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Adding extra mass to buildings

As many of you know, I have been sceptical that adding extra mass to a building will stabilise the temperature.  This basically comes from when I studied this back in 2008. Just to reconfirm my suspicions that regardless of construction type, the air in a building will react more to external inputs than internal inputs i.e. solar gain, ventilation and a heating system versus thick stone, brick or concrete walls. To retest this idea, I worked out the amount of energy that is needed to c


SteamyTea in Thermal Testing

1st Foundation Completed

Concrete was poured via a pump on Monday. Finally have a Concrete sub foundation!  Took delivery of the Kore insulation for the actual foundation. Lots of angles sheets, L shape and other ones. I've 88 silver EPS boards too in packs of 8. They needed 2 men to move, the others could be handled one by one. The delivery driver helped offload as getting a forklift and driver for 4 Pallets (@150kg each) was going to be expensive and on too much short notice to arrange insurance for me to drive o


mike2016 in foundations

EPC, Air tightness, snags and a push to finish

Around 11 months ago, we started from a stripped site, the treatment plant was in and running the cabins / static so drainage just required connecting up. we had to wait for the warrant to be amended (change to the certificate of deign) this  held us back ma month or so until the BCO just said "get on with it, we can sort that later"- top guy!!  If we had waited for the amended certificate of design we would still be building, it took him 5 months to get it to us.    I've document


Jenki in Finished ?

new year - it was supposed to get better

I really hoped that now we are progressing after our suspended floor saga that things would get better, but something somewhere is determined to make sure that doesn't happen.   The only change is that this time the things that have gone wrong are not build related. Firstly, my brother, only 63, died of a heart attack with no history of problems.  I spent 5 days with him and his wife / kids in intensive care hoping against hope that he would pull thorough, but at 6am 6th Feb his h


LSB in Jan 2024

Battery Storage Update - 2 years in

Where on earth has that 2 years vanished?   So coming up on the 2 year installation of the inverter and single module battery, and as with most things these days, the gradual improvements to firmware over time have made a huge difference.   So at the last update I'd managed to get the power leakage down through an offset, and the whole system was a lot more accurate, but nonetheless still had a small amount of leakage throughout the day which was averaging around 0.5-0.6kWh,

2M² Plant room

Just a very short blog to show the windy roost ( not fully finished, is a self build ever?) plant room. I'm quite chuffed I got it all to fit, and I think it's quite neat. It's full DIY and house's the UVC and combined buffer, UFH manifold, MVHR unit, inverter, consumer unit, network hub.  All in 4M³. Plus storage to come. Yes, the printer doesn't fit, but it's coming to its end of life so that's all it's getting for now. Jobs to do: Ceiling Insulate MVHR ducting / box in


Jenki in Plant room

Heat Capacity; What it is.

Heat capacity is a really simple concept, confusion comes about because it get mangled beyond belief. Some of this mangling is actually physical i.e. we change the shape of a heated object, and other mangling is with words i.e. not knowing much about the subject.   I like to stick with the physical, it is easy and, more importantly, you can put descriptive units to it.   To start with, let us look at the two types of heat capacity.   Specific Heat Capacity

Insulating Panels; Part 2

It has been a lot warmer this week, which is nice, but not so great for doing comparison testing.  While my house stayed within half a degree (17.4°C instead of 17°C) the outside air temperature was 8.5°C warmer (8.3°C compared to -0.1°C) over the test period (20/01/2024 to 24/04/2024). But no matter, I still run the tests with just an air void and the void filled with a product called Fillite, which is hollow microspheres made from silica.   Basically the same pattern was observe

Insulation is really easy

Why do people get so hung up about thermal insulation, it really is not difficult.   The main thing to remember is that the power, in watts (W, J.s-1) that passes though a material is approximately proportional to three things, conductivity (k, λ), temperature difference (∆T) in kelvin (K), and thickness in metres (m). In arithmetic terms, the thermal conductivity of a material is written as W.m-1.K-1, or W/m.K (as I have never found a way to write a superscript negative sign on m


SteamyTea in Insulation

Groundworks - muck out, hardcore & Foundation Screws

Everything kicked off on January 8th 2024 finally after 8 years of faffing about and trying to line up finances, finding someone to sign off building regs and a year of selling the old house eventually succeeded.  There was about 120 tons of muckaway judging from the number of trucks. The guys brought a 17 tonne digger and were glad of it. The big roller they didn't use in the end but went with a more compact diesel unit. hardcore was added and leveled.  The trickier element was gettin


mike2016 in Groundworks

Insulation Panels

It has been a cold week, so just after 12:30 on the 15th of January 2024, I started a small, but limited, experiment. This was rather prompted by a comment by @Garald who wanted to insulate at the back of his book shelves, and mentioned our favourite insulation, multifoil.  @Gus Potter also has a project that may benefit a thin, easy and cheap to make, insulating panel.  I think I also made a comment to @saveasteading about this experiment, but can't remember in what context. Now I hav

