'THE CENTRE FOR ALTERNATIVE FARMING'
Over the next 40 years, the world is expected to build over 230 billion square metres of new construction, adding the equivalent of Paris every single week. Today, we are operating at a global rate of consumption that requires the resources of 1.75 Earth’s. Simply put, the planets raw materials are finite and they are running out. We need to find alternative ways to source construction materials; could agricultural waste be an answer?
In essence, this project aims to achieve two things; reduce natural resource deprivation, and provide a pathway for farms to manage their waste more efficiently. In the context of Brexit and veganism, the farming industry is at a tipping point and new ways of thinking and are needed. The UK’s 2.73 million cows collectively produce over 36 million tonnes of manure every year, enough to fill the shard 78 times over. Safely disposing of this vast quantity of toxic waste is a serious and expensive challenge for farmers. I am proposing to first, convert excess cow manure into electricity, and then to transform the secondary waste by-product, digestate, into a building material, used to construct the Centre for Alternative Farming (CAF), an open-source educational facility. The site, Worthy Farm within Glastonbury Festival, acts as a test-bed and global platform to showcase an alternative vision of the future of farming. A local solution to the planets prodigious poo problem.
The outer skin of the structure consists of three self supporting brick vaults built from shit bricks and a lean-to canopy built from maize husk.
The internal timber frame structure sits independently from the outer skin designed as a lightweight modular system that can be reconfigured to meet future programmatic requirement.
VIEW FROM THE FESTIVAL
VIEW FROM THE FARM
The design is inspired by surrounding local agricultural dutch barn structures. These structures are are typically built from steel with high embodied carbon and there are many left vacant across Somerset. My ambition was to suggest an alternative dutch barn typology built entirely from local and readily available organic waste.
The proposal is situated towards
the south east corner of the farm adjacent to an existing digestate tank and maize storage. Part of the challenge has been designing within the contrast between fast and slow and rural & urban. The ambition is that the building itself remains part of the rural context of the farm, but the material and educational output become an integrated part of the urban context of the festival.
'BUILDING AS PART
The ambition is that parts of the construction of the building are completed through a series of educational builds by those attending CAF. In addition, material driven courses offered within the facility will culminate in the form of live built spatial installations and artworks that could exhibited during the festival.
'GLASTONBURY'S DIGESTIVE SYSTEM'
THINKING OF GLASTONBURY AS A SERIES OF BODY PARTS
'THE PROJECT IS A JOURNEY OF MATERIAL EXPLORATION, STARTING FROM THE VIEW OUTSIDE MY WINDOW.'
RESEARCH & EDUCATION
In the context of Brexit, corona virus and veganism, the farming industry is at a tipping point and new ways of thinking and are needed. My proposal aims to provided a research and educational platform and creative commons - the start of something bigger. Thinking globally, acting locally.
BUILDING WITH MAIZE
Learn how to build natural,
biodegradable materials from
material research experts.....
FARMING OF THE FUTURE
What does the future hold for farming? Be part of a discussion that could shape our future of food....
SHIT BRICK WORKSHOP
Learn how to make bricks out of waste cow manure. Step into the world organic waste building materiasls.....
Transform your organic waste into biogas and sustainable energy. Learn how to build a micro anaerobic digester.....
Come and learn from world leading experts on how to manage your agricultural waste more effectively.....
Can farming move away from mitigation and towards regeneration? Learn how to work with nature.....
FOR ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGY
SHIT BRICK WORKSHOP
The shit brick workshop will produce a range of bricks with different ratios of digestate: clay. The bricks are either air dried or fired in a bio gas powered kiln and then stored ready for distortion. The ambition is that the bricks will provide a bespoke sustainable alternative to conventional bricks to be used within the local built environment.
'WHAT DOES THE SHIT BRICK WANT TO BE?'
'THE 8 SHADES OF SHIT'
MAKING THE BRICKS
Bricks with a shit:clay ratio of less than 50:50 are fired in a bio gas fired kiln (from AD plant). These bricks are suitable for external, internal, and structural use.
The solid digestate (5,000L p/day) is mixed with local clay and straw to form the ingredients for making bricks. This enough to make 3,000 100% shit bricks or 6,000 50% shit bricks p/day.
Bricks with a shit:clay ratio of more than 50:50 are sun or air dried for 14 days. These bricks are suitable for internal, infill, and structural use.