Davidson and Rafailidis
Selective Insulation - thermal zoning study, Allenheads Contemporary Arts completed as part of a base elements project Allenheads England, February 2007 - March 2009.
Introduction it gets pretty cold up in allenheads. the old school house, as a working environment, while nestled in a breathtakingly beautiful landscape, is an old, uninsulated, masonry building. the potential thermal mass of the thick stone walls is untapped because of the lack of insulation on the exterior. the working spaces are generous in size and are costly and labour intensive to heat. the inconsistent use of the working spaces means that heating them up, during the cold months, takes extra time and energy because of the low, refrigerator temperatures that they reach. but cool temperatures are comfortable for active work. the size of the main working space, our site for this installation, lends itself to active work - physical making, movement. the discomfort sets in when one is in the working space doing punctual, sedentary work - on the computer, working at a desk. it is precisely this type of work that we address and try to accommodate in our installation. this project looks at how to increase the thermal comfort for people working in the old school house doing sedentary work. situated in the main working space, the installation selectively insulates a space for one or two people to work comfortably at a desk. the volume of the space is situated in such a way as to allow the main working space to still function as a large workshop for physical making or active work.