Porth-y-parc Eco-barn

The Old Barn is a beautiful new, holiday home conversion of a nineteenth century stone barn nestling at the entrance to an old deer park in St David’s Vale at the foot of Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Jones and fraser were given a brief to use a the most sustainable, eco-friendly and appropriate materials and techniques possible in order to make this a full breathable, conscientious, low impact conversion.

The first job was to replace the badly damaged roof. With the client keen to keep as much original material as possible, Jones and Fraser were able to repair and splice much of the structural timber work. Once a mix of old and new rafters had been set, a 70mm recycled wood fibre board was used for the primary insulation.This was fixed on top, then battened and counter battened to take the reclaimed welsh roof tiles and a few conservation roof lights.

After this,the building had to undergo extensive underpinning and wall grouting, before a fully breathable limecrete floor system could be laid. This involved digging down in order to achieve adequate insulation in the form of baked clay balls and a pumice stone limecrete slab.

Next on the list was a green oak framed first floor, this was to have chamfered finishes and support post in the middle of the room. A reclaimed spiral stair was also added at this point.

The building was then insulated with sheepswool throughout. Wood wool board and hemp lime plaster was used inplace of plasterboard and gypsum. Upstairs recieved an oiled oak floor and the ground floor had an underfloor heated system incased in a recycled glass/lime screed, all run by an air source heat pump.

An aspect of this building we are particularly proud of is the ground floor, disabled access, fully breathable bathroom and wet room. The brief presented a whole host of problems firstly making something breathable and waterproof and then insulating too.. A decision was made to insulate with a micro porous calcium silicate board. Its high capillary action ensures humidity regulation and the nature of the material means that mould cannot form on its surface. The walls and floor are of the same makeup of recycled crused glass mixed with lime and an interesting additive of specially engineered nanoparticles that  have been designed to deeply penetrate and shield the microscopic pores of cement or stone (lime and glass in this case). While water and moisture are actively repelled, materials retain their ability to “breathe”. In order to create a seamless ‘tub’ the floor and walls had to be laid/plastered simitaneouly. The finish is a fantastic looking, free draining bathroom that glints light from the floor, walls and ceiling.

Jones and Fraser remain at Porth Y Parc on a similarly briefed full cottage restoration.

 

 



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