Re-Foresting A Strategy for Productive Villages LEEDS BECKETT UNIVERSITY Design Studio 3 & 4 Cityzen Agency Simon Feather
Re-Foresting: A Strategy for Productive Villages My Project ‘Re-foresting’ is a set of nine productive model villages located along the M62, and within the ‘Northern Forest’. Each village uses the environmental conditions associated with their unique location to grow a different selection of tree species. The harvested materials are used to manufacture the villages’ future timber buildings.’ The project aims to promote the use of locally grown timber and revitalise the UK’s timber industry. My project has emerged out of the climate crisis. Trees are part of this solution and in many ways. Decisions on the trees we plant today will ensure that timber is put to its most effective use to offset the climate crisis and sustainable lifestyles. There is a lack of production vision within the Northern Forest. I think that architects and designers should have input into what we plant within this new forest, as they will ultimately be the ones designing with them once they are ready for harvest. Problem Currently there are two major tree diseases in the UK. The Forestry Commission is actively seeking to plant more diverse commercial forests to remove the risks associated with diseases and monoculture forests. Architects can help define these alternative timbers by making more informed choices, and not just specifying ‘wood’. Process The project examines the Northern Forest and uses cartography to locate specific areas where alternative trees could be planted. The different conditions analysed where soil types, woodland cover, rain fall, land use, flood zones and soil depths. A detailed analysis of UK woodlands and it’s tree’s was undertaken. Their individual characteristics helped to generate a selection of species which would benefit the construction industry. A growth time has been associated to each species. A maximum of 90 years has been used to ensure a house can be built within a given persons lifetime. Proposal The proposal is nine model villages set along the M62 corridor. They grow and harvest diverse forests in order to build timber homes. The process aims to solve the housing crisis, increase woodland cover, support ecology, generate healthy places to live, help the climate crisis and support the British timber industry.
Has planted 150 million trees per year for decades ensuring their forests are always increasing.
In 2019 13.1 million HA of Siberian forests were on fire.
Great Green Wall of China
Aims to plant 88 million acres of protective forests, in a belt 3,000 miles long.
Only 1 percent logged annually
The Northern Forest 50 million trees by 2032.
50 million trees over for 24 hours.
Social afforestation movement to generate businesses, improve air quality and reduce flooding.
Aims to plant 10 billion trees
African Green Wall
6,000 miles of reforesting
Republic of the Congo
Annual woodland loss of 311,000 HA .
20% lost since the 1970s.
777,000 HA loss of forests between 2001 and 2015
168 493 km2 of rainforest converted to palm oil plantations since 1973.
World Planting Projects The major world planting projects are achieving high numbers of new trees but, the new trees are limited in species and those which are planted are quick growing softwoods. Quick growing species absorb much CO2 than slower grown hardwoods and Monocultural forests are generally bad for ecology.
27.2 million acr of Forests burne 2 months in 201
If we are going to plant at this scale, we are talking billions of trees then it deserves a comprehensive planting strategy which would provide much more benefits. 4
res ed in 19.
European Planting Whilst having a high forest cover is great for absorbing Co2 and provides countries such as Finland and Sweden with a productive timber industry; the limited varieties of tree species that these two countries grow causes other issues. Monoculture forests are those which are lacking in tree species. They prevent light getting to the ground cover and the limited food on offer results in a poor habitat for woodland ecology. Future threats of tree diseases could have huge impacts on nations which priorities growing one or two types of tree.
Mono-culture Vs Multi-species forest Commercial forests in the UK, which are planted to supply the demand for the construction industry, are limited in species of tree. Spruce, pine and larch make up the majority of UK stock. This is causing unhealthy monoculture forests. Architects and other members of the construction industry should be increasingly aware about the choices we make when specifying timbers. The choice can play an important role in addressing the combined challenges of; supplying sustainable buildings, climate change, supporting our local ecosystems as well as balancing social and economic factors. So much of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s discussions about timber buildings involves cost, speed of delivery, lifespan, aesthetics and performance. Very little thought is given to the choice of timber, its specific characteristics, origin and the role that the tree may have played in our forests ecosystem. Major forest organisations are actively looking to plant a more diverse range of trees in order to create more resilient forests. These actions follow the threats caused by tree diseases and climate change. The next step is to find uses for these alternative timbers and how these trees can be selected for use in the construction industry.
Timber Building Studies The buildings and structures included here, look at the timbers used and their origins. Our new buildings should be created in reflection of the same methodology as the Trafalgar warship. If we used more locally sourced timber we would support our economies, improve our forest eco system and create a unique architecture with traditional links. The architects of the following building studies were contacted directly about how they sourced and used timbers. Yew Used for planks below the water line and tool handles.
