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  1. So render over the EPS ICF is waterproof enough? How about structural rigidity - i.e. if you hit the side of the walls with a hammer or something heavy, would the EPS crumble or get dents? Or does the render 'harden' and provide a protective layer?
  2. There have been a few of these on the forum recently, but rather than hijack those - thought I would start my own as my query is slightly different. Fairly settled on going for an EPS type system - either Nudura or Thermohouse (if I can afford the latter!). Wanted to understand the options there are for both internal and external cladding. Internal - fairly straightforward in the sense that we'll get plasterboard and then normal plaster and paint on top. Would this be a sensible approach to have an airtight home to almost PH levels, that work with MVHR? Would the plasterboard wall be strong enough to take the weight of usual fixings on the wall (discounting the kitchen units, where I've been told we can put up an OSB to take the weight). External - this is more confusing. We're going for a white render finish and the recommendation from both companies is to render directly on top of the EPS (with the usual base coat applied). Even with the silicone render and the hygrophobic properties that are touted, I'm not sure I trust this enough to not have a proper rain screen. We're not going for a timber clad look, its smooth render on the majority of the building. What are the options here - something like fireproof cement board and render on top of that? Something else that I'm not aware of? Or am I being too pessimistic and render on top of EPS is sufficient? Pics for reference https://ibb.co/k1tHrNX https://ibb.co/vj1hnm1
  3. Thermohouse is one option where they offer solutions for walls, floors and the roof - all based on their own system. When I've enquired (no practical experience unfortunately) - have been told that it's possible to fix directly into the EPS on both Nudura and Thermohouse blocks, as they add reinforcements within the blocks to allow this.
  4. So quite a range of opinions. We will be taking some, but maybe not all of our current furniture along with us as I want to start fresh in the new place. What I don't want is to take all of our existing stuff along which means the house becomes a hotch potch of styles. I'm still considering going for the design only service, and not actually asking the interior designers to do any purchase or sourcing. That way, I have a list to work from, as funds allow in the future. Also taking a lot of notes and inspiration from all the different sites, actual houses, showrooms, magazines, TV shows etc and will have a pretty clear idea of what we like and don't like. Quite a lot of the rooms will end up being designed in the house anyway - bathrooms, kitchen, utility and by extension the dining/living areas. Its mainly the bedrooms and studies in the house that we would consider getting advice on.
  5. The one that we like the look of does lighting design as part of the interior design package, so that's a good sign. Another is that she's fully booked out for the rest of 2022 which isnt an issue for us but points to how popular these services are becoming I guess.
  6. This is why I would source and do the actual work myself. Not going for a full hands off approach where budget is of no concern. Essentially paying for a 'design only' service that gives us a palette of colours/materials/furnishings to choose from and we can do the final tweaking to our tastes. There seem to be a lot of sites that are now offering this kind of service, even IKEA is in the game offering online interior design.
  7. Where was this when we were crafting our design brief a year ago?! Really helpful and bookmarked for future use - thank you for sharing As to the original poster, once the excitement of having secured the plot wears off.... it's all downhill from there 🤔
  8. A long way off from actually using them (need to build the building first) but in the planning stages and wanted to see what the general consensus was. The missus is particularly keen on having an interior designer to bring the 'box' (as she calls it) to life. Having looked into it at a very cursory level, the costs aren't as eye watering as I thought they might be. You can get online designers that charge £600 or so per room to do mood boards, and I'm attracted by this approach. I would end up doing the actual sourcing and decorating myself but it doesn't seem like the worst idea to have someone do the ideation/creative part for us. Is this something you've used in the past? What's a good ballpark to pay? Does it make sense to do the whole house (300 sq m) or room by room (some rooms like kitchens/utility/bathroom will be designed separately anyway)?
  9. Building a PassivHaus level new build (285 sq m)which will have MVHR, UFH throughout and the main house will be served by an ASHP. We also have a gym/store (40 sq m) building at the base of the garden and the plan is to have an Air/Air heat pump for the occasional use that building will get. I also want to incorporate some form of active air conditioning in some of the bedrooms and the main living areas. Is this something that can be combined with the existing systems, or are we looking at dedicated units and ducting that are specific to the air con bits only? How does this generally work with the MVHR system?
  10. Could you expand on that? Is is related to the size of the water tank we get in the property or other issues? Planning to go 3 phase as I'll be moving to an EV when my current lease runs out, and the PV system will give me 'free charging' somewhat. Not that convinced by battery tech as the man maths doesn't seem to justify it just yet.
  11. I'm going to make a possibly controversial statement here but the 'desire' to reduce fossil fuel usage is not really a factor at all. I am looking at this from a cost/benefit and purely economic perspective (selfishly), and don't mind paying more up front to get longer term reduced bills and a more comfortable house. This responsibility that large organisations have dropped on individuals to 'reduce their personal carbon footprints' while continuing to flout all rules and lobby against real change has made me very cynical in that sense but not something to be discussed on this thread. We do have the advantage of having mains gas there already luckily, but I am considering having the connection removed/capped if we choose to go down the ASHP route for heating/hot water and induction hob in the kitchen.
  12. Fair to say that I've used very rough and deliberately pessimistic numbers to make the comparison. Reading a few threads online does make it seem that the certified installers are jacking up prices to take into account the 5k grant, so the higher prices aren't all that unreasonable though I'll certainly be doing a lot of shopping around to get lower quotes. Given that we'll also end up adding Solar PV and if we can get the COP to be closer to 3, I can see that it makes more sense to go down this route and I guess safeguards somewhat from the eventual carbon/green taxes coming our way in the future.
  13. Thanks for the detailed reply. I certainly haven't ruled ASHP out and its useful to read that it does still make sense. One other thing that the architect mentioned when we were in the design stage is that given our build doesn't start until after June this year, new Building Regs kick in. This would make it quite difficult to get approval for a Gas boiler anyway. We are also looking at adding Solar PV in, which means that we could potentially get a few hours (in the summer at least) of 'free usage'.
  14. Overall size of new house is 280 sq m. 6 occupants - 4 adults, and 2 kids under 5.
  15. Our current plans for the new build have factored in ASHP (at the recommendation of the architect) with UFH throughout (no radiators even on 1st floor). We are aiming for a PassivHaus type building with good thermal efficiency and airtightness with an MVHR system, and ASHP is something that seems to fit the bill as it's a new build and not a retrofit. However, I want to see whether the sums for an ASHP are really justifiable given the rapid increase in cost of electricity. Please bear with me as I work through my train of thought: General usage in our 1930s house (should be lower in the new house hopefully) 6000kWH of Electricity @ 28p/kWH = 1,680 30000kWH of Gas @ 7p/kWH = 2,100 Total cost = 3780 or 315 per month (ouch!) New house - keeping the same numbers for ease 6000kWH of Electricity @ 28p/kWH = 1,680 To get 30,000 kWH of heat output from an ASHP with a COP of say 2 (average across the year) = 15,000 kWH of electricity @ 28p/kWH = 4200 Total cost = 5880 or 490 per month (double ouch!) This is disregarding the capital outlay for an ASHP, which is going to be more even taking into account the BUS grant of 5k. Gas boiler = 2.5k (example) ASHP = 10-12k minus the 5k = 5k to 7.5k net I've not factored in all the gubbins like water storage as they'll be common in both scenarios. Does it make sense then to consider an ASHP? Realise both gas and electric prices are up, but the differential between them remains at 4:1 and I can't see gas going away anytime soon. A family member who works in the sector tells me about the introduction of Hydrogen into the gas mix and trials already being run in Scotland, which means there is a long term plan to continue using gas.
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