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About this blog

This blog http://eastkentpassivhaus.blogspot.co.uk/ will be copied here as it was to Ebuild, probably very slowly! It will hopefully be updated at the same time.

Entries in this blog

 

Has It Lived Up To Expectations

We have been living in the house now for two years and things have settled down so we are looking at whether the house has matched up to our requirements when we designed it. These are, a house that is comfortable to live in, is cheap to run, has low maintenance and looks like our design.   This is an artists impression of the front of our proposed house used in our planning application,        And this is what it looks like now.          

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

When one job leads to another and another and .....

We were trying to level the back garden using the soil left over from the build which was piled up in the back garden. We had managed to level half of the garden but unfortunately as it has hardly rained at all for the last few months it was rock hard. We therefore still had 25 to 30 tonnes of soil to move. I didn’t want to waste mains water soaking it, so that meant fitting the pump in the borehole, which meant finishing wiring up the shed as I had only laid the SWA from the house.    

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Commissioning the MVHR System

We have been living in the house for almost a year now, how time flies. The Genvex Combi 185LS has performed really well, providing hot water and supplementary space heating. The MVHR system is part of Genvex Combi 185LS. One advantage of the Genvex ventilation system is that having an EASHP built in means that the supply air temperature is always slightly above room temperature even if it is not in heating mode. A standard MVHR unit would deliver air at a few degrees below room temperature, hen

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

The End Of The Bungalow

We had lived in the 1920s timber framed bungalow for the last ten years, which although small, allowed us to live comfortably enough while doing the self build. After we moved into the new house we had three months to demolish the bungalow, which was a planning condition. We found out that the bungalow was stick built in the 1920s for farm workers as a Home for Heroes after the First World War. The main part consisted of four rooms and was constructed from 4"x2" timber, lined with Chrysotile asb

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Leading Up To Moving In

We'll be moving in when the heating oil for the bungalow runs out. There's quite a few finishing off jobs to do upstairs so we'll try to get as much done as we can before we move in. We would like the ensuite ready so that's the first on the list.         It's just a job of fitting the basin towel rail and the shower door. Then sealing the basin, toilet and shower.       Next is the bathroom where there are similar jobs to complete.  

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

More work in the garden

During 2017 we carried out some works in the garden so we wouldn’t be hit with a long list of jobs when the house is finished. The first job was to replace the fence between our property and the neighbours. It was falling down and for two winters I had nailed battens across the posts to stop the panels being blown down. It was put up in the 1980s so had done well.                                   

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Wet Room, Utility Room and 2nd Fix

The next rooms to be completed were the utility room and the wet room. The utility room houses the electricity supply point, TV aerial splitter, the plumbing system and ventilation point. It is also the location of the Genvex Combi 185 LS which provides the DHW, warm air space heating and the MHRV system. The washing machine or maybe washer/dryer will also be squeezed into the small space. The overall size of the house isn’t large so care was taken to use space efficient components such as the G

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Hall & Staircase

We wanted a modern design staircase that looked as though it were free standing but at a reasonable price. After a lot of searching we found an Italian company called Fontanot. They produce spiral and winder staircases from steel and wood. We visited their distributers at Rotherham and chose the Genius 030 winder staircase with white power coated steel work and natural beech treads. We tweaked the design a little and then placed the order. We were given a four week lead time but it was delivered

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Sitting Room

The next room to be completed was the sitting room. We bought a lot of furniture for the house in a sale and needed somewhere to store it.                                                                                                

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Kitchen

I have decided to complete the house by finishing it room by room. The first room was the kitchen, ready for the kitchen units and appliances delivery. We chose a white gloss handleless design supplied by Wrens. We were not impressed by the accuracy of their design when we had to replace a 250mm wide base cupboard with a 350mm cupboard. The units themselves though were well made.                I made a plywood template for the Schock Solido sinks

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Air tightness, floor tiling and decorating

Before I started decorating I wanted to have a preliminary air tightness test. I wasn't sure what sort of value I would achieve because I didn't use an air tightness membrane. I relied on the characteristics of the Icynene foam insulation and on careful use of Soudal Flexifoam along with Compiband tape around the doors and windows. I was hoping for a value of no more than one air change per hour. The technician did a pressurisation and depressurisation test. The pressurisation result was 0.45 AC

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Fed up with it looking like a building site

It's coming up to six years now and the front garden still looks like a tip. We're going to put some effort into tidying up and laying out a front garden while the weather remains good.     We put a fence up on the two sides bordering the orchard.          The water table varies from road level down to 2.5m below road level. The Highways Department allowed us to discharge roof drainage directly onto the road because of this. The house

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Plastering and venetian plastering

We used a plasterer who was recommended to us. It was a very good choice as the plaster was flat and as smooth as glass. We found out he was also a qualified venetian plasterer. This was something we hadn't heard of before. He gave us samples, which we liked, and he venetian plastered the bathrooms.     He took a great deal of care and time ensuring the beads were perfect around the hipped dormers.                

