Month: March 2008

Heating & Hot Water – a solution?

From the start of this project, I've been through numerous options regarding the method by which we'll heat the barn and generate hot water for domestic purposes. It's been a long and twisty road but I think I've arrived at a solution that I'm comfortable with (at least for the time being). Let's start off with the one aspect that has always been in the plan - underfloor heating (UFH). With the healthy house ethos driving many of our design decisions, we've always intended to use underfloor heating and that has remained a constant. Actually, that's only half true -…
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Project Management ~ Basecamp

For me, the cornerstone of project management isn't a gantt chart or a risk register, but lists. In Basecamp, I find the ability to create and maintain all the lists that I need to keep track of my barn conversion. It also provides you with the ability to share files, text, and messages and track time & tasks with other members of a project team. The emphasis is on project collaboration and communication. I'll not rattle on too much about the details, best for you to take a look yourselves as a limited, free version of the software is available…
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100th post marks Spring on mbc

Well this is my 100th post on My Barn Conversion and as my solitary clump of snowdrops is flowering (probably has been for a while, but it's only now I've noticed) I've decided that after a wet and windy Winter it must be Spring. This site has gone from a standing start, on its first post back in June 2006 to over 3,500 visitors a month with 11,000 page views ~ thanks to you all. It seems like an appropriate juncture for some introspection so after an appropriate period of naval gazing, I've come up with some resolutions as to…
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Building Progress ~ March 2008, week 1 & 2

We've now arrived at the stage where I need to get start getting services installed into the fabric of the building - first fix electrics and plumbing. I've got an electrician sorted and a plumber in the pipeline (ha ha), so hopefully things will move on over the next few weeks and I can stop talking photographs of interior partitions and wooden frames. This is a time of decisions, specifications and details many of which will have a lasting impact on the building. Oh and I think I've decided on a heating system, of which more shortly...
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Solar Water Heating

Solar water heating systems use energy from the sun to heat water for use in the home. This water can be utilised for washing and general domestic uses as well as for heating purposes. There are three main components: 1. Heat Collectors or Panels. The two main types are flat plate and evacuated tube both are normally fitted onto roofs but can be ground mounted. Evacuated tube systems use metal strip collectors in vacuum tubes and are the smaller but more expensive option. Flat plate systems use a dark coloured plate in an insulated container collect heat. 2. Heat transfer…
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The Greener Homes & Buildings Show ~ Builth Wells, 8th & 9th March 2008

As I write the The Greener Homes & Buildings Show 'trade and professionals day' will be in full swing at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, Powys. On Saturday and Sunday (8th and 9th) the show is open to the public and there looks to be excellent attendance from the sustainable & green building industry from both Wales and the wider world. As well as meeting suppliers, ogling products and finding out more about the services available out there, there are some really interesting seminars on offer at no additional cost. My only worry is that they'll be too…
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Pellet Stoves – a current evaluation

I feel like I've somewhat misrepresented pellet stoves in the past. To recap, pellet stoves are wood burners with a difference, they burn pellets made from pressed waste wood, that are feed from a hopper into a combustion chamber all of which is often controlled electronically. I'm sure no-one has really been reading who'll take offence, but I feel that I should redress the balance. When writing about biomass heating, I stated that: biomass systems are often bulky and so can require extensive storage space for both fuel and machinery ...with no statement of assumptions and seemingly no exceptions. After…
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Building Progress ~ February 2008, week 4

We have walls. Well at least partially, the partition walls have started to be built in the kitchen, to form a utility / services room & a small WC and upstairs, to form the second bedroom, main bathroom and ensuite / dressing area (if you can call a meter-&-a-half corridor a dressing area). This dressing area is an example of how you need to remain flexible when planning the internal layout of a conversion. This area started out as a strange 1 meter wide space. However, as the walls were placed in relation to the A-frames of the roof, the…
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