Rowan Used to make bowls and plates.
Elm Used to make planking which features below the water line.
Poplar Used to make gun powder boxes.
Birch Used for the tool handles.
Hornbeam Used to make the ships wheel.
Trafalgar Warship Eleven different timbers were used to construct HMS Trafalgar, launched in 1765. All where grown in the UK and each timber was chosen specifically for its characteristics and the function it will serve. For example, most of the internal furniture was made from Beech. Beech has a fine grain which allows for carpenters to create intricate detail. Elm was used for all planks used below the water line. Elm has a tight grain, preventing rot. Pine was used for the masts as it was more flexible. New buildings need to be created in reflection of the same methodology as this warship as we cannot limit the amounts of timber we use in our buildings to just one, two or three.
Pine Used to construct the frames of the masts.
Hazel Used to construct wooden barrels or casks.
Alder Charcoal was kept on board in order to keep places and objects dry.
Oak Used for the main frame and hull of the ship. 7
Beech Used for the furniture.
Tree Taxonomy Our timber buildings have been designed mostly using whatever timber has been available at that given time. My architectural proposition will be a building which didnt just specify wood; but chose specifically the species best suited for the appliation. I really wanted to dispel the myth that one timber can do all applications. My aim was find uses for all the trees suitable for the UK climate. A study into each tree species taught me each species has different strengths and weaknesses. Each species could be assigned to a specific use or component within the building. This would also justify the requirement to grow the wide variety of trees shown here on a commercial scale.
Western Red Hemlock
The Northern Forest The Northern Forest is currently the largest planting project in the UK. It aims to plant 50 million trees from Liverpool to Hull. A major part of my design process was mapping the Northern Forest. Mapping allowed me to explore typography, land use, environmental conditions, ecology requirements and woodland cover at different scales. This design process allowed me to explore lots of potential project ideas before looking into the lack of production vision within the Northern Forest. Cartography supports the idea of investigating at different scales. For example, looking at soil types, woodland cover and rain fall was appropriate at a large 1:25,000 scale. Flood zones, soil depths and land use were more appropriate at 1:5,000 scale. This method allowed me to leave out unknown elements and reduce unnecessary complexity. The M62 is only about 130miles but across this territory is so many different environmental factors that would help define where we plant trees. For example, Manchester gets twice as much rainfall as Hull. But the East side of the country suffers more with flooding, and there is numerous different soil types and soil depths. I chose 9 locations and I assigned each site a different selection of trees that are best suited to those conditions. What started to develop was a series of model villages, each site would plant, grow, harvest and then use the timber for constructing future houses, helping to solve the housing crisis. Each site would make something different but collectively the 9 sites would generate all the components needed to build a complete timber home. I think this would be a catalyst for the UK to develop a successful timber industry. I developed a hierarchy for locating available land. The hierarchy for locating land was in the following order: access to transport links, availability of land, soil type classification and soil depths. I was able to symbolise these different features, allowing me determine all potential development sites.
“By planting trees in our grasslands you can transform the habitat for the benefit our ecology”. Forest of Bradford Volunteers
Green Rail & Road Networks
Figure 1 Riddlesden Golf Club Planting Photographs
“It’s important to connect up woodlands to allow wildlife to roam more safely and freely.” Forest of Bradford Volunteers
Green Rail & Road Networks
Figure 2 Ogden Water Planting Photographs
Figure 83 Photograph of the M62 Motoway.
Figure 3 Initial woodland connection proposal. 1. Develop and expand existing woodland. 2. Connect each site via a woodland corridor. 3. Trade timber between each site in order to create new timber homes.
Figure 4 Initial woodland connection proposal. 1. Develop and expand existing woodland. 2. Connect each site via a woodland corridor. 3. Trade timber between each site in order to create new timber homes. 4. Further planting to reflect quantities used within new buildings.
The Northern Forest Vs Commuter Estates Marketing information for the Northern Forest illustrates the M62 being transformed into a super green highway. But actually when you drive down the M62 all new development is low density, undesirable commuter estates, where the levels of hard surfaces outweigh any type of soft landscaping.
Proposed New Villages
Proposed Woodland Expansion
Proposed New Villages
Proposed Woodland Expansion
Proposed New Villages
Proposed Woodland Expansion
Figure 5 Developments and woodland expansion to comprise of 3 stages. 1. Initial single site indentification and restoration. 2. 9 major sites identified, restored and connected. 3. Numerous small scale interventions to expand from completed sites.
M62 Pho 24
M62 Photo Collage 27
Figure 6 Specific soil type maps outlining the individual soil types across the UK.
