Simon Brooke

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About Simon Brooke

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  1. I liked dealing with the Green Building Store. The window frames are wood but you would think they were aluminium faced as the finish is so good. After care has been good and the prices competitive. All in all a strong recommendation.
  2. Re garden size. Sadly the barn footprint is the limit. See paragraph x under class v in part 3 schedule 2 of the good.
  3. It has been three years since our own Q was finally approved and things seem to have moved on. The garden size is restricted to the same area footprint as the barn so 5 acres would require planning permission. My understanding is that one approach which is proving successful is to obtain Q and then approach the planners with an alternative plan which they appear to find difficult to reject as the principle of permission has been established. This approach may well suit you particularly with regards the additional barns.
  4. Yes it was done last week. The figure of 1.48 was a bit disappointing but we had been forewarned by the assessor that the shape and retrofit nature of the build would make it impossible to achieve our .6 target so i was quite relaxed. We still have ceilings and walls to line wth plasterboard so we may yet get it a bit lower. The assessor was excellent and spent a fair bit of time identifying air leaks in the fabric which should also help us improve the result. Interestingly, whilst there may be small air leakage through the roof this is not where we have to concentrate our efforts.
  5. Yes we have just used tape and no membrane. Not really what the architect advised but her solution was overkill. We could put some more insulation between the ceiling and the roof panels but we are quite relaxed about listening to the rain. Our walls are unusual in that we had a largely existing rendered block wall which we were not allowed to extend beyond so we built a second inner skin of insulated blocks and did a full fill of knauf earthwool to provide the necessary u value. The earthwool was very nice to use and much better than the old style spun glass.
  6. Couple of pictures attached. Rendering should take place over the next few weeks if we can decide on which through colour render to use! Recommendations welcomed. Kingspan rate their roof at 3 air changes so not good enough for us. To beef it up we have used pro clima at all junctions including the ridge. Time will tell if this will be enough but it was quite easy to put on. At the moment we can hear the rain but are quite happy with this as we had a tin roof when we lived in Australia. It is not too noticeable and we haven't got ceiling up yet. U value was the driver as the barn shape is not ideal for a passive house. We are based in Somerset and would be very happy to receive a visit to view in the flesh.
  7. We have just finished the roof on a 1950's barn conversion using Kingspan ks1000 sheeting with 150mm quad-core insulation. This has given a u value of 0.12 which we needed for our passive house. Our sheets were 5.5m long and weighed about 90kg each so were awkward to lift. We have fixed directly onto either metal z purlins or timber and both were ok to do. Generally we are very pleased and would recommend but we wanted an 'industrial' finish.
  8. Firstly, thank you for all the constructive and timely comments. We have done a bit of building work on the farm but i am happiest with a lump hammer and baler twine so air source is a bit of a mystery to me. We had a preliminary discussion with a supplier recommended by our architect who has used them before. The main initial attraction of an ashp was the potential to cool the house but i was immediately told that this was not possible and then the rough cost estimate put doubts in my mind. If a competent plumber could install it then that changes things substantially and having now read (if not understanding the technical bits) the JSH blog it would seem that cooling is possible! I agree with the excess cost of proprietary solar thermal but we built a veranda over the front of the house using a very basic copper tube on insulation with dark glass system and it has worked a treat and looks good too. Having said that it would seem tobe overkill if we can use most of the three pv systems. Anyway, having digested your combined wisdom and on the basis that it will both cool and heat then i think an ashp is the way forward and will speak to our plumber and gauge his reaction to him installing. I will not mention heat boxes yet he might run! I am hoping to get a final heat demand estimate from the architect by the end of June which should steer us to the size of ashp required. By way of background the old dairy we are converting will be single storey and basically a rectangle with a room tacked on which is currently a propagating house. Total area is approx.200 square metres and from a passive viewpoint is not an ideal shape. We have thought of the enerphit standard but are aiming for passive though the insulation levels are high. A further complication is that we have to work with the existing structure so the plan is to build a house within a building. Occupancy is only going to be the two of us most of the time.
  9. We are converting an old concrete block built dairy (approx. 200 square metre) which is being designed to passive house standards. We are fortunate in having three solar pv systems of 4kw which can be largely diverted to the dairy. Initial thought was underfloor heating via air source but are now wondering if it would out cheaper and simpler to have a very large thermal store (which could be located in an adjacent barn) heated with a combination of solar thermal and immersion heaters. Our thinking is that annual cost of air source assuming a 20 year life and a commissioned cost of £10k would be at least £500 which would buy a fair bit of standard rate electric. Does this argument have any merit? Any thoughts would be really welcomed. Thanks Simon