Our pro bono program enables our entire practice to engage in voluntary work to assist community-based groups to pursue or complete projects for their organisation. This program helps strengthen social responsibility as a core value of our business.
In 2008 we heard that a residential drug and alcohol facility was looking to build a horse barn in order for their clients to help rehabilitate abused horses. We approached them to offer both our design and ‘construction’ services. We sought to reuse as many of the materials as we could from the farm itself and develop a construction system that could be executed by a group of enthusiastic but largely untrained ‘builders’.
The total budget for the project was $7000 or $25/m. The existing structure was largely maintained and strengthened. Steel tracks from a previous hydroponic tomato system were reused to provide the structural components for walls and barriers. Within these a system of painted panels were inserted creating spaces for grooming and training, as well as additional accommodation for other animals such as goats. Colours were selected for their capacity to be both uplifting and soothing for the residents. External cladding provides increased weather protection.
The project achieved a triple bottom line in sustainability objectives through extremely economical construction, recycling and adapting existing spaces and community and social interaction.
This project received a Small Projects Commendation at the 2009 AIA Awards.