Proposed Bike Shed Expansion – Feedback requested

PROJECT DESCRIPTION      

SUMMARY POINTS:

  • The Bike Shed at CERES has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Right now we have to turn away many people seeking our help because we have run out of space in our Shed and external working spaces.
  • The Bike Shed is looking to expand both the covered and outdoor work spaces available for our activities to improve the working space for visitors and our volunteers.
  • We have undertaken lengthy negotiations with CERES to determine the best way the Bike Shed work spaces could be increased. This process looked at a number of alternative locations on the CERES site.
  • It is proposed to construct a new building, to the east of the current Bike Shed and link it to the existing Bike Shed with a secure open work area.
  • The new building will be located to the east of the current Bike Shed. This location is preferred by the Bike Shed and CERES.  It is not feasible to expand the Bike Shed in any other location.
  • Architectural drawings have been prepared showing the design of the proposed new building. We are currently seeking feedback on the extension.
  • Please provide your comments in writing to ceres@ceres.org.au by AUGUST 1, 2016.
  • Your feedback will inform CERES’ formal consideration of this proposal

SITE PLAN: CERES Bike Shed Proposed Site Plan


DETAILS OF THE PROPOSAL

The Bike Shed engaged Dickson Architecture to produce architectural drawings of the proposed Shed, and outdoor work areas.  An Arborist’s report has been prepared by Homewood Consulting, outlining measures to be taken for tree protection and tree removal.  Once CERES has formally approved the proposal, normal town planning and building permit approval will be sought prior to construction.

The proposed new Shed will be positioned where the existing Gong House is located.  The existing Gong House will be removed as part of the proposed works.  At present the Gong House is used by CERES volunteers as a tea-point, and as a location to safely store personal items.  The volunteer support  function will be relocated to a new space within the CERES Site.

The location of the new Shed to replace the Gong House has been a balance between competing constraints.  This space is located near to CERES’ water recycling infrastructure in the east, and to the west is limited by the root protection zones of the very large trees that book-end both sides of the existing Bike Shed.  (These two trees have been classified as highly significant by the consulting Arborist).  These two constraints limit the arc where a new building can be located to the zone where the proposed Shed is shown.  This identified location minimises the impact to infrastructure and environment, while providing the additional space required by Bike Shed activities.

Aesthetically the new Shed will improve the general appeal of Bike Shed area, tidying up the current arrangement of ad hoc construction.  The Gong House building that will be removed is in very poor repair, was built with questionable structural integrity, and has non-conforming wiring, creating a real and present danger for current users and adjacent structures.  The replacement building will be built in accordance with the current National Construction Code, and in keeping with the CERES requirement for sustainable and naturally sensitive buildings.

External cladding will be a mixture of corrugated steel and “batten and board” timber cladding from Australian plantation forests.  Other fixtures and hardware will be from recycled sources wherever possible, including from bicycle parts!  The overall aesthetic will be of a very strongly constructed Shed from Australian timbers and recycled corrugated steel, with fixtures and fittings hand-fashioned from steel and timber available from site.

The proposed structural design will utilise timber from any trees removed in the new construction, demonstrating the principles of selective harvesting of timber, the use of materials available close to site, and the recycling of materials that would normally be considered waste.  The straight tree proposed to be removed will form the main beam of the new structure, in addition to central column support/s.  Smaller saplings will be used for decorative timber items wherever possible.

The commissioned Arborist’s report recommends the removal several trees in the area of new construction due to their poor health.  One tree classified as healthy but of Low significance will be required to be removed in consultation and with the approval of Council’s environmental officers.  This latter tree in particular will be a valuable resource for the upcoming construction.

Additional to selective tree removal, the Bike Shed will pay for the pruning of the two large significant trees that are being retained, and for the removal of diseased or dangerous trees, as identified and agreed with CERES.  Any tree removal will be subject to Council “offset planting” requirements, which requires the planting of a number of new trees and shrubs for any tree removed.  The Bike Shed have agreed with a CERES request to plant semi-mature trees, in lieu of the tube-stock normally requested.

The new Bike Shed working area will significantly improve the outdoor bicycle workshop capacity at CERES.  The new working area will be between 3-4 times the size of the current area available to Bike Shed users, with a new Shed able to accommodate 8 formal bicycle work stands indoors during inclement weather.  Future aspirations in the new Shed include formal bicycle maintenance training courses, something that is not possible within the current facilities at CERES.

New work benches will be constructed; approximately three times the total length of bench currently available to Bike Shed visitors.  A new shading device will be constructed over the new outdoor work space.  The new shading device may include in part a proposed system developed by a team of Architecture students at Melbourne University, and sponsored by the Bike Shed.  (This project was initiated by the Bike Shed, and included a monetary grant to the students in order to complete a prototype, currently on display outside the ATA building).  Using printed UV stabilised plastic parts and bicycle spokes, the shading system is demonstration of innovation, which the Bike Shed hoped to continue to sponsor around the space available to us on the CERES site.

Some new site fencing and permeable paving will also be required for the external facilities upgrade, details of which will be agreed upon based on the Arborist’s requirements, and CERES design guidelines.

CERES Bike Shed Proposed Site Plan