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Gus Potter

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Gus Potter last won the day on January 3

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About Gus Potter

  • Birthday 09/20/1964

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  • About Me
    Signed up after having reviewed the questions, comments and responses. Very refreshing and positive. The enthusiasm and knowledge of the contributors to this site is infectious!
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    Near Glasgow

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  1. Hi Joe. Thanks for the compliment, much appreciated. Pretty much every time I browse BH I learn something new. Some folk like numbers, some less but I try where I can, like a lot of other posters, to weave a lay persons "rough guide" and tell a storey when it comes to SE stuff. BH is supposed to be fun and friendly. I too struggle with some of the numbers especially when it comes to the insulation side of things but keen to learn at my end. Joe I think I can see where you are coming from in that you are looking at each individual cladding board? But even though each board will be counter acting the effect of the one above or below they still have the net effect of loading the truss at it's outside edge. Think of the truss as a column. If you load a column about it's centre all the load goes straight down so you don't have a load set off from the centre of gravity of the column thus no initial bending effects. The same applies if you have a joist bearing onto a brick wall. If the point of bearing is not dead centre over the wall it will cause a bending effect in the wall as well as a compressive load. That's a good point you make about nails at 150mm centres and that they seem close at first glance. However when we design timber frames and check for lateral resistance, to check the house won't move sideways, the starting point in say BS 5268 is to begin with a 150mm nail spacing around the edges of the boarding. Then we modify the nail spacing if need be. 9.0mm OSB is pretty thin and if the nails are too far apart then the OSB buckles not least between the nails, a bit like the thin backing on a kitchen cabinet. The backing on the cabinet keeps it square, same principle applies to a timber frame, just a TF is often more expensive? I have copied, some info below. You can see in coulmn 2 the starting point for nail spacing internally and around the perimeter of the boards.
  2. Hi Mike. Depends what side of the fence you sit on if so inclined. It could be properly designed SE wise but no use whatsoever to folk on BH in terms of buildability / labour cost. Your bang on with it being difficult to fit solid insulation between I sections for example. Now your 50mm nail spacing on your racking walls? That I have not seen before but every day is a school day. It's interesting for me to see such close nail spacing. For example the racking forces are probably quite large.. so this will result in a fair bit of panel overturning effect, lots of uplift forces = plenty tying down straps and associated fixings. Also I'm curious as to how you SE has been interpreting the codes and taking account of what we call second order effects.. just nosey.
  3. I would bite the bullet and get an SE in for a look at this. While there are a good few good competant builders out there.. there are less / few that have a true understanding of overall building stability, it's not really their brief so you can't knock them. The main thing is to recognise is that even though you may be looking at the vertical loads you need to hold up, the pillars and even innocuous bits of wall, may be providing horizontal stability to other parts of the building. Often you find walls that don't carry load from above.. non vertical load bearing walls. But these walls are still load bearing walls.. making a major contribution to the walls that are carrying vertical load. They prevent the vertical load bearing walls from buckling and / or to resist the wind loads that want to push your house over like a pack of cards. For all it will cost and in the interests of keeping you all safe, ask an SE. They may even suggest a cheeper way of doing it. If not you will have a correct design that you will be grateful for when you eventually come to sell the house.
