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Exeter-based LHC's Devon eco-cafe regenerates a former stable block

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Former stable blocks turned into eco-cafe using locally sourced materials

Designed by LHC, the single-storey building was built from locally quarried stone and features large glazed windows to maximise natural heat and light. It also has a green roof to enhance biodiversity.

Grass roof to attract wildlife. Photo: LHC Architects

Grass roof to attract wildlife

The cafe is a refurbishment of two stable blocks with an extension added to accommodate seating for 120 customers. By utilising an existing building the architects were presented with an opportunity to regenerate a brownfield site and a group of existing structures. The design and material application of the cafe compliments the existing materials and respects the neighbouring conservation area.

Stable block before.Photo:LHC Architecture

Stable block before

The cafe provides a view of the Devon coast. Architect Andrew Aust said: ‘All of the design elements aspire to energy saving and efficiency in terms of techniques, materials and good wholesome design.’

Sustainable strategies used in the building include:

  • Maximisation of natural day-lighting
  • High levels of insulation
  • Flexible open planning
  • Construction materials with low embodied energy and recycled materials for finishes used
  • Low VOC paints
  • The buildings plan form and orientation, allow for maximum use of natural ventilation
  • Electric hook up points have been provided to allow customers to recharge their electric cars

Project data

Location: Ness Cove, Shaldon
Type of Project: Refurbishment and new build extension
Client: Tim Bouget, Café ODE
Funding: Self funded
Tender date: January 2012
Start on site date: March 2012
Completion date: May 2012
Contract duration: 8 weeks
Gross internal floor area: 128m²
Form of contract and/or procurement: Partnering
Total Cost: £250,000
Predicted air tightness levels: 8 m³/hr/m² 
Wall u-values: 0.18W/m²K
Floor u-values: 0.25W/m²K
Roof u-values: 0.25W/m²K
Glazing u-values: 1.8W/m²K

Design team

Architects: LHC Architects
Structural Engineers: Jenkins Potter
M&E consultants: Hulley and Kirkwood Ltd
Quantity surveyor: Hart QS
Main contractor: Ease Development

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