part of a local training initiative.
January - March 2008
Taigh Chearsabhagh Finished
The Studio extension to the Museum and Arts Centre, see right, on North Uist has been completed on budget and a successful public launch party was held in early January 2008. The inside spaces are already being used though the outside decking will probably not come into its own until the summer!
Locate has re-located (again)
All change as Chris Morgan is now installed in Dunblane with partner Christine, they have a seven month old daughter called ‘Ella’ and Chris is now operating from an office – a lovely old cottage - about eight minutes walk away from home.
3 New Projects
Locate has been appointed to carry out a feasibility Study for a Village Hall / Community Facility for the ‘ABC Group’ (Achnacarry, Bunarkaig and Clunes) in North West Lochaber. We’re also currently working on a low energy house in the Borders for couple looking to re-locate to Scotland and live a more self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle.
And Locate are working on an exciting feasibility study for Fife Council to investigate what might be Scotland’s first passivhaus standard Office Unit in Glenrothes, Fife.
Chris Morgan was asked to deliver a presentation with Bernard Planterose of North Woods Construction on opportunities for Zero carbon buildings at a recent conference in Edinburgh. Chris outlined ways to ensure zero carbon projects could be met whilst also addressing other sustainability aspects, while Bernard focussed on the hard economic realities we face to bring ourselves up to the levels of support and expertise of other European countries.
Chris has also been asked to take place in a debate on natural materials as part of this year’s ‘Ecobuild’ Conference at Earls Court in London which is taking place toward the end of February.
With the existing stock of buildings the biggest issue for energy now, Chris has been getting more involved. He recently undertook a study for the Social and Public Health Sciences Unit of the Medical Research Council into an ‘eco-refurbishment’ of their offices in Glasgow’s West End, and he has been involved with Glasgow based Eco-Renovation Network whereby we gather in someone’s home and discuss potential alterations to improve the environmental performance of the dwelling. Several people attend who all have similar types of property, and in this way, the discussion can benefit a larger number of people (and cheaper) than in a typical domestic consultancy.
Projects on Site
The Hostel in Peebles is well advanced now and the House at Glenreasdale is also moving forward, more details of which can be accessed via John and Suse’s own website.
Highland Housing Fair Success!
A bold modern scheme utilising massive timber and designed by Bernard Planterose of North Woods Construction with Locate won one of the limited sites at the Highland Housing Fair, Inverness. Work is underway to develop the scheme in collaboration with a Developer.
Chris stepped down as SEDA Chairman in May 2007 to concentrate on the arrival of the little one, but remains a regular attendee of the monthly Steering group meetings.
Other Project Progress
The Kilfinan Community Forest project Consultancy was completed in May and the Queens View Visitor Centre has now been submitted for Building Warrant approval.
Both refurbishment projects, at Garden Cottage in East Lothian and An Goirtean Steading in Argyll have also been submitted for Building warrant, while the Fair Isle Bird Observatory consultancy is ongoing.
photo: Stephen Carter
2 new projects!
Locate have been commissioned for two major new projects. One is for a £1m design upgrade for Queens View Visitor Centre for the Forestry Commission, while the other is a complex community based housing / land use / renewable energy joint consultancy for the Kilfinan Community Forest Project Steering Group and Fyne Homes in Tighnabruaich.
The Arts Studio part of the Taigh Chearsabhagh Project has now returned from tender and is due to start on site any time now (April 2007). The new building projects out onto the beach and a major complication has been having to move the village sewer outfall!
Compost Toilet Completed
This tiny building (see image, above right) has now been completed. Built from timber harvested on site, and without any services, the toilet facilities allow the Sgoil na Coile Education Centre to be used to its full potential.
Other Project Progress
Both refurbishment projects, at Garden Cottage in East Lothian and The Old Steadings in Argyll have now been granted Planning permission and work is underway on Building Warrant.
The Hostel in Peebles is on site with groundworks complete and the timber frame now emerging, while the low energy house at Glenreasdale in Argyll has also now received planning permission so detailed drawings are underway.