  4. Hello Hill Runner. Great place, high up so next stop is the moon. I'm down the road/ hill from you but have you bought a gold pan yet? If you have attended to all the gutters, down pipes etc and checked the ground levels are not bridging the DPC what about strapping the walls with 50 x 25 treated timber. Fix a bottom and top rail and verticals at 400 centres. Pack the straps off the wall say 5.0mm with a small cutting of DPC behind. How old is the house, does it have a bitumen DPC.. what is the construction of the external walls? Ah saveasteading, good point, made me think. To saw an 8 x 2 structural timber out of a 16 inch log after cleaning & stripping say requires four saw passes. But to plain saw a 2 x 2 requires another 3 passes of the saw? So more sawing to produce smaller timber out of the same size of log. But in real life the smaller logs are used for the smaller sizes. hey ho. The point is that you need more sawing? Also the surface area is greater relative to the cross section area of the smaller timber so you may need more preservative and a bit more handling? Maybe this goes some way to explaining why smallar timbers cost more than standard large ones per volume of timber? Thanks Dave for the Larsen truss, great spot and Steamy too and everyone else. Lastly to Mike, but setting aside a real good practical point from Mike and for a bit of fun I have had a look at the Larsen truss, how it works to some extent in terms of creating a twin wall so you can create depth for insulation. I've tried to capture some of the main points but..! Mark et al please chip in if you think I have missed something or made an error as no point in posting incorrect stuff. Here goes. I'll put some qualatative numbers to this. Work out the weight of the cladding, say another layer of OSB, battens and some timber shiplap. Shiplap thickness 14 mm. Timber density = 420 kg/m cube 0.014 *420 = 5.9 kg/ m sq Vertical 50 x 25 battens to create gap between board and OSB @ 400 centres. 0.05 * 0.025 * 420 / 0.4 = 1.3 kg / m sq OSB 9.0mm thick 5.5 kg / m sq. Sum of above = 5.9 + 1.3 + 5.5 = 12.7 kg per sq metre. Convert kg to kilo Newtons 12.7 * 9.81 * 0.001 = 0.12 kN add say 25% for "other stuff" like insulation and self weight give 0.15 kN per sq m.. not a lot as 0.15 kN is about 15 kg per sq metre. Over a 2.4m height this gives a load per metre run of wall of 0.15 * 2.4 = 0.36 kN ~ 37 kg. Now because the cladding is off centre from the point of support it causes a bending effect in the vertical section. The bending effect (the bending moment will be ~0.15 * 0.4(lever arm) = 0.06 kNm this is very small. For example if this was a domestic floor engineered I joist we design for the dead loads (self weight, flooring plaster board etc) and live loads, you and others. The live load is 1.5 kN/m^2 (~150kg) for a domestic floor so the bending moment is calculated for the uniformly loaded floor joist under live load space at 400mm centres as follows. Spacing * Load * length squared /8 =0.4 * 1.5 * 2.4/ 8 = 0.432 kNm which is more than the above bending force from the cladding weight. You can see that the bending effects from the cladding weight probably don't govern the design. Look now at how the cladding weight gets to the point of support. For every run metre run of wall we have about 0.36 kN..(36 kg) of cladding etc not a lot. There are battens at 400mm centres so each batten has to transfer via the nails 0.36 kN *0.4 = 0.14 kN over it's height. A very small amount. Now a 2.7mm diameter nail from 9.0mm OSB into a C16 grade timber has a shear capacity of some 0.05 to .08kN capacity. So the minimum number of nails will be 0.14 / 0.05 = 3 number. Again you can see that you don't need many nails to do the job to transfer the cladding load via the battens to the 50 x 50. We can set that aside for now. If using a cement board say we may need to revisit. But there is no free lunch! Firstly for it all to work the load from the cladding goes into the 50 x 50 but if you only have 3 nails up the height the 50 x 50 will bend like fury and it won't work. For it to work as a truss / I joist you are looking at nails at 100 - 150mm centres to connect the OSB to the 50 x 50. Then you are on the ball park. You may have a wind load acting on the cladding and this has to be resisted. Wind loads could be 1.0 to 1.5 kN/ sq metre so they have a big effect, much closer to a floor joist type live loading. This could often be the governing factor in the design. Lastly as @MikeSharp01 points out there are practical things that need consideration, how do you fit the insulation, what type and so on. Also, you want the 50 x 50 to be stiff, you don't want to be trying to fix cladding into a small timber that bounces all over the place. I think that although you can show that the forces can be accounted for structurally and you can "technically design" something lean you need to look at this in the round, particulary the buildability, labour cost and how easy it is to achieve a consistent quality of workmanship. I think this is the key to getting this to work.. is the practical buildability side. That said it's a great concept to consider if you want to achieve low heat losses.
