The conversion of a derelict toilet known as The Pound in Llandaff, Cardiff has thrown up many challenges, including the discovery of a previously unknown medieval hall house beneath its foundations.
Above: Janis, Tim, Keith and Mike studying the trench of that uncovered a medieval fireplace.
However, one of the aims of the conversion is to provide an eco-friendly building with low running costs and near zero carbon footprint, to facilitate activities and volunteering for the elderly. So, Llandaff 50+ was delighted to learn that its building will have an 'A' energy rating, making it a near zero energy building, despite its 1930s construction, various extensions, and unusual location next to a 13th century castle!
The building is the size of a small bungalow and will be an exemplar for sustainability for all domestic refurbishment and conversions. The addition of solar slates and panels, rainwater harvesting, triple-glazing, a heat exchanger, and an air source heat pump will greatly reduce heating and lighting costs, whilst ensuring a warm, comfortable environment for elderly people to meet. The build is being project managed by our architect, Carolyn Merrifield of Downs Merrifield Architect, with help from Owen from the Severn Wye Agency.
Above: our Treasurer, Diana; Chair, Yvonne; Owen from Severn Wye; and our architect, Carolyn visiting The Pound and sampling the Welsh rain!
Llandaff 50+ will be working with local schools during, and after, the conversion as part of their sustainability studies. The processes will be highly visible and easily monitored by schoolchildren and visiting groups, and will provide the basis for talks on eco retrofits to local residents. It is also expected that seminars will be held for architects, engineers and ecologists at The Pound.
The capital build for the project is fully funded, so money raised through crowdfunding will be used to purchase, fit and monitor the eco-friendly initiatives.
The converted loo is planned to be opened in spring 2020 and will be used as a meeting place for elderly people in Cardiff. It will provide facilities for activities and volunteering opportunities to help alleviate the problems of loneliness and social isolation amongst the elderly. There will also be a small heritage information centre, staffed by volunteers, that will tell the story of the village city of Llandaff, help visitors and promote our eco-friendly building.
Thank you for your interest in our project - we hope you would like to support us.