Habitats India Aspin, Tom Kangro, David Rozwadowski 02/07/12 20.15
Office to Office (Cradle to Cradle)
Inmidtown habitats 2011 called for entrants to design a suite of products for inmidtown - a environment enhancement company operating in the Holborn, Bloomsbury & St Giles area of London.
We were invited to submit designs for a beehive, planters and bird boxes to be installed in and around the area.
Repurposing redundant office furniture to provide a range of habitats to increase biodiversity in central London.
The challenge presented in re-imagining beehives, birdhouses and planters is that they have already been well designed so what more do these creatures need? The answer is nothing. So the question is not what more do they need but what more do we need? Our starting point was to answer this question with another one, what do we not need?
Recognising inmidtown’s desire for a sustainable business district our proposal uses raw materials sourced from local businesses from within the BID to provide a practical response based on the ethics of zero waste to landfill. This offers working partners the opportunity to contribute to the scheme as well as benefit from it through donating filing cabinets and shredded waste paper.
Office to Office (Cradle to Cradle)
The move towards paperless offices is making filing cabinets redundant in the workplace. This is especially significant in the central business district of London where office floor space is at a premium.
Our Office to Office approach takes these redundant filing cabinets, refurbishes them, and returns them to the environment from which they came.
Depending on the design of the cabinet donated, it can be converted to either a beehive, planter, bird box, or a combination of these. Cabinets are first cleaned, and assessed for suitability, then processed depending on their future function. All products will be repainted and have a decorative pattern cut or welded onto their sides.
Shredded paper collected from within the BID is compressed and sealed within orange plastic envelopes to provide insulation within the beehive cabinet.
• Three-four drawer cabinets can be used
• Standard brood size WBC frames fit drawers
• Openings cut in base of drawers to allow passage of bees and mites to fall through
• Queen excluder lid to brood drawer
• Varroa mesh in base of brood drawer
• Super drawers can hold up to 15 frames allowing for increase in honey production
• Stability provided by water containers
• Cabinet lined with orange HDPE ‘envelopes’ of recycled paper insulation stuck inside body
• Cabinets powder coated to inmidtown grey
• CNC cut pattern in side of cabinet exposes orange lining
Beehives and planters can be transported using sack trucks.
Using water filled containers (40 litres = 40 KG) to stabilise the beehive avoids transporting unecessary weight.
Extra stability can be provided by bolting flat wide feet to the base in place of castors or by securing the unit to a wall using car seatbelts.
We propose two main types of planters:
• Drawers are removed
• Feet of steel PFC fixed to base to lift planter off ground
• Holes drilled in bottom for drainage
• Cabinet body repainted
• Orange HDPE liner with perforated base filled with growing medium (soil & perlite mix)
• Soil retention mat to prevent soil washing out
• CNC cut pattern in side exposes orange HDPE liner
• 2 or 3 drawer cabinets preferred
• Holes cut in base of drawers and cabinet for drainage
• Feet to cabinet as above
• Drawers lined as cabinet body above
• Car seatbelts used to support drawers in open position
• Integrated water butt in back of cabinet also offers stability
• Suitable (high-sided) drawers are cut, rearranged and welded to form bracket mount
• Mount can be decorated with cut out pieces from CNC pattern elsewhere
• Mount is powder coated
• Mount is fixed to wall using resin anchor bolts
• Timber inserts suited to different bird species fix into mount
• Boxes made from 15mm thick planks FSC certified softwood
• Boxes painted externally only with non toxic water based paint
You can see more of the project here: http://www.behance.net/gallery/inmidtown-habitats-2011/3963983
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