joth

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  1. This inspired me to work through the house and figure out where our 250W base load is spent. Just used the smart meter display. Top culprits (ignoring fridge/freezer): 70W on internet router/switch/modem/wifi APs 60W on 2x PCs (expected) 50W on a home theatre amp even in standby 16W TV on standby The rest mostly distributed among numerous small electrical items & chargers. The Unifi router & PoE switch are SOHO/business grade, with big ol noisy fans, so not surprised they come out high but still makes me wish I'd thought to research that more before going all in with their gear. I must think again about having always-on Windows PC; the linux one is inevitable. The home-theater amp is the most disappointing, given it's a fairly new model, Sony STR-DN1080, and 50W is crazy for just sitting there doing nothing. The obvious thing would be to use a slave switch to power it right down when the TV is off, but it'd defeat one of the main reasons I went for that model (built in Chromecast for multiroom music streaming). Anyway, certainly some savings can be made.
  2. Honestly all I want is a wired interface with dry switch contacts for "open" and "close"....
  3. Ugh that's exactly what I didn't want to hear, but thanks for the heads up anyway @Jimbouk and @jack ! I'd also been informed the Velux automation interface is dire, and they've more or less stopped making their Passive house grade skylight anyway it seems, so I was very happy when Fakro said they can make the FFT U8 with z-wave by special order. God knows it's going to be a bugger to get to if we ever need to maintain it. But it's much easier to order with electronic opening even if we end up never using it, than attempt to retrofit it.
  4. The link I posted was a bit duff (now edited), I meant to get the blog article + comments that do touch on Building regs (in a non-conclusive way) http://www.heatspaceandlight.com/space-mvhr-ducts-tight-combined-intake-exhaust-grille-solution/ This is a good point though, if it comes to aesthetics vs performance+compliance, then the aesthetics can certainly give a bit (conservation area be damned!) Thanks!
  5. If space is really limited you can put the ducts much closer together using a combined grille like the Maico KWH 16 R http://www.heatspaceandlight.com/space-mvhr-ducts-tight-combined-intake-exhaust-grille-solution/ Only know this because our system designer has suggested this. He's also recommended the enthalpy exchanger too (partly because we may add some active heating via the ducts, which can push humidity even lower)
  6. MVHR is mechanical ventilation with heat recovery. The idea is the extract the damp smelly air but without throwing all the heat out too. Envirovent do units suitable for a single room (no direct experience with them though) https://www.envirovent.com/products/heat-recovery-ventilation-mvhr/heatsava/
  7. We're getting an electric opening skylight and flat roof-lights, primarily because they are otherwise too hard to reach. One of the supplier also suggested, unprompted, adding a "Hautau Primat 190 electric opener" to the kitchen window too, again because being high over the sink it'll be tricky to reach. Adds about £1000 to the cost. But this does open the possibility of automated overnight stack venting in the summer. So I asked a very similar question over here and @jack made the very good point that key thing overnight is cooling the bedrooms anyway, so thinking about fitted fly screens is more useful than automated opening, in his experience, for those rooms
  8. (continuing the OT discussions of software) it's also largely about compatibility with the rest of the world. Phones do not live in isolation, but are connected to all manner of web servers through to Bluetooth devices etc that are constantly changing around them. If the phone never updated, the device will become obsolete much quicker due to being locked in time against an internet moving on with new standards and protocols and content that the old software can't access. Like the situation we had with IE4 desktop web browsers not that long ago. Add on top the fact that it's just not economically viable to release zero defect software, providing an infrastructure that allows easy update when bugs or compatibility breaks or security flaws are found is considered the next best solution. This is basically playing to the advantage of the "softness" of software. And when done right, it's a winning strategy: 7 of the 8 biggest companies in the world are primarily SW firms, when even a decade ago there was only one in the top ten. If you are waiting for good practices to start to flow from HW to SW engineering, you're going to be very disappointed. In my experience the reverse is very much the case with other industries trying to emulate the recent trend of "software to eat the world". And I'm not saying this to excuse it, or ask you to like it 🙂 just being realist about where the wider industry is at.
  9. This thread inspired a conversation about having a ply feature wall. (We are planning kitchen units with some exposed ply, so it would all tie together nicely). Immediate reply from my wife was "won't that be a nightmare for hanging pictures / shelves etc?" -- we'd fear to drilling into it as it's much harder to polyfilla it over if making a mistake or future change of needs. How do others deal with this? I guess could go full-industrial with some sort of wall racking system. Or totally pegboard it.
  10. Virgin do 350 Mbit, so definitely faster than anything you'll get from a single openreach twisted pair. Fwiw Plusnet did our install and it went tolerably well, once they actually placed the order with openreach (the system failed first time around). The openreach engineer was super helpful and Plusnet had it all working a few hours later. YMMV.
  11. Presumably there's still some small value keeping to safe zones where you can, as it reduces chances of anyone drilling through them in the future (be it a new owner, or a forgetful version of yourself).
  12. One thing to bear in mind is that anything you put off until a later date will cost more, as it will be hit by 20% VAT. I'd look through the list of stuff that is / isn't VAT exempt on a new-build, and use that as one guide of what stuff to do now vs later. (Speaking through gritted teeth of someone doing the deep renovation and extension and now know I'd have saved a ton if I just demolished and rebuilt instead, purely due to this VAT silliness)
  13. We just planning the MVHR location - any suggestions on how to position the exhaust vents to minimize risk of sooty deposits? Loft installed unit, we have the option of putting it high on the NNW facing flank wall, or up through the pitched roof. From this article I was assuming put it on the north wall, but I guess putting it up on the roof would allow I certain amount of "out of sight, out of mind" Any specific vent grill design that would likely reduce the risk? Assuming we keep with wall vent, it will be a white-ish rendered wall, so black spots would show up pretty bad.
  14. Some illustrated examples of several of these here: https://www.houzz.co.uk/magazine/how-to-make-your-open-plan-room-feel-cosy-stsetivw-vs~117035447
  15. I was asking about this over here too... Smartply Pro-passive OSB3 is tested / certified for airtightness, and also its tech data states it is a vapour barrier / vapour control layer. So it seems either use a cheaper/non-certified OSB if you want vapour open, and risk it not being airtight, or use the Pro-passive and deal with it being VCL. I think in practice it doesn't matter too much as even an "vapour open" wall construction generally calls for the inner layer to be the least vapour permeable (e.g. by factor 3:1 called for the Cotterell Passive house handbook)