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Plasterboarding

All the walls and ceilings were plasterboarded with 12.5mm square edge, standard (grey) or water resistant (green) plasterboard. The exception were the walls in the wetroom which were boarded with 12mm Hardiebacker board.     The window boards and reveal plasterboarding  were completely sealed using Soudal Flexifoam.               The dryliners did an excellent job.            

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Icynene insulation

The depth of the timber I-beams is 350mm which is the thickness of the Icynene. We chose Icynene for its thermal and airtightness qualities. We thought having it sprayed on would be relatively straightforward and quick. We hadn't realised the amount of trimming and tidying that would be needed.       All the openings were masked with clear plastic sheeting.         The front entrance doors and frames were h

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

First fix

Now back inside the house, it’s time for 1st fix. That's ventilation, electrics, plumbing and waste.   I used 125mm diameter rigid plastic pipe for the MHRV ducting.This was the largest diameter that would fit through the metal web joists. It is also compatible with the Genvex Combi 185 compact unit flow requirement.     The supply air passes through an attenuator     The ducting is boxed

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Rainscreen cladding

The exterior of the house has a plinth consisting of six courses of brick slips. The remainder of the house is clad with cedar tongue and groove which will be left untreated to weather to a silvery grey colour. This is part of our low maintenance design.     Calcium silicate board is screwed to the battens. A profiled steel mesh is then attached to the board.       The brick slips are glued to the board through the mesh with the brick slips sp

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Soffits, posts and beams

The soffits vary in width around the house from 250mm to 1500mm. They are made from marine plywood which has been coated with a clear water repellent.     The softwood posts and beams have been clad with 20mm thick cedar boards.     At the front of the house the soffits have lighting fitted.               The cedar boards on the po

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

External wall insulation

The external wall insulation consists of 50mm thick high density Rockwall batts. These have been fitted to improve acoustic insulation. They were also fitted on the roof and hopefully they will help with decrement delay.         The batts are tightly fitted between 50mm square horizontal battens.                    

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Windows and balcony

After many months of planning for the windows the original supplier went into receivership and we had to find a new supplier. The original windows were to be aluminium clad timber Gutmann design manufactured in UK under licence. While looking for replacements we found out about Rehau reinforced plastic profiles certified by PHI and were lucky to find a UK manufacturer, Solent Glazing, who were not too far from home. We visited their factory and were very pleased with the product and their servic

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Doors, fascias and guttering

The scaffolding is down at last, looks so much better.       Fascias are fitted.                     Entrance doors are delivered.     Internorm front door and sidelight fitted.               Entrance doors are in and the guttering goes up.                          

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Roofing starts

Before the roofing can start the lead work around the two front dormers is completed. We didn't actually use lead but Lacomet FL.                                                                                                                              We put 50mm high density Rockwool batts between the 100x50mm rafters.                       

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

The timber frame goes up

The frame is an unusual portal I-beam timber frame design which reduces thermal bridging to a minimum.         The sole plate was laid on 29/9/10 with the remainder of the frame being installed over the following two weeks.                 This shows the construction of the individual frames.                                          

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Now for the foundations

Digging out for the insulated raft foundation system went without any problems, but little did we know what lay ahead!            We decided on using a PH certified foundation system which worked well with our type of wall construction.  The only one available at the time was the Isoquick system.     There is 250mm compacted type 1 sub-base with 50mm granite fines on top     That's a lot of i

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Ground works begin

The self-build house is a replacement for an old timber bungalow with the house being built in the garden of the bungalow which we are living in until we can move into the house. The bungalow will then be demolished.   Garden/building site to the right of the bungalow                                                                                                     Site clearance started in March 2010 with the removal of

PeterStarck

PeterStarck