Monday, November 30, 2009

New life for old shepherds' huts

A lovely little video on the BBC site featuring Plankbridge and their traditional shepherds' huts business. Idyllic working conditions. Well worth a watch (it's only a couple of minutes).
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News from The Bothy

John Ketch's marvellous garden office build (which will be home to his amateur radio station), The Bothy, looks like it will be ready by Christmas (Shedworking had been a little overly optimistic in previous predictions...). It's well worth checking the site for the list of suppliers John has been using and what kind of kit he is putting into the build.
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Monday's posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists.Click here for more details.

Phonebox as library

A lovely example of public shedworking space as reported by Nicky Venning at thisissomerset.co.uk, here is the phone box in Westbury-sub-Mendip in Somerset which has been recommissioned as a public library/book exchange, almost certainly the titchiest public library in the UK. The project was kickstarted by the village's loss of both its phone box and mobile library: now, locals can bring in their books and swap them with other residents.
Thanks to @alternativesp for the alert
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Monday's posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists.Click here for more details.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Roomworks wins House Beautiful Award

Large congratulations to Roomworks who, in addition to winning Shedworking's new HQ competition earlier in the year, received the Garden Room of the year Gold Award at the House Beautiful Awards 2009 (they pipped B&Q to the post who came in with silver). Other winnders included Laura Ashley, John Lewis and Dyson.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dubai: the shed angle


Fabulous cartoon by Matt in the Daily Telegraph today.
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Choosing a shed - bdavison design

bdavision design - run by Branden Davison - specialises in bespoke timber buildings, particularly garden offices of all sizes. Above is a 16m² garden office designed for three workstations, with Velux roof windows, and full height French doors and two casement windows. Most interestingly, all the wall panels are interchangeable so you can keep fiddling with the layout. Below is an artist's studio designed using the Japanese rule of scale so that the proportions of the building are directly related to the dimensions of the tatami mat.There are also some interesting design ideas on Branden's website, including this one with a rather pleasant porch area.
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Saturday's posts are sponsored by Euroffice.co.uk, the UK’s most extensive office supplies website. Supplying a huge choice of envelopes, labels and a whole lot more to shedworkers everywhere!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sportskabin + exclusive Shedworking offer

Garden2office is now offering a 25-29sq m Sportskabin from Sweden using their highly insulated closed panel system. The one above is in Wandsworth, London, clad with Swedish Thermowood and features a garden shed section at one end plus a bathroom. Visitors who mention Shedworking will get the Climate Pack (radiator and heat recovery unit) FREE if they order before March 31 2010. It features full 140mm thick insulated wall blocks (190mm with plasterboard and cladding), standard triple glazing with laminated timber frame windows, 1.2 U-value, maintenance-free galvinised steel Plannja roof, front canopy with key-fob operated lighting and Thermowood cladding.

Thieves strike sustainable architecture specialist's garden office

As reported in the Richmond & Twickenham Times, the garden office belonging to awardwinning architect and sustainability consultant Clive Chapman was targeted by thieves who stripped lead from the roof of the office on Eel Pie Island in London. Here's what Paul Teed from the paper writes:
As his wife Lacy was walking to work at 5am last Thursday she spotted three thieves stealing lead from his garden office. Mr Chapman said: “When confronted they said ‘we are doing the demolition’. She ran back to get me but by the time I got there they had got away, not before they had stripped half of it off though. The police arrived on the scene shortly afterwards.”
The office, from where he runs Clive Chapman Architects, won a Richmond upon Thames Sustainable Design Award in 2000 and is designed to be a passive low energy building. Here's how he describes it:
North/south orientation to gain maximum winter sun. Maximum glazing to south and west elevations, minimum glazing to north and east elevations. Building sunk into ground to minimize heat loss/close space gain. Beech hedge screens north elevation. Roof overhang on south elevation provides summer shading. High ceilings and manually openable roof vents provide passive cooling. Windows on opposite elevations allow cross ventilation. Overhead fans aid the extraction of warm air in summer and when reversed circulate warm air in winter. U values are 0.15W/sqm for walls, 0.13W/sqm for roofs and 0.13W/sqm for floors. Low emissive glazing. Natural materials have been used throughout, including a lead roof, copper gutters, Western red cedar cladding, American oak windows, and interior joinery, wool carpets and linoleum work surfaces.
It's been a bad few months for Mr Chapman (to put it mildly) as his home burned down in a suspicious fire in September.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Arctic shedworking

