Lordship Hub is a single storey building situated next to the lake in the middle of Lordship Rec and with sustainability at its core. It was designed by Anne Thorne Architects and was carried out with a lot of involvement from the local community.
The organic shape and neutral colour integrate nicely into the surrounding landscape and the positioning allows for best use of natural light and energy.
The building is well insulated, requires the minimum of energy to run, and produces part of its own energy. It was built using natural, renewable materials with low environmental impact and the ventilation system provides good indoor air quality.
FSC certified timber foundations and primary frame
Straw bale walls – straw is a natural insulation material
Non-toxic finishes such as clay plaster and natural paints
At the time of construction a Green roof was planted, but it unfortunately never took properly . We are planning to revisit it as a future project
Roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels are perfectly orientated to make the best use of sunlight
Elevated roof section allows light to flood into the hallway and for additional air circulation. This proves to be really valuable during the COVID-19 pandemic
Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) system allows 100% fresh air into a building– while at the same time counteracting heat loss, there is no air mixing between fresh air and outgoing air. Normal ventilation systems in public buildings tend to re-circulate the air to re-circulate the heat as well. We were extremely happy to find out about this feature during the pandemic:).
‘Skirt’ of gabion walls to strengthen the timber and straw bale structure of the building
Decorative metal security screens
Planting around the building
The use of straw:
Wood, straw bales and natural render
Straw is a sustainable building material and has been used mixed with clay as long as there has been agriculture. It was first used in construction over 100 years ago. However, the straw bale infill between timber-construction as used for the Hub Building does not rely on the bales to carry the load of the building.
Benefits of Straw Bale Construction
High insulating qualities and high sound absorption
Simple, easy-to-learn construction techniques using inexpensive equipment
Straw is an inexpensive material that is usually locally available
Straw is natural and completely biodegradable
Straw is renewable in only one single growth season
Straw requires very little energy to produce and diverts farming waste material
The straw bale construction of the Hub provided a great opportunity for volunteers from the local community to get involved and was done and supervised by Straw Works, now School of Natural Building, who still regularly use the Hub to deliver courses.
Obviously a natural and bespoke building brings with it its own challenges such as finding suitable contractors, having to change the filters and heat exchange units on a seasonal basis, and even fixing pictures on the external straw bale walls can be a challenge. We have a building supervisor who is aware of many aspects of the building and a volunteer maintenance team who is eager to learn more. We are also in the fortunate position to still be able to call on Anne Thorne Architects as well as the Natural School of Building whenever we need advice.
A building like the Hub building will never be perfect, but will always retain its own natural beauty.
The Hub has been shortlisted for awards, won awards and has been featured in a number of specialist publications and journals:
The Hub was featured in the 2012 London Open House event.
In 2013, the Hub won a RICS award: Highly Commended in the community benefit category.
In 2012, the Hub was shortlisted for a Builder & Engineer Award for sustainable project of the year.
‘Lordship Hub Co-op’ is the trading name of ‘LREH Co-operative Limited’, which is a community co-operative registered in England as an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) with the Financial Conduct Authority.