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New Healthy Living Centre

Posted on 01 April 2016

The new Healthy Living Centre at Colin Allotments opened in September.

Groundwork Northern Ireland conceived the building in conjunction with the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership to act as a focal point for the local community social enterprise to help develop a healthier lifestyle through growing and preparing fresh food locally.
At the heart of the building are the communities environmental aspirations: The structure is five re-purposed shipping containers which have been insulated and over clad with sustainable Larch timber.  Over time this will weather to a silvery grey and allow the building to sit in tune with the landscape around.

In addition to sustainable materials the building is orientated to make the most of our sporadic winter sun with large amounts of glazing to the south. When the weather is not so favourable there is a wood pellet stove to provide heat and hot water. On the roof there is a Solar Photovoltaic array to provide electric.    

Around the building is a permaculture garden and edible landscape designed by Groundwork Northern Irelands Landscape Architects and Community Gardener which will supply the kitchen and beyond.

For further assistance regarding Architecture and Landscape Architecture projects please contact Sonia Harrison on 028 90 749494 or by email at

Please see video below for Groundwork NI staff Will Thornton and Heather Boyd explaining the design concepts and philosophy behind the Healthy Living Centre.