Building Control

After obtaining planning, i got my building controll aplication under way. I had 2 options - Pay £1100 for Building Notice - Pay £900 for Full Plans.   Everyone on here recommends full plans, and it was a cheaper fee. I knew i'd have to either pay for the plans or do them myself. I opted to do them myself after loads of research on this forum (particiularily inspired by @HerbJ )   Here's my version of Herb's spec.   Building Regulation Specification Redac


LiamJones in Planning


I used the knowledge of this forum to help me work out what i wanted to build. I was told repeatedly to knock down and re-build, and i kinda wish i'd of gone down that route now, but i decided to stick with what i had and make it work. With that said, i'm not paying much VAT, i'm doing a lot of the work myself, and the trades i do employ aren't VAT registered anyway. The 0% VAT incentive of going new build wouldn't have been quite as much as a game changer as i thought it might be.   I


LiamJones in Planning

Strip out

The strip out continued through the months of July and August.   The old shed coming down   Loft insulation out (the itchiest job known to man) Cielings down   Conservatory down   Floors up     Loading up the skip with non burnable stuff.     And burning the rest   The old garage briefly   before being sold, dismantled and collected


LiamJones in Demolition


We picked up the keys to the bungalow on 27th June 2023 after a 6 month sale of the our previous family home, a 3 bed semi reovation we completed back in 2019.   It's a 1930s, 3 bed detatched bungalow in Norfolk, set on a plot about 800m2. It had been empty for just over a year whilst a probate of a probate went through.   We already had planning in about 2 weeks prior to completing to get the ball rolling (hence the blue planning notice on the fence!)    


LiamJones in Demolition

Wet weather, BC, SE, Drawings, cost and more wet weather

Our tale of delays and woe is competing even with @pocster for time taken   From Oct - Dec progress has one again been delayed by weather, flooding, cold and in all honesty a bit of incompetence on our part meaning we are further back than when we started.   This period started well enough with the trenches for foundation filled ready to start building walls.   After digging down and down to the required depth (or so we thought) we started to place the cellcore read


LSB in Dec 2023

Site Insurance - The first or final hurdle?!

So the site is almost ready to start, my house is sold, moving out this weekend. Got the last tree stump ground out so there's nothing blocking the foundations. But the reason we write some of these blogs is to vent frustrations and in my case today it's about insurance.  My site has Made Ground. I went through the trouble of getting a ground analysis with dynamic probing and there is good load bearing at 2.2 meters but it's poor above that. I switched Structural Engineers and Tanners in Co


mike2016 in insurance

6 Months, so we got plastered

It's been a while since my last blog, but we've not stopped, the days are shorter and the weather skipped autumn🍂 and dived into winter with a few storms and loads of rain.   Our windows are budget friendly triple glazed UPVC, and composite doors.   The external EPS was sealed at the cill with EPDM airtight tape, the tape has reinforcement in it and can be moulded, it does crease but creates a water tight junction and sticks like the proverbial to the EPS.   W


Jenki in 6 Month build

That'll do for 2023...

Properly chuffed with myself how far i've progressed this year, but its a good time to take a break i feel, before the last huge job of doing the new bathroom, hopefully next year.   Finished the external wall insulation off in the courtyard area, and got my new set of water butts all connected, should provide enough for the front garden and car washing (when i have the energy!) during a prolonged dry period. Just got the silicone to do on the corner and the join.  

How an MBC WarmSlab Has Actually Performed based on 6 Years Data

In my topic Modelling the "Chunk" Heating of a Passive Slab, I discussed how I used a heat flow model to predict how my MBC WarmSlab heated by UFH + Willis heater would perform.  What I wanted to do in this post is to provide a “6 years on” retrospective of how the house and slab have performed as built based on actual data that I’ve logged during this period, and to provide some general conclusions. In this, I assumed 15 mm UFH pipework, but we actually used 16mm PEX-Al-PEX pipework with a


TerryE in Heating

More trenches, holes and crushing concrete

So in the last couple of months we've moved on quite a bit for us.   We started on our next section of the build, to be the snug and entrance hall. This is the sticking out part of the 'L' of the build.     We removed the roof covering some time ago, so at the start of July it looked like this.           Then the 4 layers of floor and internal walls were broken down          


LSB in Oct 2023

Wall Build up (Choices)

Still in the Sales cycle for my old house (3rd try!) but while I'm waiting I'll be doing site clearing work next month and I want to take a moment here to make final decisions on my wall build up as this moves the locations of my floor penetrations by 100mm.  Target U Values are as follows: 1. External walls U value = 0.1 W/m2K 2. Sloped Roof U value = 0.1 W/m2k 3. Floor U value = 0.07 W/m2k This is based on PHPP calculations, they are more strict as my house is quite sm


mike2016 in Wall insulation

Topping out

Sunday in the Highlands, and the weather has a feel of changing, we've been so fortunate on the build so far, day 105 today, but the last week or so has been wet, windy, sunny, overcast usually everyday. So autumn is on the way. July and August have been busy with the 2 cabins with around 100 nights occupied, that's over 250 people staying, and 30 +dogs 😂. The upshot being we can afford to eat, but the labour for the build has been affected with Mandy continually cleaning and washing.


Jenki in Roof

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