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In this film, Ben Law takes you through the design techniques and build of the roundwood timber framed Woodland Classroom. Other examples of Ben’s builds are also explored: the Lodsworth Larder (a roundwood shop in his own village), his own workshop and his home – the Woodland House. He also demonstrates how to build a small lean-to. These projects all make use of local wood, and lead the way in the future of sustainable building. This DVD also includes guidance for the creation of cordwood walls and rammed earth floors. A perfect, practical, must-have companion to Ben’s book of the same name. 1 DVD. 60 mins. PAL. Region: 0
- inspiring Review by Martin Holme
When others are thinking and dreaming Ben is actually doing.
Ben has in so many ways inspired the 'eco-house' concept with his own 'famous' house (the subject of a Grand designs episode) but this DVD takes it to a new level, because he makes it seem within the grasp of mere mortals to construct a beautiful, functional roundwood timber house.
He stresses his belief in locally sourced resources and also shows his creativity in attempting ,successfully, to steam-bend large trees.
What I also loved about the film is what seemed so clear to Kevin McCloud on Grand Designs with the build of his own first roundwood house, that a great sense of common purpose and community exists around projects like this because it is about building houses in as eco-friendly a way as is possible.
Good energy attracts good energy.
In time it may well be the catalyst needed for a paradigm shift in the way building companies view building houses.
(Posted on 21/10/2010)
- Stunning, enthralling and visually delectable throughout Review by Graham Strouts, teacher of permaculture & Natural Building at Kinsale College of Further Education
Ben Law is probably best known for his first roundwood building, his own house which featured in the Grand Designs series a few years ago. Since then he has built several other roundwood timber framed buildings, refining his techniques and developing a new vernacular in sustainable low-impact construction. The DVD shows Ben to be not only a skilled builder and woodsman – the link between the managment of the woods and the construction of the building is emphasized throughout – but also a very clear and methodical communicator.
The whole process is enthralling, as Ben takes us through the build from foundations, frame-raising, shingling the roof and mixing cob and clay plasters for the fireplace, and I had a sense of being personally involved in the project as I watched. Along the way Ben introduces us to some of his team, and local characters he has worked with, and we also pay several visits to woods from where the materials originate. Ben also shows us around hazel and chestnut coppice, and discusses another, lesser-known tree, Robinia pseudoacacia, the Black Locust, which may become more widely found in British forests in the future.
The DVD has something for everyone, in that it works as a top rate instruction video, a documentary describing the creation of a marvellous community building, and a celebration and resurrection of the connection between trees, woods, buildings and community. Visually delectable throughout, anyone who loves trees and natural building, and who is looking for a new vision for the building industry, will love this DVD. (Posted on 07/10/2010)