joth

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About joth

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  1. Totally agree about the inspiration being up there with Ben Law's -- it not just about what they achieved, but their attitude to the build, problem solving, and life itself. I did come away with it exceedingly frustrated though, largely on their behalf. If the planners hadn't placed such ridiculous and counterproductive constraints on them, not only could they have achieved an even better result at less cost, but they would have caused themselves less stress, less risk of serious harm to health and financial ruin, and also achieved a far far more efficient building executed in a more environmentally responsible way. Hand digging and then pouring hundreds of tonnes CO2 belching concrete in order to "preserve" a few totally rotten 30 year old timber beams is completely and utterly bonkers. And then making steel boxes for them! One of the key reasons to use wood in the first place is the low environmental impact of generating and recycling it. If it's past its useful life, rip it out and replace. Preserving it is in absolutely no ones interests in this (and most!) cases. I fear all the effort in underpinning and preserving the super structure means they had to cut a lot of corners with insulation thickness in the floor walls and roof. If rebuilding they could have achieved a lot better fabric, with less time (and probably less cost), and got an identical looking result. And while they're inspirational, it was easy to see many times a small change of luck/fate could have resulted in a devastatingly different outcome. Their incredible perseverance got them through, but millions wouldn't and my goodness the fact they did doesn't justify the pain that society needlessly and pointlessly throws on anyone attempting this. More selfishly: I'm much more in the camp of "pay someone else to solve my problems" just because of the number of hours a day my main job takes up, but even so I've found the last year utterly tiring and stressful so it's humbling to see what real dedication to a build + day job + family looks like and undeniably makes me disappointed in myself that I'm not able to do a better job of juggling them. (And candidly, I think another hour of footage and Greg would become my first ever man-crush, so of course that made me angry at myself too 🤣) Back to the main point though - we must be the only country in the world that goes to these lengths to preserve rubbish, just to enforce some sort of faux design constraints? Every other country must surely looks at us and wonder what the heck we're smoking. If we really want to make some portion of our rural properties look like agricultural buildings, lets as a nation have a grown up conversation about it and make some sane rules to work towards that. Requiring people to build sheds and then "preserve" and convert them is just making substandard accommodation that only the wealthy (or ridiculously ambitious) can achieve. I mean, beautiful as it was, their end building didn't look a thing like the barn it started with anyway. Did the planners do this just out of spite?
  2. If the goal is solving a freezing floor, digging it out and insulating it properly is the best choice by far, so if that is an option then go for it. The add on benefit then is you can run the UFH at a much lower temperature which will allow much more freedom in selecting floor finishes.
  3. Adding to what Jilly mentioned, does the PP stipulate the existing building myst be retained at all? Is there anything of historic / architectural note about it motivating you to retain it? Otherwise you should very much keep an open mind to the option of demolish and rebuilding it. So long as you keep within the envelope approved under your existing PP it might even already allow this ? (Others may have experience). A rebuild will mean it is VAT free, and will allow you to achieve a much higher quality end result. This in turn leads to long-term money savings (reduced heating bills, reduced mainenance from any structural compromise from building on existing footings, etc) The VAT saving should not be underestimated; when you start to think about 20% off all the plumbing, electrical, kitchen, bathroom, paint, flooring, external landscaping, etc etc if could easily payback the cost of rebuilding what's there.
  4. funny enough I just got the Loxone system programmed yesterday. 4 rooms have lights installed, but still no lightswitches due to delays with the humidity holding up the flooring which is holding up skirting boards holding up wall decoration, so I can control lighting from anywhere in the world on my phone more easily than anyone else can from within the room itself. only installed 2 LED strips so far, but they're looking great. it's a bit ironic that the first ones to be installed are necessarily the ones that are hardest to get at / maintain later on, which really raises the stakes on getting these first ones right first time, while still learning how to do them nicely We didn't bother with very fancy bathroom lighting, but for the tub my top tip is to get a couple of these small sound actuators and glue onto a suitable panel on it: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071LH266V They don't look much but attached to the correct surface they sound surprisingly good. That's the only speakers I've installed so far, so they've turned into my "builder's radio".
