Embercombe: an eco-learning centre

Embercombe is a charitable community education centre situated on the edge of Dartmoor, and is a great example of Irebuild’s innovative environmental building skills and social ethics.

As the main contractor, we facilitated the design, project management, site management and construction of the entire learning centre. Moreover, we carried out an intensive 3 year rehabilitation and upskilling program for vulnerable people through the project.

The project was covered by the BBC.

Green materials and sustainable construction

All of the materials used came from within a 15 mile radius. Every tree was individually selected, and each brick was reclaimed from nearby demolition sites.

The “green” and sustainable materials included:

• 83 tonnes of recycled stone and recycled enviroblocks
• 100 tonnes of recycled bricks, salvaged from demolition sites and cleaned by hand
• 300 tonnes of crushed hardcore sourced from the site itself
• 5 tonnes of recycled lathe
• 40 granite plinths handcrafted on site
• All oak timber sourced from nearby forests
• Pulverised Fly Ash (PVA) recycled from power stations
• Clay and shillet used for the cob walls came from the site itself through excavations
• All tiles were stripped from demolition projects

Building people, not just buildings

The majority of the work on Embercombe was carried out by former addicts and offenders as part of our rehabilitation outreach programme.

Supervised by master craftsman, these individuals learned new skills such as labouring, cob building, lime rendering, traditional stone walling and carpentry.

Embercombe is a terrific example of how we are able to help some of the most vulnerable members of society and build a quality eco-friendly construction that benefits the local community.

Recycled Tiles

%

Recycled Blocks

m3 Landfill to Cob

Tonnes of Recycled Bricks