Building Plot: The Eden Project, Cornwall, UK I 2008-2010
Building Plot #1 Material Testing
Since the decline of tin mining, china clay extraction, fishing and agriculture in Cornwall, the area is recognised as one of the poorest in the UK. It is one of four UK areas that qualify for poverty-related grants from the EU. To begin to address some of the issues around the lack of employment in the area ASF, in partnership with the Eden Project, are developing a small piece of land, ideally located adjacent to the Alchemy Building and opposite Eden’s Waste Neutral Centre which will act as an ongoing laboratory for training and experimentation, and will become a show place of innovation of products and construction technologies derived from waste.
Building Plot #2 Harvest Mapping
Waste materials from a number of industrial sectors could be made useful for new buildings, diverting valuable resources from landfill. An efficient process of identification, collection, innovative re-design, and distribution is required to realise such a programme. Currently, knowledge of locally specific waste resources available in the south west of England simply does not exist. The ‘harvest map’ process seeks to provide the first link in a process desperately needed to ensure potentially useful materials are made available to designers for reuse and ‘superuse’ in the construction of innovative new buildings.
Building Plot #3 Pod Construction
A fundamental method of reducing waste generation is through the innovative reuse of materials and resources for new products and building components. The challenge set was to utilise waste materials available in the locality of the Eden Project (as identified previously through the ‘harvest mapping’ Workshop) to create a small workshop ‘pod’ which could be used by the Eden Project and ASF-UK for future workshops, raising awareness of the possibilities for reusing local waste materials in construction.
Building Plot #4
The Building Plot 2010 addressed methods for constructing a structure and enclosure built entirely from reclaimed/waste materials using largely volunteer-unskilled labour guided by building professionals. The workshops also served as a method for assessing how learning outcomes from this workshop could be scaled up in the future into replicable and accredited courses.