Built in 1939, Burtle Village Hall in Somerset had always been a centre for the local community, but by 2009 it had become outdated, worn out and in need of replacement. After an application for Lottery funding failed, villagers decided to put their collective skills and local resources to good use in order to stop the building’s continuing descent into decay.
Apart from the availability of local craftsmen and talent, there was also an abundance of countryside materials that could be utilised. The decision was made to harness all these resources into a truly ‘green’ community led refurbishment project under the management of an experienced retired local builder.
The project involved erecting an agricultural building over the existing hall, creating additional outer walls of insulating straw bales, sitting on top of barrier forming glass bottle filled bases and covered with a straw/clay render. The space between the old and new roofs was filled with highly-insulating natural sheep fleeces stuffed into old abandoned tents. The outer shell of the building was timber clad and it was anticipated that this would mature naturally and need no further maintenance.
By 2009 the amazing project had been completed and Burtle Village Hall was once again the social hub of the community – a fully licensed venue for many different types of event organised by local groups and also an extremely popular for private celebrations, parties and other functions.
However, as time moved on the issue of how to ventilate the busy venue had to be considered more seriously. With so much going on in the busy hall, the need for effective ventilation and cooling, especially in the summer months, became an issue. The problem was the cost of carrying out the work as understandably there was only a limited budget available to make any improvements.
After some research, the village called upon the expertise of Darren Johnson, an industry expert in heating and ventilation. After careful evaluation of the venue’s requirements, he recommended the specification of cost effective ceiling air conditioning cassettes and a Vent-Axia ventilation unit. The installation would be straightforward and could be completed within a short time scale, keeping costs down. The solution has completely fulfilled the goal of providing a cost effective air comfort system in terms of both the capital outlay, installation and on-going running costs.