Calum Ross

The Master's project for MacroMicro is to design a self-sustaining mountain hut for backpackers exploring the remote peninsula of Knoydart, on the West coast of Scotland. The location of the site means that the building must be off-grid and easily built by locals with limited access to machinery and materials that are often used on the mainland. The mountain hut is divided into 2 functioning parts: one open all year round, and the other just in the summer to cope with the increased demand. The building’s energy system, the subject of the thesis, is designed in response to this change in demand and explores ways of reducing the consumption of the building and its occupants. Additionally, as a unit, a timber kit system has been developed that is tailored to the Knoydart community’s climate, skills, available materials and tools. The sawmill in the village of Inverie is central to the construction system as it is the main source of wood for the peninsula. All the elements of the wall, floor and roof construction have been analysed as to their appropriateness to context. The mountain hut is designed to be built entirely using the system provided by the group work and would therefore be beneficial to the community, hopefully boosting its sustainability and bring extra income.

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