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Walking tour CPD for Team on site at Woolsery

— 03 Mar 2022

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Grey skies didn’t dampen the spirits of the team, who last month donned their hard hats and hi-vis for a full day tour of the Woolsery project.

With a breadth of projects in varying phases, it was the perfect opportunity for the team to engage with several sites across the village at varying stages of design, construction, renovation, conservation and use.

The Farmers Arms pub, the catalyst for the village-wide project was completed in late 2018. The current projects which are ongoing at the moment are the conversion of the Grade II listed Manor house into a luxury hotel, revitalising the post office and village store, construction of new food processing building and bakery and the creation of Birch Farm.

Plans for the Manor house had to balance the conservation of the historically important building with the need to provide a sustainable use for the building and secure its long-term survival. The team were taken around the wraparound basement which will house the service block for the hotel and saw how the design and construction team had overcome the challenges of excavating adjacent to the Manor’s historic foundations. Waterproofing methods were discussed as well as the combined air and ground source heat pumps which will heat the buildings, and the green roofs which will partly cover the lower ground rooms to absorb rainwater, insulate and provide habitat to increase biodiversity.    

Some of the hotel suites will be housed on the upper floors of the shop and the team had a look around these spaces, reviewing the layouts and looking at how sound proofing will be incorporated as well as the detailing required to meet fire regulations.

After lunch and a walk around the Farmers Arms to see how the extensions and refurbished spaces have worked for the pub since they have been in use, it was a short walk through the village to Birch Farm, where Josh, the farm manager explained the vision for the farm and the ethos behind the work they are doing; kitchen garden, orchard and livestock to provide food for the pub, Manor and shop, as well as recycling their food waste to bring nutrients back into the land. The Potting Shed will provide space for a variety of uses such as functions, training and dining and is being constructed in the local vernacular with rubblestone, natural slate, timber cladding and cast iron rainwater goods, and will have stunning views across the farm.

It is unusual to be working on a project with such a variety of elements and at a variety of stages, so this was a great opportunity to explore the technical challenges the team have encountered and overcome. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is an important and necessary part of the job, but it is also valuable to get the whole team together across the two offices and share ideas and knowledge. A worthwhile day out.

Take a look at our team profiles for more info.

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