5 Years ago, I realised the need for more space in my studio - previously I’d worked in the house. Together with a company called “Green Studios”, we designed a purpose-built, hi-spec, custom studio. Set in the garden, it’s incredibly environmentally friendly, from the (non) foundations to the roof; avoiding the need for concrete foundations is important in reducing the carbon-footprint in new builds, so my studio sits upon modern, adjustable “stilts” - kind of pads that it rests on.
The walls are really thick and insulated heavily, meaning that it retains warmth in Winter but stays cool in Summer. The “A” rated, energy-efficient windows were designed to create the maximum ventilation during those occasional English heat waves.
It’s positioned in the garden to maximise light and solar gain too. I guess I must also score Brownie points for walking to work too!
Incorporating modern technology was a key factor in keeping the studio “green”. It has remotely controlled (by a phone app), heating, lights (low wattage using 91% less electricity), network controls, and a doorbell system. Additionally, it’s cabled to have the fastest broadband speeds available in the UK.
The roof is of Sedum - a low-maintenance green roof - it incorporates wildflowers, succulents, grasses, and so on. An important pollination area for insects, it also supports birds who love to have a poke about for insects, etc. In the evening, we often see Bats flying around above. Not only this, but it’s lovely to look at too; flowers bob about, and even in winter when it’s dormant, it changes from fresh greens to a lovely rusty red. Rainwater drains from the roof into a water-butt to water the garden. The roof also has the other important factor of insulating the studio with its very thick layer.
It’s really proved to be a delightful workspace that makes me very happy, and clients love to visit to see works in progress, finished paintings and to discuss commissions.
Thanks for reading - lookout for future blogs about my sustainable art studio practices, and the environment surrounding the studio.
As ever - here’s my accompanying playlist:
Little changes - Frank Turner
Up on the roof - Carole King
Waitin’ on a sunny day - Bruce Springsteen
Flowers in the window - Travis
Wildflowers - Tom Petty