The Arctic Drifter from Studio Les Betes is a mobile, inflatable shedworking (and indeed living) device for use in the Arctic, travelling along the ground when fully inflated (it's what one might call an Arctic roll...), then sitting in a stable formation when mostly deflated. Here's how it works inside:
The crew capsule is mounted inside a three-axis gymbal, and the heavy mechanical systems and batteries are mounted below the center of gravity, causing it to float upright in any orientation. The gymbal system is equipped with two low-speed high-torque electric motors, intended for repositioning the on-site or for short-distance travel. During wind-powered travel, the motors are used for steering control, allowing the Drifter to “tack” away from the wind.
It also has a self-contained composting toilet.Via The Design Blog
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Shedworking: a one-way ticket to personal nirvana?

An interesting article in The Independent by Jonathan Brown takes a slightly lighthearted look at the pros and cons of shedworking (though it does address some serious homeworking issues). Here's an excerpt:
Perhaps unsurprisingly in this era of the ever more pressurised workplace, the prospect of plying one's trade from the comfort of one's own abode has become one of the great desires of the modern worker. Like eating five portions of fresh fruit a day or cutting back on alcohol units, many of us are convinced it will make us happy and healthy.

I too shared that dream. But the reality of the past 18 months working alone from the sanctuary of my garden office, a space carved lovingly and at some cost out of an unused section of our garage, has steadily disabused me of the notion that this is some quick fix to personal nirvana.
Well worth a browse.
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The Bookseller makes Shedworking book one of its 2010 picks

Some nice early words about Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution from The Bookseller magazine which includes it as one of 13 books highlighted in their Homes, Interiors and Gardens preview for 2010. Here's what they say:
You're unlikely to find pots and compost in these sheds, but for home-workers looking for a superior quality of life and dreaming of an ideal working space, these sheds are something to drool over.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Office Bus: mobile shedworking

Here's a great idea: go to work on the bus. Actually, in it. Office Bus is the brainchild of four students from the Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien - Johanna Rüdisser, Johanna Oberneder, Joachim Kornauth and Manuel Fröschl - who aimed to both lower pollution levels due to commuting and eradicate the waste of work time it also involves (260,000 commuters navigate Greater Vienna each workday with an average journey time of 48 minutes). Their Office Bus design features both private-ish individual work stations as well as conferencing facilities in comfortable surroundings.Via Core 77
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The office of the future - not an office

An interesting comment piece in The Times
(or are we not allowed to link to them any more?) by Paul Warner, Chair of the British Council for Offices Urban Affairs Committee backs the concept of the “city as office”. As he says:
In future, companies will downsize the footprint of their property and make use of city-centre facilities that are publicly available — coffee shops, restaurants, pubs, parks.
Which is good as far as it goes, but while Shedworking is all for third place working, it completely ignores the fact that increasing numbers of people are now (shed)working from home. Well worth a browse and I'd be keen to hear your thoughts.
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Wednesday's posts are sponsored by The Garden Room Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here.

