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Thanks to the generosity of the Mettyear Charitable Trust and Viridor Environmental Credits and many others, and the help of a property management company Lambert Smith Hampton, we have been able to agree a design and build approach with contractors ISG Jackson. Building started on time on 14th September 2009 and the hoarding finally came down on 5th March 2011.
The pv panels on one of three sides of the roof
Date: 16/02/2010
An average three bedroom household uses about 3500kW hours per year but it is possible to use considerably less and as the Pavilion is well insulated, our hope is to get our usage down to 1500kW hours per year. At night, the solar panels will not produce any electricity and then the Pavilion will automatically switch over to using electricity from the national grid.
During the day, if the panels are generating more than the Pavilion requires, the extra electricity will spill onto the national grid where it can be used by other people and for which we get paid.

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Underfloor heating goes in
Date: 16/02/2010
Our under floor heating (shown left) will be fed by a ground source heat pump (gshp) which works a bit like a fridge in reverse. Very soon we will be drilling two boreholes 80 metres deep. The white chalky water that will be produced during the drilling will be piped into the river Ouse.

However, the chalky water is NOT pollution and the Environment Agency have given their permission for the water to be discharged into the river. The work, undertaken by Nicholls Countryside Construction Ltd, will cause some disruption which we will try to keep to a minimum.

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Steel frame starts to go up
Date: 23/12/2009
Several people have asked why is there so much concrete and steel in what is supposed to be an ‘eco-friendly’ building? We hope that Up-date Two answers the point about concrete ~ we simply had to have a very firm foundation due to the ground conditions and the fact that the Ouse can flood.

But the steel question is a good one. We were very keen to use Glulam (Glued Laminated Timber) made by bonding together accurately planed timber laminations with their grain in the longitudinal direction of the wood. This forms a structural unit of great strength and stability. Our reasons were sound for two good reasons:

Evironmentally Friendly
A 305mm x 165mm steel 'I' beam has the equivalent performance of a 550mm x 135mm softwood glulam beam but requires six times the energy cost to produce. A comparable 400mm x 250mm reinforced concrete beam requires five times the energy cost to produce.

Energy Efficient
Glulam is also energy efficient in use. The well known insulation property of timber eliminates the risk of cold bridging where the frame may penetrate external elements of the structure. Its low thermal mass helps reduce fuel bills by absorbing little space heating energy.

So what happened?
The price of steel dropped so much as we were signing the ‘design and build’ contract, that we simply could not afford to have a glulam structure.

We will use the building to tell all aspects of its environmental story – of our successes such as the sedum roof and ground source heat pump but also the downside and practicalities of trying to be green when you have a limited budget. This has proved to be difficult at times and it will be important for us to share with you our vision for all aspects of the building and the practicalities with which we were confronted.

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View from the first floor of the Pavilion
Date: 11/12/2009
The first floor is up and here is the very first sight of the view up the river from the room that will be used most by the adults with learning disabilities.

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Piling rig on site
Date: 21/10/2009
Several people have commented on how quick and quiet the piling was and we are grateful for this. Fifty four piles, 300mm in diameter and 18 metres deep were drilled in four days by a rig 28 metres high. This number of piles was needed to support the main building due to ground conditions and to reduce the amount of excavated spoil. The number and extent of piling was dictated by safety issues and legislation. The work was completed by allfoundations, a National Company whose head office is in Derby but which also has a south-western division based in Watford with whom the contractors dealt.

We have tried, where possible, to reduce the carbon footprint limiting the distance travelled by suppliers and sub -contractors. This is not always possible because we have to take expertise and costs into account but it has been part of our thinking and we are pleased that ISG Jackson and Lambert Smith Hampton have tried to take this on board.

Shortly, we will need to dig a trench across the Junior Management Board entrance. This work will last a week and will be kept to a minimum and we will try to retain access to as many seats as possible! The services will be sewerage, electricity, water and communications.

Because we are so near to the mains sewer, our most sensible option was to simply connect to it. The electricity cable will work both ways when we are generating electricity from the photovoltaic cells into the national grid. Communications will be essential but with the help of Aquaterra, we are exploring the possibility of drawing our own water from the aquifer below the site, thus not needing a formal connection.

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Piling mat is ready for 28 metre piling rigs
Date: 25/09/2009
Because the ground on which the Linklater Pavilion is being built was formerly used as a railway marshalling yard, it suffers from ground pollution, all thoroughly researched but nevertheless, a key factor.

The Railway Land Wildlife Trust was keen that the Pavilion should reflect the latest environmental and sustainable thinking within the tight budget constraints set by the available funds.

Many people ask why we didn’t build a structure that "sat" on the ground - Elizabethan timber frame style. Problem is that the planners would not let us because it could float down river in the event of flooding!

We thought about building a concrete "raft" with sufficient weight to anchor the Pavilion in a flood. The advantage would be that should the building ever be demolished, the concrete raft could be broken up and re-cycled. However, poor ground conditions meant that we would have to use a very thick raft which could suffer from differential heave resulting in a tilt. It would also have meant disturbing more polluted ground.

