Month: April 2008

Building Progress ~ April 2008

I can't believe that April is drawing to a close and I've not managed an update since the end of March. On the basis of my laziness I'll save time a update the whole month in one go. The first fix electrics are now completed and plumbing is to follow over the next couple of weeks. The scaffolding that is needed for inserting the velux windows into the roof, patching up the few slipped tiles, sorting out the gutters & ventilation and working on the two upstairs windows is in place. It's really looking like a building site now.
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Peak Oil ~ what is it & what bearing does it have on green building?

Peak Oil is a notional point in time. It is reached when the rate of global oil production hits its maximum level from which the only way is down. In these terms downs means escalating costs of extraction & production, restricted supply, unfulfilled demand and increasing prices. The foundations of the peak oil concept lie in the Hubbert peak theory of Marion King Hubbert that accurately predicted that United States oil production would peak in the early 1970's. The term Peak Oil currently usually used in relation to world oil production as a whole. Conservative estimates place the date at…
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Photovoltaics

Photo = light & voltaic = electricity Photovoltaics is a technology that utilises light to generate electricity. As such it is an essential tool in the development of more sustainable methods of electricity generation. Simplistically, electricity is generated by the photons from sunlight colliding with electrons within the solar cell. Solar cells are solid state devices that produce direct current electricity from light. They are arranged into interconnected groups to form a module. In turn photovoltaic (PV) modules are connected together into photovoltaic arrays. A module is big enough to power a single device with larger applications such as a…
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Attention to detail… April 2008 update

Being a fan of lists, we've been using one to keep track of those items that we need to specify and decisions we need to make in regard to the detailed design of the conversion ~ attention to detail. This is the current position: Ground or Air Source Heat Pump that is the question. >> Answer = Neither We're now planning for a 'simpler' system with solar and multi fuel burner input. More on this soon. Heating. Go with under-floor heating on the ground floor with radiators on first floor ~ drawbacks, problems, source of hot water for radiators (potentially…
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Building Progress ~ March 2008, week 3 & 4

Progress has become a rather abstract term recently. Nothing has physically changed at the barn, but plans are being made and wheels (hopefully) put in motion. I’ve not helped things by changing plans for the heating … hopefully we’ll get things out of the doldrums and moving again in April…
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Project Management ~ Google Documents

I now organise nearly all my documents for the project using Google Documents. These are mainly letters and the spreadsheets I use to juggle finances and it works well for me. As I access the internet from at least two different places most days the ability to store documents on the web is perfect for me. Functionally, the tools are light-weight equivalents of Microsoft Office applications with stripped back functionality. This doesn't really cause a problem as those things you can't do are often those things you really don't need to be doing. For example, there is a limited set…
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Paid to recycle

Love him or hate him or just find him amusing, I read with interest that Boris Johnson is advocating a positive encouragement to recycling in the environmental manifesto that is a part of his candidature for election as mayor of London. He is inspired by schemes such as that run by RecycleBank in the USA that offer financial rewards for recyclers rather than forcing recycling through fining, charging and taxing. It seems to me that the current policy of the UK government to encourage recycling mainly through financial penalties is woefully negative. To be positively encouraged, rather than threatened with…
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