Hi there, discovered this forum while looking for some advice/articles on hardcore and decided to register/join as, from first glances, it looks like there is loads of valuable information on here as well as lots of people willing to help and share their experiences.
So, as the title suggests, our project is a replacement dwelling in Green Belt in the High Peak, just a few hundred yards outside the Peak District national park. We bought a 1927-built 3 bed bungalow in 2016 that was last upgraded in the 1960s, securing planning permission in 2018 for a 4 bed single storey replacement dwelling plus a large basement, to be built to the PassivHaus standard with as low a carbon footprint as possible for both the build process and the whole life of the building. I have a background in engineering and project management (albeit a somewhat different industry), so I'm project managing the build myself. Determined not to start on site until we had a detailed design with a comprehensive set of construction drawings, it took time to complete the design to the relevant level of detail. In February 2020 during discussions with UK manufacturers of SIPS (which was our preferred construction method), it was clear that they would not warrant their product to our design. So we had to fix that design problem and find another construction method which, courtesy of the pandemic, took around a year to work out.
We started work on site in March 2021 and have moved slowly so far for a multitude of reasons that you will all be aware of - shortage of contractors, shortage of materials, Covid sickness, etc - but we now have a fenced safe site and the existing bungalow has been soft-stripped. After the utility connections have been sorted (in progress atm!), we will demolish the remaining brick/concrete structure, crush it on site for hardcore, and retain the floorboards/roof joists for re-use. Then we will build a detached garage and install in it (temporarily) a toilet, kitchen and shower to use as site office/secure storage during the building of the new house. That gets us to April 2022 when we will start the complex groundworks - complex because the water table is high, one metre down we have gritstone, and we have to go more than three metres down and build a retaining wall for the adjacent road. After that, it should get easier! It will be constructed now using closed timber frame, but building to PassivHaus is obviously a whole extra set of complications that will be challenging. But I guess that's part of the fun...!
As I'm not a seasoned user of this forum yet, I'm still finding my way about but hopefully that's enough of a taster to introduce you to our project. I would also like to record my gratitude for any/all of the future advice that I receive from you all!