The project, to build a new community hall, was the culmination of ten years of fund-raising by the local community of the Norfolk village of Neatishead, together with a grant of £177,000 from the Big Lottery Fund. The new hall replaced the old Victorian Hall.
- The works involved construction of a 153 square-metre main hall and a meeting room of 29 square-metres.
- A car park for up to 26 cars was created
- Play area
- Fit out of commercial grade kitchen facilities
- Internal overhead projector system with concealed speakers
- Children’s wet play area with low level units
- Stage are with ‘wings’ for cast members
- Curved meeting room for committees and private hire including refreshment facilities.
- The village hall building is one of the most environmentally friendly in Britain.
- Constructed with a timber frame, straw bales and shredded newspaper for insulation.
- It costs about a third less to build than a conventional brick building
- It eliminates the need for any further insulation, yet buildings stay warm in winter and cool in summer.
- Heating costs are greatly reduced with savings of up to 75%
- Tightly-packed straw bales are considered less of a fire risk than many conventional materials, take little energy to make, with all the straw coming from neighbouring fields and provide excelled sound-proofing.
- The local community were actively encouraged to participate in the construction phase where appropriate. 170 people helped move the straw bales from nearby fields on to the site and some 20 volunteers helped to render the straw bale circular meeting room.
- Free training for volunteers on all aspects of straw bale construction was provided by Amazonnails, the straw bale building consultants for the project.
- CPRE Environmental Award – New Public Buildings
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