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A new natural building for Orchard Barn

Funded on Spacehive 31 July 2016

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

A new natural building for Orchard Barn

Orchard Barn By Orchard Barn

Orchard Barn needs more covered teaching space. It's time to build a new vernacular style craft room from local trees + earth. Developing deep green traditional building skills as well as community.

Ringshall Delivery stage

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This project was funded on 31 Jul 2016!

We've got planning permission to construct a new 'craft room' at Orchard Barn. This will be loosely based on a 19th century cart lodge that was way beyond repair when we started renovating the main barn. We plan to utilise human energy and traditional skills in the construction because we want to show what is possible when people choose to work together, and because it keeps the cost down. We've been given the trees for the craft room, run a couple of courses and made a start with the new building. We've also started making the clay lump blocks. Now all we need is the money to be able to pay the traditional craftsperson to come and teach our local volunteers the skills so we can get on and complete the round-wood timber frame. We also have to pay for Building Regs. We anticipate over 30 volunteers will learn new skills during the build and many thousands of people will benefit from the new craft room. With YOUR support we'll achieve our goal:)

What we'll deliver:

  • Construct a timber frame for our new craft room
  • Showcase tree to timber construction
  • Involve our local community in the build
  • Provide free instruction in traditional building techniques
  • Raise the profile of deep green constuction methods

Why it's a great idea:

Imagine an explosion of low tech structures being made by local people from local/natural materials. By donating to this project you will enable people to learn and work collectively, and the confidence and friendships that go with that experience, also the know-how and detail to start their own community project. The construction of a new craft room is a great idea because it will provide us with additional space in which to teach traditional skills. Building it with local materials in a vernacular style gives us the opportunity to re-enact the historic process and give participants skills in low-tech building. The project reinforces our community objective and gives us a shared focus to work on. The new building will be a unique example of what can be achieved when local people choose to work together using hand tools and a traditional approach. SUSTAINABILITY IN ACTION - natural and traditional and beautiful to boot!!

Steps to get it done:

  • Make 300 clay lump blocks and build with them
  • Preparation of 5 trees for main posts, dig and erect posts
  • Prepare and fit wall plates to back and front wall
  • We will convert a further 26 trees into rafters
  • We will deliver 10 days of free training
  • We will employ the services of a local craftspeople to teach volunteers carpentry skills
  • Raise the roof onto the wall plates
  • We will set dates and promote the free training

To THANK-YOU for your donations...... For £20 we'll put your name on one of the roundwood Elm rafters in the roof (visible underneath) For £50 we'll put a name of your choice on a wooden wizard house to adorn your garden For £75 we'll give you a day course in how to make your own wizard house (greenwood working skills) For £100 we'll give you a day on a timber frame course learning how to work with green oak Since starting OBee Community Interest Company we have worked with over 1600 people in the restoration of our 17th century timber frame barn. During this time we have developed project management skills and successfully completed projects such as the hand-cut roof with over 20,000 oak roof tiles, the wheelchair friendly boardwalk to our compost toilet, tool shed, reception area. A new craft room will increase our capacity to work with the local community in all things green and sustainable. YOUR donation is greatly appreciated. THANK-YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT:)

Location Ringshall

About the space

Orchard Barn is a C17 barn in 1.5 acres of ancient orchard.


Mid Suffolk District Council

How will the money be spent?Total £7,350

Volunteer time to make 300 earth blocks - £1,750 (24%)
Craftsperson A 7 days - £1,617 (22%)
Volunteer time to choose/prep trees 2 people x 4 days - £1,600 (22%)
volunteer time to project manage campaign 5 days - £1,000 (14%)
PR and volunteer recruitment 4 days - £800 (11%)
Building Regulations fee - £414 (6%)
fixings - £35 (0%)
Other - £134 (2%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Volunteer time to make 300 earth blocks
Craftsperson A 7 days
Volunteer time to choose/prep trees 2 people x 4 days
volunteer time to project manage campaign 5 days
PR and volunteer recruitment 4 days
Building Regulations fee
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • VAT
  • Transaction Fees

Total £7,350

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.

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