A humble farm project in Loddington, a tiny village in the Leicestershire countryside (UK), has been celebrated with a 2012 Property and Construction Award for sustainable development. The former brick cattle shed has been transformed by architect Sylvester Cheung of Parkinson, Dodson & Cheung into an eco-friendly visitor centre which now hosts a series of training sessions for local farmers and policy makers on environmental issues.
The project used local materials from Allerton Project Farm - owned by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) - including straw for the walls, sheep fleece for insulation and wood chips for the biomass boiler. Rainwater harvesting systems are also in place.
Sylvester Cheung, who entered the project for the ProCon Award, explains: “The GWCT’s Allerton Project was certainly a challenge. However, there was valuable knowledge gained throughout. This was an educational vision which resulted in an inspiring architectural project, embracing professional and community involvement to sourcing of materials - all showing that investment in our countryside need not be neglected and sustainable rural developments are achievable.”