If Only…

we could grow everything we needed to make a building, says Dan Cole, structural engineer at Webb Yates Engineers

Words by Dan cole, Structural engineer at Webb yates engineers

IMAGINE that when you’re born, you’re given a plot of land and a few packets of seeds. Your parents plant those seeds before raising you down the road. At 25 you return to the once empty patch of soil to find a thriving miniature ecosystem. You start harvesting the crops and begin building your very own home. The British cedar trees are cut and provide the framing for the single-storey cottage. Straw bales insulate the walls, wrapping the building in warmth. The exterior is lined with a render made from clay taken from the banks of the stream at the end of the garden. Bamboo flooring throughout and wall panelling made from the waste of potatoes grown in the raised beds. The structure is supported on stone footings cut from a small deposit of limestone beneath the ground. Everything in the building has only ever existed on the patch of land where it sits. If only.

Dan Cole. Image Credit: AGNESE SANVITO
Dan Cole. Image Credit: AGNESE SANVITO

Dan Cole started working at Webb Yates Engineers in 2017 after graduating from the University of Bath with a degree in civil engineering. Since then, Dan has worked on a range of innovative schemes: from residential refurbishments like the award-winning Wooden Roof, which is constructed using traditional timber connections, through to community developments such as the sustainable timber-framed Ilford Market with its non-permanent foundations.

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