Month: July 2008

Insulation ~ Cellulose Fibre

Often made from recycled newspapers, cellulose fibre is a loose fill insulation. Description As a loose fill insulation it does not come in blankets, sheets or boards, rather as a loose fibres that are blown or laid into place and must be protected from drafts or breezes. Additionally, to maintain optimal performance it must be kept dry. It is treated with boron salts to provide insect protection and fire resistance. It can absorb and release moisture without significant impact on its insulating characteristics. Features Non-toxic & non-irritating. Biodegradable. Renewable. Locks in carbon. Low embodied energy. As little energy is consumed…
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A Room With A View

I promised I'd post a picture of the view from the gable end bedroom so here it is. the view across the valley I'm pleased with the window and the view and light that it provides - the thick wall and small window provide a narrow glimpse of the outside. A slight shame in that a wider window could have really opened up the far-reaching view, but as this window was a late amendment to the plans I'm just glad it's there.
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Insulation ~ Sheep’s wool

Perhaps one of the most talked about and attractive recent innovations, sheep's wool insulation is of particular attraction to those of us who to the woolly West or North of the UK. But does it live up to the hype? the donor! Description Sheeps wool is a renewable by-product of the farming industry. It has extremely low embodied energy is in plentiful supply and can act as a humidity regulator as it can absorb up to 40% of its own weight in water, the water being released when conditions change. It is a natural non-toxic, non-irritating material. Features Non-toxic &…
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Windows

We have windows and a couple of doors, both big and small and all of them white. They're not all in yet, but we're getting there. a new white window... The windows are hardwood and were hand-made relatively locally from (sustainable we are told) African hardwood. I never intended to go for hardwood windows - softwood seemed more than adequate and safely removed from the ethical hardwood debate. However, the size of the large cart-door screens & the need for structural integrity coupled with the advice I received on the most appropriate materials dictated the choice of hardwood. I must…
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Insulation

From a full Passivhaus design to a simple loft conversion the effective use of insulation has never been more high profile. One of the key features of current renovation and new building design is the effective utilisation of insulation to minimise heating requirements. Whilst in the UK we historically tended to think of insulation in terms of carpeting lofts with fibre or pumping old newspapers into wall cavities, things have moved on. In this series of articles, mbc will bring you an overview of the current technology and options that are available. We'll use four broad classifications for insulation materials:…
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Building Progress ~ June 2008

Insulation. June has been a pretty slow month ... progress has been dominated by insulation and plasterboard. First fix electrics and plumbing are complete. The roof and walls are being insulated and plasterboarded. Internally, the old stone barn is being lost behind a new structure of wood, plasterboard, insulating panels and rock wool. It feels like we're building a boat within and completing filling and old stone barn. This stage of development throws up some interesting contrasts, junctions between stone walling, old wooden beams, new oak beams, plasterboard and block work. There's a balance between old and new, ancient and…
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Insulation ~ Expanded Polystyrene

Expanded Polystyrene insulation is made from small beads of polystyrene that are heated to expand them. To create boards, the beads are heated further to fuse the beads together. Boards are typical used in walls, roofs and floors. Polystyrene beads can be used as lose cavity fill in masonry walls. Description Lose or in boards we're all familiar with the white, squashy polystyrene balls that form the basis of this type of insulation. Features Manufactured from petrochemicals so not sustainable and toxic when burnt. High embodied energy. Cheap. Moisture tolerant and relatively durable. Versatile and relatively easy to fit. Performance…
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Lime Pointing ~ Summer 2008

last weekend's raking out In what seems to be an annual event, I've restarted repointing the exterior of the barn. When working with lime you have to take a break over the cold, wet winter months - it's taken me this long to get restarted. This time, I've taken a more scientific approach and attempted to work out how longs it's going to take. Last weekend I managed to hack / rake out the old pointing from an area 180cm by 190cm = 3.42m2...that took me just around 3.5 hours, so my hacking out rate = 1 square meter per…
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