The Findhorn Foundation spiritual and personal development community is located in the remote Scottish Highlands on a wild spit of land between Findhorn Bay and the Moray Forth estuary where the dolphins play. Started over 40 years ago it has grown and prospered. The nature sanctuary (below) is most people’s favorite building and was built by volunteers. It is used as a meditation room and sanctuary.
Bag End is a collection of large, ecological houses where members of staff live in warmth and comfort. This was the first ecobuilding project, undertaken by volunteers for the Foundation, and much was learned during this long and arduous process. The gardens are now maturing and the setting is peaceful.
The Guest Lodge is for visitors and potential new members to the courses and events at Findhorn. It has six large bedrooms, three in each wing with a communal kitchen and large sitting area facing south. The so-called ‘breathing walls’ are over 300mm thick and insulated with paper pellets to reduce heat-loss and condensation to a minimum. The solar panels on the roof produce most of the hot water.
The turf roof is cut two or three times a year depending on the amount of sun. It not only provides excellent insulation against heat loss but also sound insulation against noise as well. The building materials are produced locally, saving on transportation costs.
This area is used for quiet meditation and sitting. The wild garden in the background is never entered and said to be a special place for the nature spirits.
A lot of what was learned on the Bag End project was put to use when planning the ecovillage project. This house on the corner is multiple-occupancy and one of the larger ones. It blends in well with the woods at the back and the mature trees that were already growing on the site.
Blue-roofed ecohouse. Everyone has their own specific design and all are different - some strikingly so. This is a straw-bale walled ecohouse, rendered in traditional lime mortar.
This striking ecohouse with a rounded-apex roof shows what an open mind about housing design can achieve.
A mono-pitched roofed, trapezoid ecohouse that demands attention from everyone who sees it. The entire house was built as a kit in a hanger and erected quickly on site. This ecohouse is heated by locally produced electricity, generated on-site by wind-powered alternators.
A traditional style and bright and cheerful. The boarding is heartwood larch and should last for several decades at least. The conservatory on the front, south side acts as a passive solar heat collector with heat being stored in the solid floor. The floor gives off the stored heat which convects into the house in the evenings.
This is a family sized ecohouse. The long side faces south to get as much passive solar heating as possible and the windows are double glazed at least to cut down heat loss. The glazed conservatories function as passive solar collectors. This house is designed with the sleeping rooms on the ground floor. The large, glazed window lets heat and light into the first-floor lounge.
The courses at Findhorn bring people much closer together and this is what counts. We are becoming too isolated, too individual when people are really all that we have. Words cannot explain the feeling; it has to be experienced.
Some cards, notes and letters given or posted to me from people I met at Findhorn Findhorn cards, notes (found 2015).
Return to the On the Beach at Findhorn book page.