Month: April 2007

What is a U value?

Now often quoted in building or building part specification, a U-value is placed upon an assembly of components to rate how well that assemblage performs in terms of energy efficiency. It is important to note that the U-value relates to the performance of the assemblage as a whole. For example, the U-value of a window unit will be calculated with reference to the glass panes, frame, sealants etc. and their performance as a whole. The U-value gives a numeric rating of the amount of heat that passes through the building part, therefore the lower the value the better the energy…
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Lucious Lime

After my 'introduction to lime' course I have a great fear that I may be joining the ranks of sustainable / healthy / traditional / vernacular building fanatics - those guys who, have a glint in their eye (perhaps caused by a small fleck of caustic lime) and a passion in their speech when discussing lime mortars, white-washes, sheeps wool insulation... The course was at Ty Mawr Lime just outside Brecon in South Wales. The day started with an overview of Ty Mawr, its background and aims and products. This was followed by a history lesson - the application of…
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Pointing (is rude?)

I'm going on a course tomorrow to learn the basics of using lime, with a view to working on the pointing of the stonework at the barn myself. I'm going to take copies of some photo's of the stonework which might help in asking sensible questions. I'm quite proud of my pretty stones (at least in my eyes) so I thought I'd share the pictures. Enjoy! See More Pictures Of Stonework!
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Super Insulation

Through recent technological innovations it is now possible to insulate buildings to such an extent that no heating system is required to maintain comfortable temperatures. There are varying categories of super insulated buildings. Zero Heat Building This category of building, through insulation and draft proofing, requires no additional heat source, except for in extreme conditions. The heat provided by the occupants’ bodies, household appliances, the sun and artificial lighting is sufficient for ordinary requirements. To achieve this typically insulation of 500mm of cellulose fibre will be required in the roof, 300mm of expanded polystyrene in the floor, 250mm of filled…
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Rock & Roll

Today's job was clearing our fine collection of rocks to one side of the yard. I'd always coveted the small sea of rough rocks and dressed stones that covered the concrete yard to one side of the barn. When they were left in place when we completed the purchase I felt I'd somehow got better value-for-money. It was pretty backbreaking stuff, carrying and rolling a few tons of stone of various shapes, sizes and weights in the unseasonably hot (25 degrees Celsius) weather to one side of the yard. But some of the finer discoveries made it worthwhile. In-fact, I'm…
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