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9th July 2009, 11:17am
More green gongs for Hill Holt Wood
Woodland Community Hall Hill Holt Wood has scooped three more national awards for its pioneering environmental sustainability work.

The social enterprise project, based at Norton Disney, near Lincoln, was crowned Champion of Champions at the Green Apple Awards 2009, organised by the Green Organisation.

The title was the most coveted accolade available at the national awards ceremony.

Hill Holt Wood also won Gold in the Housing Association’s Green Apple Award for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage 2009 and was named Green Champion 2009.

The honours were recognition the contribution made to the national sustainability agenda by Hill Holt Wood’s innovative Woodland Community Hall project – a range of autonomous eco-buildings designed and constructed in partnership with the University of Lincoln and Simons Design Limited.

The hall, which is being built using locally-sourced materials, incorporates the latest low-energy design principles and exceeds all current building regulations. It is intended to act as an exemplar for future ‘off-the-grid’ sustainable building projects.

Hill Holt Wood was nominated for the Green Apple Awards by WREN, one of the project’s main sponsors.
Karen Lowthrop, CEO at Hill Holt Wood, collected the three awards on behalf of the team.

She said: "In partnership with Simons Design Limited and the School of Architecture at the University of Lincoln, this self-build project has been carried to completion by our in-house team of rangers, learners and volunteers, without whom this project would not have got off the drawing board. We are of course grateful to our main sponsors WREN for all of their support, which is so critical to the project. It is a real honour to be named the Champion of Champions. It is great recognition of the contribution that Social Enterprise makes to protect the environment."

The blueprint for the Woodland Community Hall was designed by Dr Behzad Sodagar and his students from the University of Lincoln’s School of Architecture in 2005/06. Rosi Fieldson, Senior Architect at Lincoln-based practice Simons Design Limited, was part of the panel for the student reviews and the practice became involved pro bono in the development of the chosen scheme for the detailed planning submission.

Dr Behzad Sodagar, Reader in Architecture and Co-Director of the Centre for Sustainable Architecture and Built Environments at the University of Lincoln said: “The project was set up in 2005 as part of the Hill Holt Wood research-based Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) - a scheme that brings together UK businesses and academic partners in joint projects. The project demonstrated the effectiveness of integrating teaching and research. It brought a wide range of expertise and knowledge together to achieve a truly sustainable building which has been used as a learning and teaching tool for other projects we have been involved in.”

Mike Kennedy, Chairman of the WREN Lincolnshire Advisory Panel, which nominated Hill Holt Wood for the awards, said: "The WREN Lincolnshire Advisory Panel had faith in this eco community project and Hill Holt Wood to deliver an outstanding building of the highest standards. The awards it has won confirm that faith and are the equivalent of environmental academy awards. The project will be a lasting benefit to many, many people in the future.”

The Green Apple Awards follow Hill Holt Wood’s recent success at the Knowledge Transfer Partnership Awards 2009, where it claimed the Award for Best Application of Social or Management Science.

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