I was due to be writing about the happy day when my SIPS kit arrived on the Island, but instead I find that I have closed up the site and reduced outgoings as much as possible because the SIPS team can't be accomodated and fed on the Island given current restrictions, and travelling the length of the country is hardly sensible conduct at this stage.
Just so there is something to see from the site, here is the beam and block floor going in. Close to 1000 blocks and 68 beams placed in 3 days by 3 people and 1digger. The white blocks have good thermal properties and will be used along with a PIR insulation upstand at the sole plate interface to reduce the thermal bridge.
So now I have to find something else to write about. I haven't said much here about the house design and my goals.
Here are the floor plans as submitted for planning permission. Chris (my architect) and I spent time discussing dimensions and circulation spaces but the overall concept remains to my original plan. The only change from planning to build is that the main bathroom has been flipped so that the large cupboard will double up as a service access.
These pictures show the elevations (apart from north west - which is really boring). The planners decided I had to have real wooden cladding instead of cedral. Bricks were similarly not allowed.
You may ask why there isn't a window in the obvious place on the SW elevation. It makes the bedroom layout impossible! The master bedroom has a vaulted ceiling, so the half round window will provide light from the SW and the window on the SE will provide a good view of the garden. I have designed a sundial to fit in the place where one might otherwise have expected a window.
The house will be a SIPS panel build, aiming for a good SAP A rating without "cheating" by putting a vast solar PV power station on the roof. Because of the design of the roof, based on SIPS panels and purlins, the attic space is open. This gives a good amount of space for hobby rooms or allows eventual accomodation of 6 double bedroooms. There is a designed in space for a spiral staircase to access the attic.
There is no mains gas and I am not keen on burning things within the house so it will run on electricity. I plan to fit 6.6kW of solar PV panels (apprx 20) on the southern roof space. This should generate sufficient energy for 60% to 80% of hot water and heating needs. Heating and cooling will be provided by a ducted airconditioning system and hot water by a thermal store or unvented cylinder driven by an immersion heater. I will be allowing provision for water heating by ASHP but initially this seems unnecessary. Similarly, I am provisioning space for a battery storage system but will wait for battery pricing to drop.
I will be installing a rain water capture system and using it for toilets, garden and probably clothes washing. I know the payback is long, but my building inspector is quite keen I make an effort at meeting the water use targets, and this tips the balance and allows the bath that the boss has asked for.
Final SAP rating for the design was 96 (with limited solar PV) and well over 100 with the full 6.6kW.