  5. This is a off topic but @SteamyTea makes some good points. Also if you look at @zoothorn posts, it's infectious, the sharing of knowledge, questioning and exploring. The enthusiasm of all is clear, everyone here is learning something, or just enjoying the collaborative thinking. Turning now to what steamy has posted, yes OT but here are my thoughts and how this enriches BH. As a bit of a back storey. I left school at 17, went to college and got an HND in Civil Engineering, worked for a few major construction companies and went self employed when I was about 22 -24 , a while ago. Built up a reasonable business as a building contractor and had a life change at 40. When I was a Contractor I always enjoyed the teaching side, bringing on the apprentices and making sure that everyone else was able to grow too. It was not easy and eventually.. Packed it all in 40 and went to University to study to be an SE. That with hind sight was probably the best decision I made... I still remember my first week at uni at and sitting there thinking.. these lecturers are giving me two things: The basics; maths, how to write and communicate etc but most importantly the tools that I need to enable me to teach myself that will set me up for the rest of my life. I appreciated this as I was older, not many kids can see this, and they can't be expected to either. During my time at uni I was fortunate to be invited to participate in reseach as an undergraduate, I was able to bring my commercial experience to bear which clearly most kids don't have.. and off the back of that I got involved in the "educational" side of things also.. and that is why I'm interested in what steamy is saying, but I'm also fascinated about how folk learn on BH, why the mods do what they do with apparently little recognition. Mods.. OBE coming your way? Steamy to quote you "Some educationalists think that courses should be developed to a more specialised areas i.e. Forensic Science, Renewable Energy, while others think a more general education is better i.e. mathematics, Physics." Steamy I agree with your view. One key for me in relation to tertiary education is that the educator.. you for example has to be skilled in the art and science of education and to be fully invested, in other words you need to be able for example to let the students see that you are enabling to teach themselves them not just delivering a lecture. Like all things in life if you can let folk see that you are doing something that is to their direct benefit then they will take notice. An educator of younger folk also need some good sales tactics! That is the true skill of an educator. I know this works as I have been lucky enough to be taught by some expert educators and have been old enough to appreciate what is going on. Now a skilled educator needs to be renumerated.. and recognised as a contributor to society.. we don't really appreciate this as much as we should in the UK. I could go on an on.. but Turning back to BH. It's a great site for all. No matter what stage in the "things to do with houses" you are at. BH is a great resource. That's it. but thanks again to @zoothornfor starting this thread
  6. It does and your grass does not grow, also in my mind what is the point in saving energy if you chill the environment and thus inhibit the wildlife that we rely on. Could be the bees polinating the crops we all rely on for food, the insects that need warmth to thrive and the birds that feed on them. We should think carefully before we mass produce heat pumps and stifle the last bit / refuge for wildlife in our cities.. there could be unforseen consequences. That said though the recoverable / easily recoverable energy density? in water is a lot more than air. @SteamyTea not strong enough on the technicalities of this? can you help? @zoothorn the best place to recover heat would be just downstream of a neighbours septic tank.. just don't let on they are heating your cabin.
  7. If you don't get your lay persons explanation accepted then a desk top study should do the trick unless you are next to a landfill etc as @saveasteading circa 3 300 - 400 quid maybe topsbut most BCO's already know if there is a potential soil contamination risk. You easiest way is just to make a phone call and ask what you need to do to satisfy this item... ask for help and it is often given.. get stroppy and it is less forthcoming.
  8. If you want a bit of input.. often free professional advice then what about the check report from AIS so we can see exactly what their requirements are. Make it easy for BH members to see your dilemma and you may avoid having to get the cheque book out.
  9. Any chance of a bit more info.. just curious.
  10. Great thread you have got going here @zoothorn That stream / burn you have there. I wonder how much heat you could extract from that with a heat pump without damaging the wildlife. I used to live out in the country and had something like that. On my wish list is to have a go at a DIY heat pump, just for a laugh using an old fridge compressor in reverse, a few controls to reverse flow to get the automatic defrosting. Oh and make sure you install you flue the right way up all along the length.
  11. A few photos of mine. Warm roof. Upstand 150mm, don't skimp on this as in the regs and also you get snow building up round about it, you also can get splashing from the rain.. funnily you can see this in the regs when they say a DPC should be 150mm above ground level. Over kerb size in the photos is 1420 wide x 2855 long. Upstand is framed in 95 x 45, 70mm PIR between and lapped with 200mm of PIR inder the EPDM covering so only 150mm is exposed at the 70mm insulation thickness. Opted not to do insulated plasterboard on top as it was closing in the aperture. Instead accepted that the upstand would be less well insulated and did compensatory U value calc and upgraded the rest of the insulation. Basically the lantern was so expensive that there was no way I was going to shut down the effective opening any more than I had to. Light is fantastic. Still need to do the roof of the main house.. soon!
