Wales’ Zero Carbon Dream

Zero Carbon is a term that ‘haunts’ me a lot (I need to get out more). Our barn won’t be zero carbon, for a number of reasons, but mainly because it would have cost too much. I’m sure that the time will come in the not too distant future when photovoltaics (the only sensible optionContinue reading Wales’ Zero Carbon Dream

Quality Materials

What we now consider as high quality, high cost choices for building with, traditional materials such as limestone, sandstone, slate, hard woods, steel, dressed stone and hand-made bricks; were once standard. These materials are what contribute to those elusive but seductive and often valuable features of buildings often referred to as period charm or character.Continue reading Quality Materials

The sustainability of old buildings

An interesting short article on green futures states that: Our historic buildings need not be unsustainable. What’s more, we can still learn a lot from their many examples of innovative technology …. underpinned by the old wisdom of self-sufficiency. I go a step further in that I see old buildings and the process of renovatingContinue reading The sustainability of old buildings

Online – recommended

I spend a far amount of time sourcing goods for the barn on the internet so here’s a summary of some of my favourite sites with great features, products or service.

Building Progress ~ November 2008

So apparently stoves are like hens teeth these days, demand for them has rocketed in line with spiralling fuel bills. I’ve been trying to track one down, our original choice had a 14-16 weeks lead-time on it so a bit of digging around on the internet later I managed to find a Country 16B Multi-fuelContinue reading Building Progress ~ November 2008

Cleaning oak beams

I wanted to minimise the use of steel in the building and I like the texture and appearance of untreated hard woods – that led to the importation of two eastern European oak beams for use in the barn. That long journey (let’s not worry about carbon footprints for now) and a few weeks sittingContinue reading Cleaning oak beams

Corner bath?

The bath I bought doesn’t quite fit into the bathroom if it’s placed along the same wall as the shower… It does fit if placed across the corner as in the picture, so the question is corner bath? Does it say badly planned bathroom or boutique hotel? Corner bath?

Main bedroom ‘suite’…

Please excuse the slightly pompous title to this post – guess I’m pretty happy with way this aspect of the conversion has gone. The initial design was a little bit strange, with two doors through an internal wall that didn’t really have enough space for them and an over-large en suite bathroom that was aContinue reading Main bedroom ‘suite’…

The case for coal

Now here’s a conundrum… First the facts: The barn lies just outside of the South Wales Coal Field. Our heating system will comprise of solar thermal water heating (from in-roof panels) with a multi-fuel burner as the ‘primary’ heat source (& a backup electrical heating coil in the tank) [Read the background to that] (I’mContinue reading The case for coal