Our only option was to use piling and three choices were open to us:
(a) cheaper impact driven piles were too noisy for our neighbours.
(b) screw piles were beyond our budget.
(c) conventional flight augured piles, which consist of drilling holes and filling them with reinforced concrete, was ultimately our ONLY option. The disadvantage is that once the building has been demolished the piles will be too expensive to remove and therefore will be left in the ground making it more difficult for a new building to be re-constructed – but, hey, we reckon this building will last for at least 100 years – the lease is for 60 - and by then, sea level rise may well be impacting us.

Several people have asked about the material brought onto the site. This is for the drilling mat to give stability to the 28 metre high piling machine. It consists of re-cycled broken up concrete from Croydon and will be used to raise the building as well as providing our ground floor.

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Drilling rig on site
Date: 07/05/2009
A test drill was undertaken on 7th May, 2009, to find out the exact composition of soils below ground. This is in preparation of sinking several piles in September. The piles will hold up the Pavilion which is designed to withstand any future flooding.

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What the Linklater Pavilion will look like.
Date: 07/02/2008
Aisling O' Keeffe, sister of Junior Management Board member Declan O' Keeffe (who at the official launch presented Lord Healey with a cheque for £250 earned through housekeeping tasks) came up with an idea to create a 'Pixel Pavilion Campaign'. It went live on 8th February, 2008. We are very grateful to the programmers Peter Hislop and Andrew Goodson for doing such a fantastic job to bring this idea into reality. It has taken a huge amount of effort and we hope that the young people can now spread the word through the web and become part of the campaign to build a pavilion that will help them shape and understand their future.

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Wild trek trailer at Festival
Date: 01/07/2007
The first Lewes river festival was seriously disrupted by rain but 300 people still attended and were very supportive of our plans and hopes. The event underlined the need for an all-weather centre and confirmed the huge interest in the natural world by young and old alike.

We are very grateful to everyone who took part: Priory School drumming and percussion team; Rodmell school dance team; Pells School dance team; Angels with Attitude a capella choir; Wallands CP School; Action in Rural Sussex; Turning Green band; Sussex Ouse Conservation Society; Nature Corridors for All team; Lewes Play Council; RSPB; David Bradford photographer; CCE and Castle Hill Nature Reserve; Jenifer Barton and Leonie Mercer wildflower competition; Hi Tech Wild Trek trailer; Peter Hodge, entomologist; Derek Lamport, biologist; Lewes Wildlife Watch; Sarah Holmes, willow weaver; Railway Land Wildlife Trust Pavilion presentation team and Ouse valley helicopter video; River Ocean; Lewes District Council.

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Walkers on the Downs
Date: 11/06/2007
22 walkers completed the 15 km course to Castle Hill National Nature Reserve and back. The final total will take time to establish but organiser, Jean Gould, was confident that the target of £6,000 had been reached. Rob Cash alone seems likely to have raised £1,500. The walkers were treated to a fascinating talk about the Reserve from Rendle Williams and thanks must also go to Mark Hayward of the Sussex Downs Joint Committee who helped Rob Cash up and down Kingston Hill by land rover. Tea and cakes provided by Belinda Kirby and Lucy Pratt ended a perfect day.

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Date: 20/05/2007
Our 18th May charity auction raised £2,000 - our hoped for target. We are very grateful to all those who offered items and in particular to Jon Gunson who organised so much behind the scenes, to auctioneer Julian Dawson for his wit and humour throughout the evening and to Ann Thomas for not only suggesting the event but working so hard to make it such a success.

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Robert is second from the left in the front row.
Date: 14/05/2007


Robert Cash, one of the adults with learning disabilities, has surprised himself and his family by wanting to be part of a 15 km sponsored walk to raise funds for the Pavilion, to be held in Lewes on Saturday 9th June. Robert hates walking but says why he wants to support the project on his own 'Just Giving' website shown here. Robert is one of the group making a real contribution through conservation work on the ground and through the monthly fixed point photographs shown in the photo gallery section.

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Date: 23/04/2007
Our planning application for the 'Linklater Pavilion - centre for the study of environmental change', has now been submitted to Lewes District Council and we await their decision.

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Date: 01/03/2007
We are preparing to submit the planning application any day now and have had to make several changes to the building to keep within our £700,000 target. We have reduced the overall size by one metre; cut the lifts to one instead of two; taken out the balcony and gone for a single sedum roof. All the above we feel has enhanced the building by making it more compact on site as well as providing a simpler, overall design.

We are very grateful to people who are beginning to come forward now to help with the fund-raising. Ann Thomas is organising a charity auction at Southover Grange on 18th May at 7.30p.m. and Jean Gould is organising a charity walk on Saturday 9th June. Watch the local press for details.

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Date: 16/01/2007
We have now secured £26,000 that we need for a full planning application which we plan to submit in the middle of February.

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Date: 20/11/2006
Our architects, Mackellar Schwerdt, are now working on a full planning application which we expect to submit in February 2007. A steering group representing 5 schools has been formed out of 16 schools that have shown a particular interest in the project. Alex Kirby's talk in November at All Saints, Lewes, titled 'Trouble Ahead, Why Lewes Needs the Railway Land', raised £850.

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