The Earthworks Charity in St Alban’s building was burnt down by vandals in September 2011. 

We were asked to design a replacement building encompassing the ethos of Earthworks who are a horticultural charity who offer placements for trainees with learning disabilities and mental health problems, giving them work experience in horticultural and land-based skills. 

We proposed a timber framed building made using locally sourced wood and local woodsmen to build it using traditional methods.

Working with Phil Maitland, planning permission was obtained and we are currently project managing the build, working closely with the charity to ensure the charity’s budget is kept and disruption to the training activities is kept to a minimum.


The contractor (Harts of Oak) sourced the English oak from the Pamber Forest in Hampshire which complies with best practice for sustainable woodland monument.


The Earthworks trainees participated in the early stages going to the Hampshire Forest to help to identify the oak trees that were used and assisted in placing the floor slab.


Gyoury Self structural engineers of St Albans (Tel no. 01727 853553) helped with adding the necessary structural calculations for St Albans building control who helped us to comply  with building regs.


We are pleased to say that the building is now complete and being used well by the charity and all who visit. It chimes well with the ethos of the charity and all those involved with it.


We are delighted to have accepted awards for the building 

and its design. We recieved high commendations for:

                October 2015:  St Albans Civic Society Award

                March 2016:      Herts Building Futures Award 

                                              for Most Sustainable Construction

"Ecovril worked with us to create the concept and to deliver our beautiful new oak framed building. 
They designed the shell of the building , obtained planning consent and dealt with building control compliance, material specification and sourcing. They helped us with flexible and creative assistance wherever and whenever we needed it. 
They were on hand to advise us throughout the building process in the face of some challenging on site circumstances .
Andy and Chau persevered with good humour and were always on hand to offer creative solutions to complicated problems.  
We are delighted with the building and very pleased with the work that Ecovril did for Earthworks in meeting the challenges that we faced in dealing with budgetary constraints  and contractual challenges and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone in the future."
Phil Maitland 
Earthworks St Albans

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