Tulse Hill Community Build

Tulse Hill Neighbourhood Project 

We are so proud of this ground-breaking community project! 

Designed by Straw Works so that it can easily be built by non-professionals – yes, that’s possible even with a building as large as this with an internal floor area of 466m2 over 3 floors.  

Richard Dormandy @strawvic

We have worked closely with Richard Dormandy, the inspirational vicar (@strawvic), the church community, and the Diocesan Architectural Committee (DAC) of the Anglican Church. Jakub Wihan of Straw Works is the lead designer and he has developed and maintained a close working relationship with Richard that means together we have been able to make sure all our environmental principles for a healthy, natural building can be realised without compromise. 

Using our flexible foundation designs we have been able to keep the depth of trenches far less than that required for poured cement, thus making it possible for non-professionals, under supervision from the School of Natural Building, to build them themselves. This has resulted in a massive saving for the Church of £100,000!!! Most people frankly don’t believe us when we tell them that. 

For this building we had independent load tests done on the car tyre foundations as there are some quite large point loads because of the posts. We are delighted to say all tests passed with flying colours – we have shown that car tyre foundations can carry loads of at least 1000KN/m2 – more than this building requires. 

Here you’ll see in practice the smaller dimension timbers being used for posts and framing, that have been built by volunteers under supervision. 

This is a hybrid building, with a timber frame partially supported by compressed straw walls. The School of Natural Building (SNaB) has already run several car tyre training courses to help build the foundations, and will be running strawbale building courses to build the walls in September 2018.