Month: October 2007

Here we go…

So the time has come to stop skirting around the fringes of this project and crack-on down the path that leads from barn to barn conversion (what a difference a word makes). The builder started work yesterday, although I've not seen what's been done, (I'm retaining a aloof distance for the next few days and avoiding the muck and machinery of the groundworks - although my father might sneek over later to take a look) with an end-date of next May for the major building work. I took the opportunity at the weekend to take a full range of 'before'…
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How Green is Cement?

Being about to pour several tonnes of concrete into the floor of our barn I was interested to read about the environmental impact of cement usage. Apparently, world-wide cement production creates twice as many carbon emissions as the world's airline industry does. For each tonne of cement that is produced 900kg of CO2 is released into the atmosphere ~ heavy stuff! Moves are afoot from major producers to green the production process. Geocycle in Belgium provides technology that allows waste products to be used to power the kilns in which the ingredients of cement (limestone, calcium, silicon, aluminium and iron…
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A Pattern Language – Towns Buildings Construction

Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein ~ 1977, Oxford University Press, New York. In 1977, whilst in the UK the Sex Pistols where spreading a message of anarchy and being "Pretty Vacant", in the USA Alexander, Ishikawa, Silverstein and co. were publishing three books that would enable us to bring order and thoughtful design to our homes, neighbourhoods, towns and cities. This, the second book in the series, is a working document for 'a new traditional post-industrial architecture'. The book takes the form of 253 patterns each pattern describes a problem that occurs in our built environment and then suggest…
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Biomass Heating

The term biomass heating refers to the combustion of plant based organic materials for the purpose of heating a volume of air. Biomass fuels fall into two main categories: Woody resources from sustainable sources such as fast growing trees or subsiduary waste products such as sawdust or recycled untreated pallets. Non-woody resources such as animal waste and the secondary organic output of activities such as oil seed rape and sugar cane processing. These fuels are repositories for solar energy - energy from the sun is captured via the process of photosynthesis and stored by the plant, then released by combustion.…
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