Mains of Branshogle
Work was completed at Mains of Branshogle in Stirlingshire to extend and remodel two existing farm cottages. The project required a strong ecological approach. To take advantage of passive solar gain and to use the massive stone external walls as a heat sink, a sun porch runs the entire length of the south elevation. The thermal mass potential of the existing perimeter walls has been exploited by insulating the masonry on the outside face, using sheep's wool quilt overlaid with reed lath and finished with soft lime plaster, thereby retaining internally-generated heat within the building fabric.
A new extension was constructed on the footprint of a derelict barn which was used as a source of salvaged stone to create the plinth courses of the new structure. The main frame of the extension is a pegged green oak assembly using locally felled timbers, infilled with a "breathing wall" construction made up of heavily insulated timber panels, externally clad with untreated larch boarding and lined internally with unfired clay bricks. This reverses the "conventional" timber frame construction creating more thermal mass on the inside of the structure. Solar panels and a wood burning stove provide heat to the underfloor and radiator heating systems.
With the help of volunteers, a straw bale donkey house and garage were constructed. These were finished with lime harling and limewash to match the main house, and a sedum blanket roof to marry it to the landscape.