Portfolio The Bivouac

A new eco-tourism project, The Bivouac at High Knowle has been created from derelict barns and new cabins with every effort being made to lower the buildings’ carbon footprint.

Native converted and renovated the old barns, considering every aspect of the buildings’ fabric to reduce energy use. As much wood as possible was locally sourced; timber species were selected for their weather-resistant properties to avoid chemical treatment; fresh water is supplied by a spring and grey water recycled, with all waste water passed through a reed-bed to a soak-away, which means not only is a septic tank avoided, but biodiversity is increased.

A central woodchip-fuelled boiler heats the barns; the café’s food is local, as are the staff. To complete the picture, the project is close to a footpath and cycleway so many visitors don’t arrive by car.

A Building Regulations calculation for permissible carbon dioxide emissions allowed 46Kg/m2, but the building only emits 7Kg/m2!

Helen Whitehead Award Winner – Best Overall Project