  12. Hello jayc89 I agree with George, quoted below. Resin anchor fixings, in fact any fixing has often has quite a lot less capacity than you think. You look at the fixing and think.. that looks sturdy..but it's the things round about that generally cause the issues. Some of these are: 1/ What you are fixing into. Concrete, natural stone, modern solid brick, modern bricks with holes in them, old say London brick clay brick.. a long list. The variation in load bearing capacity is enormous so please be careful. 2/ What you are fixing to the wall. Take a timber wall plate / bearer / ledger piece. The joists are connected via hanger to the timber, the load in the timber plate has to be transferred into the fixing. The timber starts to crush locally.. as you have a small bearing surface between the timber and the fixing. 3/ How much stand off do you have. You photo shows packers behind the wall plate. The actual behavoiur is very complex so will not explain in detail but touching on a few key points. The fixing deflects (bends) and this causes over stress at the fixing / timber interface. As the fixing bends it causes higher stresses where it enters the masonry as the fixing starts to act more "like a lever" rather than just acting in shear. One consequence of this is that the fixing develops additional tension and this causes other issues. 4/ Often the mortar is weaker than the masonry units / size of the stones if natural stone. The distance between the fixings and mortar joints is critical. For a bit of fun here is a real world example of how you design the fixings. I have screen shotted parts of the design. Let's take a house extension to a 1930's house.. old bricks, maybe some soft mortar. The key point is that for the fixings to realise their capacity they must be fixed nearly the centre of the brick and well away from the mortar bed. You can't control the floor height and you can't be certain that the brick coursing will be level. Thus you have to make sure that luck is on your side and you do this by adding in extra fixings. It gives the builder (maybe you) a fair chance to get it fixed safely, not slip later cause cracking, squeeky floors and so on. Remember that the new timber will shrink so while it may appear "rock solid" at the install it won't be quite so when it all dries out in a year or so. Example: Floor joist span 3769mm, joist spacing 400 mm The above gives the load on each joist. 0.81 kN/m is about 80 kg/m run of joist. Each end of the joist is supported by a hanger attached to the wall plate. The dead load is the self weight of the floor. The live load is you, furniture, book cases, having a party and this equates to about 150 kg per square metre of floor This is a code requirement that BC expect to see. The above works out the maximum spacing of an M12 fixing in a typical 1930's brick with the plate hard against the brick face. Each fixing can carry a permissible shear load of ~ 157 kg. But the test data is based on a European masonry size, not an imperial size! Thus while we can adjust do other calculations we apply some conservative Engineering judgement. The result is a detail like this. The detail below is a ground floor, vented solum below with PIR insulation. You can see that in actual fact you need quite a lot of fixings to make it fly and safe for the design life of the building. If you have read this far then thank you and I hope it helps.. a bit.
  13. Just wondering.. did your neighbours extend first? Is the outside of the brick on the boundary? Do you know anything about the founds, do the the founds as existing encroach onto your land? Who owns the existing wall? That open cavity.. is it ventilated or just as a result of bad workmanship? Are you adding any load to this "party wall" ? To design this I would first look at how you can do something that does not interfere with the existing wall in any way. Thus you can't be blamed for anything later on. Avoid cutting in DPC's, chemical DPC's are a waste of time and also you need to drill holes in the wall.. you could be blamed for any cracking / the smell of the stuff permeating next door.. and so on. Sounds like you get on ok with your neighbours but a quick dilapidations survey may avoid any potential issues in the future. Quickly.. I would explore this. Clean the face of the existing brick. Apply SBR bond then when tacky a cement screed 10mm thick with waterproofer, then another the day after, then a cement based water proof polymer slurry.. timing is the key here as you want the renders and slurry to set but not cure fully. Take it up say 150 - 300 mm above the neighbours floor level as you show. Now strap and line the walls but don't fix though the renders at the bottom. Keep a gap between the timber and the masonry / screed of say 50mm. Make sure you isolate the floor slab from the wall using 50mm of vertical insulation, rather than what you often see as 25mm perimeter slab insulation. Keep your DPM on the inside of the perimeter insulation and once the tanking has dried out tape it to the slurry.. that is kidology as that is supposed to stay glued for 50 years but it won't.. looks good on the drawing though. The main thing though is that provided you keep a bit of heat in the wall all will work... the damp won't rise particularly if the neighbours extension is a fairly modern brick and the dew point / thus evaporation won't occur thus drawing further moisture up from below. Maybe go for 30 - 40 mm of insulated plaster board / vapour barrier as a backup. Here you want to actually loose some heat to keep the party wall that little bit warmer. Doing so will mitigate condensation (the dew point) = rising damp. Compensate for this heat loss by improving insulation else where as this is easier to do and often more cost effective. Does that sound like it may fit with your set up?
  14. Definitly not. For me the cross fertilisation between different disciplines is inspiring. Thanks again.
  15. Steamy. Just a quick note to say thanks for your great posts, really enjoyable reading, learnt a lot from them so thanks. Also thanks to everyone else that has chipped in.. it's a long list but thanks all from me.
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