We are still hard at work ready for our first presentation on Friday – here is a photo from earlier!



As the presentation is underway, designs continue developing for the Artist ‘pods’. Here is a preview of just some of the work being done:

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The group worked on designs following a tutorial where they explained the structure they wished to create. This was then worked through and structural details were produced.

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Our meeting with Julia and Renata at Harland Cafe allowed us to see our progress so far. A lot had been done in the past few days, even including an alternative temporary secondary glazing option. This had been produced alongside the see-saw sawdust briquette maker. The work on the first option was also progressing well.
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The frame is complete!

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Others in the group were hard at work creating prototype models for the Artists ‘pod’ spaces, making good use of recycled material.

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A lot of fun was had demonstrating how the see-saw sawdust squisher would work, the next step was to test it. We concluded our efforts so far with a group meal of Vietnamese food on London Road, preparing for plenty more hard work to come!

We annotated these plans of Portland Works during a previous group meeting to familiarise ourselves with the individual rooms and what processes occurred in these spaces.

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Although these may be a little difficult to read from one angle, they have certainly been very helpful during our group meetings  in allowing us to understand the spaces we are focusing on and the uses of energy around the site.

Our meeting with Julia brought out all the work we had done so far. It was great to see the input from all members of the group and to share what we had produced (watch this space for a blog section displaying our work so far). Julia, alongside Jon, felt it was important we made a plan of our story soon – not just the making but our research and process too. This could be done through mapping, perhaps through extending the plans and giving them further context. Julia also continued to stress the idea of a wider energy picture:

Where will Portland Works be in 20 years?

It is vital to think about the future. We had mapped the energy past, and the energy present, and the hardest task was yet to come. How would we explain to people what the future of energy could look like?

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It was great to see the progress made over the weekend at our group meeting. It was particularly interesting to see Rob’s idea for temporary secondary glazing in model form, and his sketches for the design of a potential insulated ‘pod’ space incorporating this glazing idea. Tendai and Jack had also looked at ways of fitting the frame into place without interfering with existing architecture. For this they looked a kind of clamping method, allowing the design to be both flexible and non intrusive. The idea being discussed was to perhaps build a prototype for the volunteer room. The ‘pod’ idea could also be explored to include further design ideas for the volunteer space such as shelving, a table, folding seats, or storage.

The idea of sawdust pellets was still one we wanted to pursue but required the use of a press. For this we will either look at making a press, or using something similar to have the same desired effect.

Two other important areas to cover in the meeting were the mapping of energy use and how to use the stories we had gathered. These stories would work in connection with energy use and with our own story of the project.




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‘Energy can be many things – what kind of energy are we talking about?’

This was the question posed by our guests Irena Bauman and Tina Saaby after briefing them on our project. Tina Saaby is the city architect for Copenhagen, a city well known for its intelligent design. Tina told us about the centralised energy system in Copenhagen, contrasting the more segregated system in Sheffield. In Copenhagen, places like Portland Works are not common, but the example that does exist makes use of waste through recycling, something we are considering within our project. This contrasts with the failure of Copenhagen to be diverse in its treatment of waste and use of recycling. Local energy systems are interesting and in some cases pioneering. There is, however, great success in Copenhagen’s system, with electricity from 40% renewables, largely wind power.

Irena Bauman has a wealth of knowledge on energy strategies and adaption to climate change. Irena focused on the words: REDUCE, RE-USE, RENEWABLE. Irena and Tina brought up various relevant points including:

– each room behaves differently so they must be treated differently
– behavioral adjustments can be made by managing space and activities, and adapting to climate
– excess heat could be used
– space could be reduced for winter i.e. seasonal changes

We concluded that a MIXED ENERGY STRATEGY would be an appropriate approach for Portland Works, and would coincide with our work so far.

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