Figure 7 Specific soil type maps outlining the individual soil types across the UK.
BRIEF & QUANTITIES Manufacturing Manufacturing Plant - 500sqm Warehouse & Storage - 750sqm Timber Yard - 2000sqm
Community Area School, Nursery & college Shops, Restaurants & Bars Sports Centre
Residential Area - 140 Total 2 Bed Houses - 40 3 Bed Houses - 50 4 Bed Houses - 60
Total On-site Factory Workers Factory Workers - 40 Factory Manager - 2 Design Team - 5 Sales Team - 6 Woodland Maintenance & Creation - 10 Distrobution & Transport - 10
+ Future Expansion
New Woodland Amenity Woodland - 40 Ha Commercial Woodland - 100Ha Controlled Climate Growing Area - 25 Ha Visitors Visitors Car Park - 110 Spaces Visitors Centre - 80 sqm Tourist Attraction Proposed Observation Tower / Aerial Walkway Contemporary Model Village Concept
Utilising existing access routes and woodlands.
Categorising land uses and activities.
Calculating total number of dwellings requir
Further increasing the level of open green sp
Providing hierarchy to terraces.
Locating trees to enhance experience and complement activity.
Quantifying numbers of each tree species. 36
Looking into manufacturing processes.
Installing district services and activating streets with different activities.
16 16 6 7
Building Legend 1 Community Civic Building 2 Central Park 3 Community Civic Building 4 Community Orchard 5 Shops, Sports, Bars, Restaurants 6 Workshops 7 Low Rise Apartments 8 Community Green Space 9 Typcial Terraced Street 10 Education Building Key Stage 3 & 4 11 College 12 Medium Rise Apartments 13 Glulam Manufacturing Plant 14 Timber Yard 15 CLT & LVL Manufactuing Plant 16 Outdoor Activity Area 17 Formal Garden
7 5 11
6 6 6
Ensuring pedestrians have priority.
Looking into manufacturing processes.
Strategy for timber use. 40
1 Community Civic Building 2 Central Park 3 Community Civic Building 4 Community Orchard 5 Low Rise Apartments 6 Workshop 7 Community Green Space 8 School Nursery 9 Typcial Terraced House 10 Outdoor Activity Area 11 Workshop - Doors 12 Shops, Bars, Restaurants 13 Workshop - Windows 14 Workshop - Cladding 15 Workshop - Furniture 16 Workshop - Stairs 17 Workshop - Structural Timber 18 Workshop - Internal Finishes 19 Workshop - Timber Fibre Insulation 20 Sports Centre 5
Distances between buildings.
Open after hours. 41
Timber Shingle Roof Pitch Roof Terrace
Cladding difficult to change
Bathroom / Balcony Bedrooms
Interaction Potential within Neighbouring Properties Lounge
Timber to have high resistance UV rays on South
Medium weight structure
Kitchen / Diner / Balcony Study / Bathroom Workshop / Balcony
Cladding easy to change
Entrance Solar Gain from Primary South Facing Layout
Ease of Extension from Shallow Plan
Light Filled Floor Plans from Shallow Plan
Interaction Between Floors
Views of Forest
Structure and External Timber Use
Heavy weight structure Timber to have high resistance to rot on North elevation
Typical Terrace - South Elevation 1:200
Typical Terrace - North Elevation 1:200
A major issue with UK timber is that very few species have strength classifications. To achieve a strength classification it takes thousands of the same timber to be put through a rigorous and distructive test to understand its abilities. Because our timbers dont have strength classification they are not used within construction. To ackowledge this, I have designed using a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;worst caseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; scenario. Timber is better is compression than tension. Limiting the overall span and implementing a shallow plan ensures that using timber within this structural system will not fail . Alongside wood construction can create growth of a propoerty using the identity of the owner. Away from the corporate identity that has been initially set up. The plan uses a small selection of longer 4m timbers but primarily uses 2m to 2.5m lengths. This is an efficient length of timber to extract from harvested trees. The variation in 2 - 2.5m lengths ensures trees can be selected for purpose eliminating wastage from cutting to a consistent size.
Typical Terrace Grid and Timber Lengths
Third Floor Plan
Sixth Floor Plan
Second Floor Plan
Fifth Floor Plan
Study Entrance Store A Storage / Garage
Ground Floor Plan
Fourth Floor Plan
Section A’A’ 1:50
Roof Plan 1:100
South Dwelling Elevation 1:100
Store / Garage
North Dwelling Elevation 45
Oak / Beech
Mixed Fruit Trees Cork
Wood Fibre Insulation 56
Willow Door Cladding Mixture
Figure 9 Internal images looking at timber as an aesthetic
Aspen Alder / Hornbeam