Fivehead Village Hall

Fivehead Village Hall was constructed in 2002 and was the second generation village hall design for Gale & Snowden. The building featured all the environmental and healthy building features and learning from the Woolsery Village Hall project.

The existing Village Hall at Fivehead was too small for the needs of the Community of Fivehead and the surrounding areas. The project involved the demolition of the existing cricket pavilion/changing rooms and replacing it with a new village hall.

A community needs survey has been undertaken and the requirement for a larger village hall was identified and incorporated into the brief for the project. The proposed site was the existing cricket and football playing fields.

The brief for the project was to design a building that is environmentally responsible in all respects and with low running costs. The first phase of the Development Study involved establishing the community requirements and brief. From this information gathering exercise, four sketch design options were designed and were presented to the Committee along with a Design Advice report.

Gale & Snowden worked closely with the community of Fivehead to develop the brief and design to meet the community needs and help obtain funding for the project. The project benefited from the Design Advice service funding that Gale & Snowden was able to provide at that time through BRE/Carbon Trust which was free for the Community.

The accommodation / functions for the village hall are as follows:

  • Multi-purpose main hall – sport (Badminton, short mat bowls) and community use (dances, meals, meetings, etc.)
  • Secondary large function room – main community meeting room
  • Kitchen – commercial size for preparation of hot meals
  • Changing for internal and outside sports – options explore reducing the size of these facilities
  • WC facilities
  • Internal stores, plant and cleaner’s store
  • External multi-use games area (MUGA) – options for single and double tennis court size and 5 aside football
  • Cricket pitch and community grounds for fairs etc
  • Parking and new pedestrian access


The design of the village hall includes:

  • Timber frame construction with sold floor construction
  • Fabric first approach including compact form and solar orientation, superinsulation, non-thermal bridging detailing, airtightness, high performance timber triple glazed windows and doors
  • low embodied energy materials from sustainable sources eg local oak cladding, timber frame
  • Selection of nontoxic, natural materials and finishes which are vapour permeable and moisture buffering.
  • use of local material, craftsmen and labour
  • Use of recycled materials where possible – e.g. hardcore from existing pavilion
  • Daylight design
  • Passive ventilation strategies
  • Low energy appliances – boilers, lighting, zoned heating, PIR detector lighting etc – with simple/easy to use control systems
  • Inclusion of solar panels to preheat water
  • Inclusion of solar shading devices and increasing eaves overhang
  • PV (photo voltaic) lighting for walkway and car park
  • Low water use appliances
  • Rainwater collection
  • Permaculture landscape design and wildlife habitat creation – design for microclimate, ecology and amenity
  • Introduction of bat and bird nesting areas to roof of building
  • Secure bicycle storage/parking


It is worth noting that the last four photos were taken in June 2021 nearly 20 years after the building was completed.  The building still looks fantastic and has had very little maintenance. These images illustrate that sustainable materials with carefully attention to detailing can last the test of time. The oak cladding for example was designed and detailed to require no maintenance; the oak itself becomes stronger over time and is as good today as it was 20 years ago. This approach is particularly welcomed by Community projects that do not want to be burdened with high running and maintenance costs.

  • Building
    Village Hall
  • Location
  • Completion
  • Size
  • Client
    Fivehead Village Hall Committee