Last year we decided to initiate pro-bono work as part of our practice. We heard that a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility on the fringe of Perth was looking to build a horse barn in order for their clients to help to rehabilitate abused horses. We approached them to offer both our design and construction services.
We sought to reuse as many of the materials as we could from the farm itself and develop a construction system that could be executed by many enthusiastic but largely untrained builders. The total budget for the project was $7000 or $25/m.
The existing structure is largely maintained and strengthened. Steel tracks from a previous hydroponic tomato system were reused to provide the structural components for walls and barriers. Within these a system of painted panels were inserted creating spaces for grooming and training as well as additional accommodation for other animals such as goats. Colours were selected for their capacity to be both uplifting and soothing for residents. External cladding provides increased weather protection.
The project achieves a triple bottom line in sustainability objectives through extremely economical construction, recycling and adapting existing spaces and community and social interaction.