Crochet your own garden office

It sounds like a lot of hard work (it IS a lot of hard work) but that's exactly what Kate Pokorny is attempting to do. To be more precise, she's crocheting a yurt and detailing her work at Yurt Alert. Here's what she says:
"I started crocheting a lot, and was making many small domes when I realized that the same form could be made much larger into a crocheted yurt. Historically, Mongolian nomads made felt for their yurts via a labor intensive process that still required an internal structure at the end of the day. My project is to take that design a step further and make a locally-sourced (local to New Hampshire), self-supporting crocheted yurt out of hand-felted cording approximately 1.5 – 2 inches thick. I’m fundraising for the materials currently, the 500 lbs of wool and all of the cleaning and processing will be the bulk of that."
You can donate to the project by clicking here.
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Wednesday's posts are sponsored by The Garden Room Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Shedworking book now available to preorder

Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution will be published by Frances Lincoln in early June 2010. However, you can already preorder it in several ways:

1. You can order it from Amazon (co.uk, com, ca, de, co.jp, etc)
2. Order it from your local independent bookshop
3. Order it direct from Frances Lincoln
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Pontoon boat: water-based shedworking

The idea of working on water is really starting to hot up, as evidenced by the interest in MetroShip and H2Offices. Here's Jruiter's Pontoon Boat, not specifically aimed at the mobile shedworker but nevertheless providing a stylish shedlike atmosphere if you like to float and work at the same time. They describe it as part apartment, part outdoor living space, part family room and it includes a kitchen/dining area, living room, and teak basking deck.
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Tuesdays posts are sponsored by The Home Office Company, manufacturers of unique garden rooms since 1998. Now in 10 exciting new colours. Click here for more details.

Pop Up

Running out of space in the garden office? Tired of packing up at the end of the day? Worry no more, because here is Pop Up by Liddy Scheffknecht and Armin Wagner. Made with cardboard it can be opened and closed like a book so that your mobile workstation, desk, and chair simply pop up (and pop down). Here it is in action:

Pop Up from abw on Vimeo.


Via @eOffice
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Tuesdays posts are sponsored by The Home Office Company, manufacturers of unique garden rooms since 1998. Now in 10 exciting new colours. Click here for more details.

Monday, November 23, 2009

When shed titans meet...

After five years of emailing and leaving messages on each other's phones, Uncle Wilco of readersheds.co.uk/Shedblog and I finally met up last week at the Home Enterprise Day organised by Enterprise Nation. Shedworking missed out on the main awards but we were presented with a rather nice In The Shed sign by Emma Jones of EN for our services towards posting so frequently.
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Waterside shedworking

Some lovely shots of a Rooms Outdoor bespoke Cuberno model build in Norfolk.
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Monday's posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists.Click here for more details.

Fire towerworking

The Forest Fire Lookout Association (FFLA) in the US researches former forest fire lookout sites, ground cabins and early forest fire detection methods. It also has a marvellous list of fire towers by state, one of the worthiest type of shedworking structures. Well worth a browse, especially the Idaho, California, Maine and Massachusetts pages. Pictured above is Acushnet Tower by Henry Isenberg in Massachusetts
Thanks to Joshua D. Johnson (no relation) for the alert
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Monday's posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists.Click here for more details.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Home Office Company: newlook web site

The Home Office Company has been overhauling its web presence and its new web site is pretty impressive. I particularly like the Inspiration section and the appealing way they present their tech specs. Well worth a browse.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The most expensive dog kennel in the UK?

Paul Barton from Roomworks has just got back from an interesting project near Sandbanks in Dorset, well known for some of the highest property prices in the UK: Paul believes the garden office supplier might have built one of the most expensive dog houses in the country. Here's what he says:
"Most customers would be very happy to have this as a garden studio/office - super insulated SIPs construction, £2,000 worth of western red cedar, a £5,000 hardwood steel lined door, internal full height glass sliding doors, double glazed full height panel with view across the garden to the owner's £3.5 million sea facing home. Installed by our team in 4 days (worked under floodlights after dark) the lucky dog's owner was keen that the structure wouldn't look out of place in the grounds of his amazing house. At over £20,000 this is one dog house there is no problem being sent to!"

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Saturday's posts are sponsored by Euroffice.co.uk, the UK’s most extensive office supplies website. Supplying a huge choice of envelopes, labels and a whole lot more to shedworkers everywhere!