On the 15th of May 2023 the long-awaited office rebuild began with the demolition of our existing offices. For the duration, all of our staff are working in the (fairly cramped) Meeting Room built in 2011 by Future Proof Building with a legacy from Norman Alderson.
The rebuild is being funded by legacies from the Late Peter Blood and others and built by Future Proof Building who build timber frame buildings, using local timber where possible, which enables them to produce structures quickly and efficiently with precise detailing, maximum insulation and very energy-efficient buildings that are consistent with passive design principle. Huge thanks must go to Darren Thomas of A-Tec Design for designing the building and doing the drawings for the planning application and building control. We are truly grateful for his support.
We plan to record the building process throughout and will be posting pictures regularly.
They began with the old staff Team Room.
Much of the material has been reclaimed and everything possible will be recycled.
Week 2 – Day 6
By early June we had the block work in position and by the 15th they had been filled and the ground between them smoothed over. You can see from the photographs how stony the ground is here. There is now a wait for the steel supports for the floor to arrive.
On the 30th the steel arrived and by the end. of the day they were in place. On Monday 3rd July there was wood on the steel and the first uprights could be seen.
The framework was going up fast – 4th & 5th July.
More of the framework was up on the 6th and the first sheets of waferboard went up on the 10th July.
The view from the LLP on the 10th, you can see the Meeting Room where all the staff are working on the right and our solar panels in the foreground.
On the 12th the first load of concrete beams for the floor arrived and the builders began to lay them and they began work on one of the internal partitions. By the morning of the 13th it looked like this.
By the 17th most of the floor was down, just waiting for another delivery of blocks. Then they started on the roof beams, by the end of the 20th the largest part of the building had all its beams.
On the 21st the beams for the conservation team office went in.
Over the next week the roof noggins went in, and the interior boarding went up. On the 31st July it looked like this.
On the 3rd and 4th August the roof boards went on.
Although it was quite dark inside, we took some pictures of the inside space after the roof went on.
On the 7th the first of the window frames went in and on the 8th the framework was added to the roof edges. Insulation arrived on the 9th and by the end of the day some of the walls were insulated.
More insulation arrived on the 10th and more window frames went in.
Later in the day some of the glass was fitted and the roof was insulated.
On the 11th the roof was covered with Sarnafill which has a life expectancy of 40+ years. The following week the skylights went on the Conservation Room making it a dry space.
The following week the builders started adding rigid insulation, breather paper and battens for the larch boarding outside.
Inside, the plumbing and wiring was beginning.
Week 15 – August
Work continued outside adding the rigid insulation, breather paper and battens. Scaffolding arrived and soffit boards were added under the roof overhang. Facia boards were cut to match the Meeting Room, using local larch planks sourced from the Teign Valley.
Week 16 – August
By the 30th most of the facia boards were up and by the 1st, the rodent-proofing, to stop anything moving into the walls, was complete and we had guttering over the main entrance..
Week 17- September
With the start of September, better weather arrived. On Monday 4th the final facia boards and gutter were fitted on the Meeting Room side of the building. Inside the fire alarm system wiring was being installed.
More materials arrived on the 5th. First, we had the insulation for the floors. Then the Siberian Larch cladding, to match the Meeting Room, for the exterior, almost a kilometre of 150mm boards.
On the 6th the cladding was started on the back of the building.
By the end of the 7th they were most of the way up the back wall.
At the beginning of the week the back wall was almost finished and they began work on the next one. Progress was rapid and by the end of the 12th the cladding almost reached the windows and the top of the door.
On the 15th they began insulating the floor in preparation for the under-floor heating due to be fitted the following week. First came the plastic damp-proof layer and then the insulation. By the end of the day they had done the Conservation and Admin rooms.
On the 18th September they began work on insulating the remaining floors, starting with the loos.
On the 19th the plumbers were back to start on the underfloor heating whilst outside the cladding continued, with a break on the 20th due to atrocious weather.
Work progressed well on completing the outside cladding this week and starting the small balcony outside the Conservation and Admin Office doors. On the 28th the concrete was laid inside over the underfloor heating pipes.
Once the concrete floors were dry the ceilings throughout the building were fitted with plasterboard.
Fire regulations mean that all the outside walls also have to be lined on the inside with plasterboard before cladding with the pine panelling that will be the finished surface. The plasterers arrived at the end of the week and plastered the ceilings of the toilet area and the Admin Office.
Windowsills were fitted and the doorway and stairs to the Meeting Room were created.
Painting the plastered ceilings was started in the Admin room.
On Wednesday the plasterers were back and the pine panelling was being cut for the walls.
The bathroom area was the first to be panelled
And now for the Admin Room
24th October – kitchen ready for panelling and Conservation room started. By the end of October the panelling was complete in the Conservation Office
On the 1st November the kitchen panelling was complete and the doors began going on in the bathroom area. On the 2nd all the doors were fitted in the bathroom and the one to the heat pump cupboard in the kitchen.
The framing around the window in the Conservation room was completed and the entrance corridor was now panelled on both sides.
On the 6th November the Air Source Heat Pump arrived along with the water cylinder for the Heat Pump cupboard. Meanwhile the plasterboard was going up in the loos.
On the 7th panoramic photos of the Conservation and Admin rooms were taken. Plumbing was happening in the loos and electric sockets were being fitted.
On the 8th the loos were ready for plastering and the electrician was in again. By the 10th we had working lights in the entrance corridor, the loos were plastered, more of the heat pump gubbins was fitted in the cupboard and the wiring for the electrical circuit board and the network was in position.
All of the pine walls needed 3 coats of intumescent (fire retardant) varnish, so that was started on the 10th and continued into the following week. The kitchen was ordered on the 13th, thank you Howdens for a significant discount. The final bits of plastering were being done on the 14th and the door frames were being varnished. Kitchen assembly began on the 16th and the 17th. Simon, the electrician was here all week. On the 19th volunteer Nick came in to begin painting the bathroom doors, red, blue, green and yellow for the shower room, and the door to the heat pump cupboard (green).
Whilst the rebuild has been going on our staff have been working in the Meeting Room with the Conservation Team on one side and the Admin Team on the other. Two of the CT team have been working from home and we’ve now squeezed another one in on this side. Only one of the six dogs in the office on this day can be seen in the picture. They are all looking forward to moving into the new office!
The kitchen cupboard doors went on the week beginning the 20th and the sink was fitted. Lights were working in the Conservation Office; more work was done on the heat pump and on the 23rd the Admin room work surfaces were installed. The shower was fitted and sinks appeared in toilets by the 24th and the electric connection was moved from the Meeting Room to the new distribution board in the new Admin office necessitating a power cut for several hours.
Work began on the outside steps by the main entrance on the 27th and inside the office the thermostats to control the under-floor heating temperature were fitted in each room. Outside lights were fitted on the 28th and on the 29th our outbuildings had the power reconnected and our aviary light were working again, they had all been disconnected in April.