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28th January 2009, 12:03pm
Prince impressed by eco-friendly building design
HRH the Prince of Wales His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales was told how staff and students from the University of Lincoln have played their part in a major sustainable building project as he visited Lincolnshire.

Dr Behzad Sodagar, Professor Norman Cherry and Michelle Davis were among a small group of guests invited to meet the Prince as he toured Hill Holt Wood, a social enterprise project based at Norton Disney, near Lincoln, last week.

The Prince was there to see the work at Hill Holt Wood and the progress made on its sustainable Woodland Community Hall.

The design of the hall was generated through a student design competition run by the University’s Lincoln School of Architecture in 2005/06. Since this initial involvement in the project, staff and students from the University have worked alongside Hill Holt Wood and Simons Design Limited to bring the design to fruition through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

The project, when completed, will be an exemplar of sustainable construction methods.

Construction on the Woodland Community Hall began in March 2008 and is due to be completed early this year. Hill Holt Wood has been working with young people on the project, teaching them environmental conservation skills.

As well as incorporating low-energy design principles, the building features a rammed earth hall with a reciprocal frame roof – a design in which each beam is supported by, and supports, another beam in the structure.

Dr Sodagar, Reader in Architecture at the University’s Lincoln School of Architecture, described the construction of the rammed earth hall to the Prince, who is known for his passion for sustainable development.

“I explained to the Prince that the building was designed in a student competition run in my design studio in the Lincoln School of Architecture,” said Dr Sodagar. “Following this, the Prince was taken to the Hill Holt Wood offices, where two learners, with my assistance, explained to the Prince the features of the community hall and its construction, using the model of the building which was built in the workshop of the Lincoln School of Architecture a couple of years ago.”

The innovative design of the Woodland Community Hall was also the focus of a three-page feature in last week’s Architects’ Journal.

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