Combined Heat and Power

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems generate electrical power and heat simultaneously. There are three main technologies utilised to provide CHP systems – External combustion, Internal combustion and Fuel Cells. External combustion Central to the generation of electricity is the Stirling engine. A Stirling engine operates by being heated externally and so is described asContinue reading Combined Heat and Power

Maintain Space

Most conversion projects involve the division of large functional spaces in smaller, habitable spaces. But keep the space & enjoy it … allow for a full height atrium, keep large open plan living spaces, divide spaces with furnishings, temporary dividers or screens rather than solid, immoveable walls. Avoid the desire for that extra bedroom orContinue reading Maintain Space

Feed-in Tariffs

Whilst I have no immediate plans (or money) to install any electricity generation technology at the barn, I like to keep an eye on future opportunities and thought a review of Feed-in Tariffs may be in order. The Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme has been available through electricity suppliers since April the 1st 2010. The aim ofContinue reading Feed-in Tariffs

If only all the new houses…

‘If only all the new houses in our villages were being built of timber and cob…’

Step 11 = space usage and purpose

… Rooms – what, where and why? I think in the UK we take a strange approach to consideration of houses, judging a potential home, first and foremost by reference to its number of bedrooms. Forget the rest of the space and all the other essential functions of a home, just think bedrooms… Early onContinue reading Step 11 = space usage and purpose

Design Patterns ~ my choices ~ update

Way back at the end of 2007 I selected a number design patterns from Christopher Alexander’s excellent ‘A Pattern Language – Towns Buildings Construction’ to guide the design of the conversion of the barn. With progress having been made I thought a review was in order. The original list of chosen patterns and my original descriptiveContinue reading Design Patterns ~ my choices ~ update

Passive Solar Design

The opportunities for truly engaging with and implementing Passive Solar Design may be minimal on a conversion project – the orientation of the building is set and there may be limited opportunities for large glazed openings that can provide optimal solar gain. But do what you can to maximise (openings) and manage (through materials, colours,Continue reading Passive Solar Design

At Night

It’s pretty nice out there when the sun goes down… From bochgoch From bochgoch From bochgoch I’ll look at these in the middle of winter and hopefully feel some warmth.

Building Progress ~ August 2010

We’ve been away to Brittany for a week so I’ve gone back to my old late ways this month… Before my holiday, I spent every weekend and then three days of the week before going away occupied with repointing the external walls. The trouble with working with lime for a few days without a breakContinue reading Building Progress ~ August 2010