Following a talk to the ‘Growing Community Assets’ Group in Aviemore in January, Chris recently gave a presentation on the use of natural materials at the huge ‘Ecobuild’ conference at Earls Court in London and is off in April to the international ‘Passivhaus’ Conference in Bregenz, Austria to find out more about these ultra-low energy buildings.
Move to Dunblane
And lastly…moves are afoot to re-locate to Dunblane. We are in the process of negotiating the lease to a delightful and very old property about one minute’s walk from the train station. This will allow Chris to walk to work when he finally moves in with partner Christine and an expected new arrival in mid-May!
New A+DS Enabling Role
Chris Morgan has recently been invited to become an Enabler for Architecture
+ Design Scotland which is a real honour, and looks forward to becoming
involved in Projects when required.
Tyre Bale House Site Start
Having successfully gained Building Warrant approval, the house
at Nedd (see right) is now on site with the aim of making it wind
and watertight before Christmas. It has already featured in the Press
& Journal and Construction News because of the World First
tyre bale foundations!
Business Incubator Unit
Locate have been commissioned by Fife Council to prepare a Feasibility
Study for a Business Incubator Unit in Burntisland.
The building is to be to a very high environmental specification and will
be managed by a local community body.
New Observatory in Fair Isle
Locate are working with Shetland based Consultants to prepare a Feasibility
Study for a new Bird Observatory on Fair Isle.
This major new building will be built to the highest environmental standards,
against extraordinarily high wind loads and on land with every Nature
Conservation designation imaginable!
Other Project Progress
With Building Warrant Approval for the Hostel in
Peebles anticipated soon, site works are due to start in September.
The House at Inchdryne has featured in a number
of Scotland- and UK-wide publications, including a front page on the Sunday
Times Homes Supplement and a forthcoming feature in Homebuilding &
Renovating. New photos by Andrew
Lee have been used for the updated project page and website generally.
Locate have been commissioned to work on two projects involving existing
stone cottages; one in Argyll which has received Planning Approval, and Garden Cottage in East Lothian, for which
a Planning application has been submitted.
Locate are in the early stages of designing a new Eco-house
at Glenreasdale near Tarbet in Argyll.
The timber building will be highly insulated and feature extensive water
Chris has been working with Forestry Commission Scotland, the Sunart Oaklands
Initiative and local community representatives to develop a Composting
Toilet at Sgoil na Coille Woodland near Acharacle, Ardnamurchan.
SEDA Eco-Assessment Project
Chris Morgan has been managing an exciting project over the summer to
evaluate the many and varied eco-assessments out there, to
try and establish a view of common procedures such as Ecohomes
and others. The research will be available to SEDA members and possibly
others if there is interest. See SEDAs
Tyre bale house at Nedd
The house at Inchdryne is now complete,
while the house built using tyre bales at Nedd
has been granted Planning permission. Building Warrant drawings for this,
and the Hostel in Peebles will soon be submitted
and it is hoped both will be completed on site by the end of the year.
Locates major research project for SEDA on design
for airtightness is now complete and was successfully launched by
the Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Affairs, Rhona Brankin on
the 13th March at the Scottish Executive in Victoria Quay.
The feasibility study for the new
Arts Centre in Ullapool is complete, along with another project in
Ullapool a proposed extension to the swimming
pool the feasibility study for which Locate completed early
in March. Both projects now await funding efforts and further business
Chair of SEDA
Following the AGM of the Scottish
Ecological Design Association in May, Chris Morgan was asked to be
Chair, after one year as Co-chair, sharing with Dr. Fionn Stevenson and
two years as Vice-chair. With a new development officer in place, it promises
to be an exciting time for SEDA.
Consultancy work going well!
Locate have been involved in an increasing number of small scale consultancies
for a variety of Clients wanting to clarify project briefs, and/or ensure
that their environmental aspirations would be appropriately and
cost effectively integrated into projects of all shapes and sizes.
These have ranged from commissions from the UK based Camping
and Caravanning Club, to one-off commissions to appraise domestic
refurbishment for those who want to improve the energy efficiency
of their property. (See image right).
Chris has contributed an article on energy efficiency for the forthcoming
Scotland Journal. This will be downloadable from the site once the
article has been published.
