OFF GRID OFFICE
St Andrews University, Eden Campus.
The small office sits on an exposed site on the side of the Eden Estuary in Fife, and is completely off grid. It was designed for St Andrew’s University as a hub for their Eden Campus Energy Centre. Two curved-roof cabins are configured to create an open plan space that comfortably accommodates four researchers, a meeting space, kitchen recess and an WC with a shower.
Nine roof-mounted solar panels with a bank of eight batteries power the office. The system is capable of generating 3kw, and an inverter allows conventional appliances to be used; a monitor downloads the building’s data and tracks the generation and usage of the renewable energy.
Two Tuff Tanks, one for non-potable water and the other for the collection of waste, are serviced by tankers already visiting the site. Glass bottles of drinking water are refilled as necessary and kept chilled in the fridge. A wood burner heats the space, and a gas combi-boiler provides hot water and underfloor heating.
The Larch cladding is complimented by grey Richlite panels to the gable ends and entrance porch. Made of layers of 100% post consumer recycled paper, Richlite was chosen not only for its aesthetic and its sustainability, but also as a small tribute to the former paper mill which sat on the site for over a hundred years, and whose giant warehouses dwarf the tiny office.
The soft greens, blues and greys of the interior are borrowed from the Estuary, and the sustainable finishes include Forbo Nairn's Linoleum flooring, Furniture Linoleum and Bulletin Board all providing a functional, flexible and durable surfaces.
Double glazed full height windows fill the space with daylight, and look onto the site and the estuary’s sand flats with its spectacular and varied birdlife.
Location : St Andrews University Eden Campus, Guardbridge
Client : St Andrews University
Internal area: 34m2
Photos : Echo
Status : Built