jno

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  1. Great suggestions in that post @jonM Thanks for sharing! The brief for your Shropshire self-build is actually remarkably similar to what we have in mind for our own self-build... I have two local architects and a surveyor now lined up for a walk around the site and a chat about what might be possible. Hopefully a step forward.
  2. Many thanks for the suggestions. @JohnMoOur idea at present is to get a main contractor to supply and erect the frame. If budget allows, a broader package with foundations, internal walls, windows and external doors would be great. Like the offering from MBC, for example, who we’re 30 mins up the road from. PYC, Frametechnologies, not too far either. As for the rest, we feel just about able to handle it with subcontractors and tradespeople we have within the wider family. We’ll be living on-site for large portions of the build. @IcevergeGood idea. The Passive House open days have been and gone. None quite close enough for a visit unfortunately! I’ve also snooped Local Authority planning websites to track down the architect for a particular new build close by. And certainty keen to assess performance and energy demand in the design stage. Not fussed about exact numbers nor certification. All the more reason to have a designer on board who is versed in PHPP or Passive house design such that they can assess the trade-offs between building performance and cost. @recoveringbuilderIt’s a great question. Why not just build to Regs and keep it looking and functioning like a ‘normal’ house ready to sell on in a few years? If building cost keep climbing, then maybe we’ll have to do this. But my current thinking is that the cost difference between a ‘normal’ house and something a fair way to Passive-type performance is not tremendous (at least not for walls/foundation, more so for windows and MVHR). Plus, we're just really keen on having a relatively low-impact, high performing house for the time that we are living there. Though, I totally agree that the vast majority of house-buying public have little interest in these aspects… I hope it changes in time (at least in time for when we get round to selling!). Future Homes Standard seems like a modest shove in the right direction....
  3. Wow, @Iceverge, what a project. If I understood correctly, the walls used in that project are 1.3m thick! Considering my budget, I may well heed the adivce of @SteamyTea and keep it boxy... And I hadn't considered the extra cold bridging at junctions... Thanks for the ideas.
  4. Hi there! I’ve been perusing BuildHub these last week’s, gathering up informative titbits and receiving a few helpful comments to a couple of my questions. Why the interest? Well, I’m in the fortunate position of having a family member with an oversized/unused garden who has agreed to sell me a modest chunk of the land, should we manage to get full planning permission. We have in mind a 3-bed detached, 1 or 1.5 storey design. The idea is to be fairly involved with the project management of the self-build, eventually becoming owner-occupiers (we being myself, partner and our young son). The main constraints we’re working with are a fairly narrow plot (34mx14m) and existing detached houses on north, east and west sides. On the other hand, most other aspects such as planning history/access/services/flooding all seem very favourable. This won’t be a ‘forever home’ and we’re open-eyed about the need to design something that’s readably saleable and attractive to lenders. Over the last months, I’ve filled my head with self-build resources, (particularly from BH). I’ve done plenty of research on build methods, planning considerations etc., and have even made several simple Sketch-up models of possible designs. However, I’m well aware that to progress to the next step (likely getting some drawings down and testing the water with a pre-application to the local authority), I’m in need of an architect! We are aspiring to Passiv-like performance, though are realistic about what we might achieve with our tight budget. I’ve done a fairly thorough internet search for possible designers, though am struggling to see any practices/architects leaping out from my shortlist! I find many ‘low-energy’ architects and quite a few passive house certified designers, though frequently they’re part of larger practises and I doubt we’ll be able to stump up their fees! Otherwise, when I do find smaller businesses that look a bit more within our ballpark, they lack an actual finished example of a Passive house spec’d self-build project… Perhaps this expertise is a little regionalised too, as I feel we’re in a bit of a blackspot here in Worcestershire! I’d be keen to find a designer somewhat local (say up to an hour away) such that a site visit isn’t too onerous and so that they may have connections with proven local-ish builders and tradespeople. Looking forward to digging around BuildHub a bit more to hopefully find some tips on this. I would particularly welcome any advice or experiences on architects. How did you find and choose yours? Cheers James
  5. I’m in the early stages of planning/designing a Passive house inspired 3-bed self-build (plot already lined-up and planning looks favourable). I’m trying to understand the importance of building form factor for energy performance. I understand that the optimum building shape would minimise external envelope area compared to internal volume or floor area. What I don’t understand are the implications of a less compact form on insulation requirements and building costs. They would go up. But prohibitively so? I’ve been looking at this really good blog that has a useful graphic on form factor (http://elrondburrell.com/blog/passivhaus-spreadsheet-phpp-design-tool/) In the graphic example, going from a box to an L-shaped box increases the area/volume by less than 10%. So to my mind, increasing insulation performance by 10% could offset this. Something like going from an average U-value of 0.12 to 0.105 for example. Does that make sense? I’m keen to do a moderately complex form, like a T or and L-shape. Would that make it really expensive to achieve near Passive House performance? Any ideas or wisdom appreciated!
  6. Thanks for the ideas @Ferdinand Point (c) for sure. The old reports are a great starting point for my pre-app / outline planning stage. I can back-up what's necessary then with some recomissioned reports.
  7. Thanks for the ideas. Perhaps I was being a bit hopeful to recycle all that many of the original reports @saveasteadingGood idea to mention existing reports for adjacent plot and at least enquire as to a discounted cost for a new report. I found two local council websites referring to the acceptable age of ecology surveys. One suggesting no more than one year, the other up to three years. Fair enough to redo an eco-report, as they actually get their boots dirty and inspect the plot in detail. But the Flood Risk Assessment I had commissioned last was entirely desk based, using exclusively public datasets. And the FRA was also the most expensive! So I guess I’m a bit sour about potentially having to redo that one! I’ll do as you say @jamieled and try to wing it with existing FRA.
  8. I understand that full planning permission is valid for 3 years. But what about the various consultant reports that support a successful planning application? Do these have a sell-by-date? I couldn’t find a definitive answer on the web and was hoping someone might be able to offer some clarification. My reason for asking is that I wanted to recycle some of the consultant reports that I had commissioned as part of a successful planning permission application made back in spring 2017 for 4 detached dwellings in a plot that now sits adjacent to my garden. The current plan is to seek planning permission again for an additional single dwelling within the remaining space within my garden/grounds. For reference, I attach a rough outline of the plot for which the original consultant reports relate to, as well as the prospective new plot. As you can see, they’re right next to each other, so to my mind, some aspects of existing consultant reports could be shared? From memory, the reports made were flood risk, ecological, archaeological, geotechnical, perhaps one or two other typical reports that I could dig out. Might be worth redoing some reports, such as the geotechnical to be sure were not building on made ground. But I’m certain the prospective site is of lower flood risk and it seems mad to spend another 1-2k on a new report that presents practically the same geographic assessment. My first post on BuildHub. Any ideas/comments much appreciated. I’ll share the eventual outcome in case it’s of use to others.