More Woodchip Heating in Scotland
Working for Buccleuch
Bioenergy, Locate have recently completed drawings for a new Woodchip
fired boiler in the Gleneagles Hotel, home of the recent G8 Conference.
The project is one of several biomass boilers being increasingly specified
for larger scale projects.
Sustainable Timber Construction
Locate completed a study on the potential
for promoting more widespread use of homegrown timber in Housing Association
projects for the Forestry
Commission Scotland. This is one of several projects and initiatives
in which Locate are involved to push forward the use of more sustainable
timber in Scotland.
For example, Chris delivered a presentation to the Royal
Institute of Chartered Surveyors at the SNH Centre in Battleby in April,
and has been shortlisted by Forestry Commission Scotland to produce scheme
designs for a 300-seat amphitheatre near Dornoch.
Green Building Bible
Following the three articles contributed by Chris in last years
Green Building Bible, by Green
Building Press, Chris will be updating the current three and adding
a further article about health and heating. Once published, the article
will be available for download on this site.
domestic refurbishment appraisals
The house at Inchdryne is progressing
on site, while two projects; the Museum and Arts Centre at Taigh
Chearsabhagh, and the house built using tyre bales
at Nedd (see right) have recently been submitted for Planning. Meanwhile,
the major research project on design for airtightness
is progressing well. It is in its main review stage now and will be posted
on the SEDA
website by March next year to accompany a major launch at the Scottish
Locate have recently been successful in gaining two new commissions;
one is to study the options available in Ullapool
for a new Arts Centre, while further afield, on Fair Isle, Locate
have been assessing the feasibility of refurbishing a 1960s Bird Observatory.
Details to follow...
Talk to the Community Woodland Association
An interesting conference is being put together by the Community Woodland
Association in Grantown-upon-Spey for the 12th/13th November and Chris
Morgan will be one of the speakers.
Locate have recently picked some exciting new projects; at Taigh
Chearsabhagh, we are preparing a feasibility study for an extension
to this award winning Gallery and Arts Centre on North Uist, in Nedd,
north of Lochinver we are drawing up a house built
using tyre bales which will be the first of its type in the world
outside the US, and in Northumberland, we are in the early stages of drawing
up plans for an Office for the E3 Consultancy.
Light Earth Building Weekend
It is hoped to run a building workshop in the North of Scotland using
light earth (clay and straw) in the next month or two. Contact us for
Teaching at Dundee University
Chris has been enjoying tutoring final year students at the Architecture
Department of Dundee University for the last few months. His
students all successfully passed their final exams, and he has been asked
to contribute again in the coming academic year.
Co-Chair of SEDA
At the AGM in May, Chris was invited to become Co- Chair of the Scottish
Ecological Design Association with Fionn Stevenson.
After one year of practice we are pleased to welcome Anna Poston who has
an interest in sustainability and studied Architecture at Oxford Brookes
Centre for Timber Engineering
Chris Morgan has been asked to join the Advisory Board of the Centre
for Timber Engineering at Napier University in Edinburgh and attended
his first meeting in December.
Locate are working with Chris Pyemont on a feasibility Study for a commercial
development linked to a proposed Wind Farm near Aberfeldy. (see picture)
Moisture in Buildings
Chris Morgan is delivering a talk on Moisture in Buildings at a major
conference on Water and Buildings to be held at the Falkirk Wheel on the
18th March, a joint event between SEPA
Chris Morgan is delivering a talk to ASHS
members on timber cladding and the way forward for small scale Scottish
timber Millers and Suppliers.
Locate has just won a commission to become involved in the feasibility
for a large commercial timber operation, more
news to follow soon.
Sustainable Design Accreditation
Chris Morgan has been recently accredited at 3* level, one of only two
Architects in Scotland to achieve this. For more information on the accreditation
scheme, see RIAS
Locate are re-locating
We are soon moving to new premises. From the 13th September we will be
based at 30/3 High Street, Portobello, EH15 1DD. Phone, fax and email
numbers will remain the same.
Buccleuch Heritage Hardwoods