Eco-Hub, London


client: Haringey Council
completed autumn 2012

RICS awards 2013 Highly Commended in the community benefit category

Shortlisted for a Builder & Engineer Award 2012 sustainable project of the year

Read the RIBA Journal article here

ATA have designed a multi-purpose building at Lordship Recreational Grounds, part of the redevelopment works of this Haringey park.

This building is an exemplar of sustainable building techniques, requiring the minimum amount of energy to run, and producing part of its own energy. Inspired by leaves, the Environment Centre was developed with sustainability at its core but it was only at detailed design stage that it adopted the Passivhaus methodology. Built with an FSC certified timber frame with community built straw bale walls and covered with a green roof, the building will be robust with a ‘skirt’ of gabion walls, decorative security screens and planting. Renewable energy is generated by roof-mounted photovoltaic panels, and rain water harvested for irrigation purposes. Volunteers from the local community received training in straw bale construction and participated in the assembling of the straw walls.

The Environment Centre accommodates a cafe with external seating space near the playground and lake, a multi-purpose community room, a teaching room, small offices and a kitchen. The project involves a number of local green companies and Friends of Lordship Recreation, amongst others. The project and the wider park regeneration has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Greater London Authority, the Environment Agency and the London Borough of Haringey.


One of the most innovative aspects of the building is its use of straw bale wall construction, a waste product of the agricultural industry. As well as providing a valuable opportunity for the local community to be involved in the buildings construction as volunteers, straw is super insulating, and locks in CO2 absorbed during its growth period. Along with gabion wall protection, the straw bale walls are a robust but friendly building element.

View from the top of the hill: in the summer the Douglas Fir pergola and scented climbing plants provide seasonal shading over the windows. In the winter, this super-insulated and air-tight building provides a sunny and draught-free meeting place, with minimal heating required.

From the children’s playground

No green-wash: ATA have designed a building for Lordship Rec that uses a palette of renewable materials, from low-impact timber foundations and primary frame, to natural insulation materials and non-toxic finishes such as clay plasters, rubber flooring and natural paints.

The building achieved AECB’s Silver certification.

The Eco-Hub was a success at this year’s London Open House with over 300 visitors!

Green Building article in the June edition.