  5. Is the installer MCS registered? If so, they should have done (or requested) room-by-room heat loss calcs, in order to specify controls and emitters on a room by room basis. A whole house EPC is not sufficient. If this is the case then they both FUed. (If not MCS then they can do whatever they want within statury limits, but it sounds promising that they're carrying the can for it) Edit: opps just read again and noticed you said "and heat calcs" so sounds like they were trying to do it right 👍 Btw to link to @Ferdinand post - do ask the installer for a copy of the room by room calcs. This can act as a good starting point to figure out where energy savings can be made, saves some time redoing it all yourself
  6. I'm finding this causes additional harm throughout the system. The government's messaging that it's easy to retrofit an ASHP (and solar PV) encourages so many people undertaking major renovations ("lifestyle" driven; giant knock thoughs and bifolds and UFH are the norm around here) to think "I'lll get all the core work done, then see what money I have left over for sustainability measures at the end". And only when they get the ASHP installer in they discover (if they are lucky!) all the errors they made from the very start of the project, in underspecifying UF insulation, draft proofing, window/bifold selection etc etc which makes ASHP that much harder. With the cruel irony that had they put those other measures in from the start, switching to a sustainable heat source is so much less useful anyway as the heat demand already is that much lower anyway. Sad but true. The angle I've been trying to push in local groups is to stress the desirability of many of the fabric first measures. E.g.: - drastically increasing under-floor insulation means you can run the UFH at a much lower temperature, which means you can choose that really expensive and fragile real wood or cashmere carpet floor finishes. - installing MVHR means you can breath fresh clean COVID free filtered air all year round, solve humidity/mould issues, and improve sound proofing keep those car/plane/neighbour noises away - ASHP can be used in cooling mode, meaning you can have beautiful cool aircon when all your neighbours are sweltering Like the iPhone, these things need to be considered aspirational and then they'll get more pre-renovation design time attention. A crash course in thermodynamic physicals is not sexy enough for most.
  7. Yes! Down to 75% humidity and seems to have settled there. Left the MVHR going just to ensure all the air gets moved around a bit and manage some of the black mold spots building up. Left a couple windows open a crack to let air out, but after the humidity settled last week we've not bothered leaving them open. It seems we need a 2kW heater running 24/7 just to maintain 18deg which is I guess nearish to what PHPP predicted (it has been fairly cold out)... it's a bit scary leaving that going when not there overnight, but necessary to keep the food flooring settle to correct temp & humidity to install. The fitter seems happy with it all today, coming back Friday to install at last! Then we just need a kitchen install date, and we can start to dare to think about a move-in date. (I might move my laptop and monitor down there sooner, and "work from home" from site until we officially move back in)
  8. Bora Pure X has 150 and 180mm zones but you can bridge them to create a 240mm zone. I don't understand the maths at work there either
  9. GB Sol so a similar looking PV slate, have done for years. http://www.gb-sol.co.uk/products/pvslates/default.htm When we looked it was 2x the price of their RIS system and about half as efficient, so 4x the cost per W. The RIS system is itself 2x an economy install (but you save a bit on roof tiles) which is already non economic for most people. Finally PV slates loose most of the crucial virtue signalling benefits so my guess is they'll be the first thing to go off most build specs when costs overrun and the customer realized it is masses of cost for something the neighbors will never even realize. (Only partly joking)
  10. I heard the other day that most of the processing of applications is done in USA (outsourced I assume, which does explain the strange time of replies and on UK bank holidays). So total speculation here but perhaps there's a UK team that first review every case and check there's no personal information in it that is outside the terms of the safe harbour agreement that allows them to send it to a non GDPR country for processing.
  11. It's gotten worse, I have sent two comparison quotes and the response from my installer, they just replied asking what the property address was (despite me including the ref number on both emails) the when I supplied that they responded again with a rehash of the original complaint that we're above average price and they need to see a comparison quote or an explanation from the installer. I've just hit the wine, I'll attempt to make a politely worded response over the weekend.
  12. Does Home Assistant have an option to do that Yes, I've taped DS18B20 thermistors inside the insulation on the feeds to each shower/bath hot tap. These could connect to loxone via a 1-wire extension but I'm pretty happy using EspHome with home assistant and a small ESP D1 mini board to read them. My goal is all mandatory functions (lighting, heating) will work in loxone server autonomously and any fancy optional automations will be driven from home assistant. So if anything is flaky unreliable or I'm not about to be admin or we sell the house, the home assistant stuff can just be turned off/removed and the core functions all continue fine in loxone on its own.
  13. If done well the whole point of automation is you don't need to operate it. It automatically operates itself, thus automation. E.g. turning on the bathtub hot water tap can automatically turn up the ventilation, get the towel heater warming, set the lighting to bathing mode and cue up some soothing tunes. I have all the sensors and connections in place to implement this, so now making it happen is just a matter of software. Once settled in the idea is resorting to a touch screen or voice assistant is a last resort (mostly just used for browsing/choosing media)
  14. Couple more hours and I've got most of the low voltage runs terminated - top left corner. This is 24V LED strips, constant current fixtures and all the light switches and motion sensors. As I have used U/FTP CAT6A I have a lot of spare cores on each sensor run (max 3 devices per run). I also have to earth the shielding. For now I just bundled up all the spare cores and the drain wire and wrapped some copper earthing around it. Not very pretty but it does the job. Interested how others manage this (if you've used screened CAT cable). Pictures invited!
  15. There's a slightly more accessible overview of the whole dogs dinner here. https://www.smartme.co.uk/technical.html Includes details of which meters can take what sort of antenna to improve range, and gems like the frequency used in the north depends on how close to Fylingdales you live, and that the Comms hub plugged into the electricity meter is owned by yet another company, meaning we're up to 5 companies/individuals with a claim on the equipment on the fuse board (more if you have smart exports, plus 3 more on the gas meter).