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About maxdavie

  • Birthday 10/19/1987

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  • About Me
    Hello, I'm a RIBA Chartered Architect.

    I've spent the last year working solo developing a digitally-enabled kit-of-parts construction system to be tested this Spring on a small pilot project in my garden. This will be a 'proof of concept' project. The plan is to test the kit itself for ease of assembly, but also its interface with all the other building components. I'm especially keen to understand and implement all the necessary airtightness details so the kit can be used in the future to achieve something close to Passivhaus. In 2023, I will use the tested kit to self-build a family home.

    As most of my experience has been at large practices on larger projects at the earlier RIBA stages, my knowledge of construction details is a little rusty. Moreover, working solo means I do not benefit from second opinions or the experience of colleagues. I'd therefor like to establish myself on this platform to seek, offer and share thoughts and advice re the details of construction.

    I'll be sharing screenshots of the digital system and site photos as it materialises later this year.

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  1. Yes - thanks very much! You do need a DPC - concrete continues to emit moisture long after its cured and will rot a soleplate over time.........so all the literature tells me. this is reassuring - thanks Of course! - I'll prob go with these to be totally belt and braces. I don't see a reason not to. Thanks All!
  2. Hi All, Can anyone with experience just confirm that the following steps to anchoring down and leveling a sole plate over a concrete slab are correct? 1. lay out the sole plate over slab 2. mark onto sole plate where the anchors are going and predrill holes in sole plate 3. Use the soleplate as template to mark points for anchors to go onto slab 4 drill holes in slab at those points 5. staple or fix DPC to underside of sole plate 6. build up the levelling mortar 10mm thick 7. bury sole plate and DPC onto levelling mortar and level up 8. drill down through the holes in the sole plate, through the DPC and levelling mortar once set 9. Anchor the sole plate down Is that right? I guess there is no real way of avoiding going through the DPC is there?
  3. Hi All, I'm wondering whether to apply a thin layer of bonded floor screed over my concrete slab before the floor finishes go over. The slab is insulated and has no UFH. The finished floor material is Lino. I'll prob build the floor up a bit with PIR ( I need it to be a bit higher) and then a layer of T&G floated over before the Lino goes down. As an architect working in a large practice (Allies and Morrison) screed was always specified, but that's because 1. projects were larger and 2. probably because we were always having CPD's with sales rep's who obviously have a vested interest in screed's continued use and so lead us to believe they were basically essential. But, to all those with actual building experience and who have seen the consequences of using/not using screed, is it really necessary? I'd rather not use it as I'm not keen on the drying times and our property is hard to access and the job is small so I imagine i'll find it hard to find anyone interested anyway. Don't really fancy having a go myself either. Thanks!
  4. Yes. And at a larger scale…. Though there are usually architects that specialise at one end of the RIBA work stage sequence and so become expert.
  5. Yh CLS is no doubt cheaper. I need to think about extra cost vs speed/accuracy etc
  6. Ha! Oh no! Which part? Not PDR’s on this - didn’t satisfy exemption rules.
  7. It works out at £7-10 per linear meter like this
  8. I've been reading through TRADA's guides on sole plates and other guidance, plus previous discussion on this forum. I'm now pretty skeptical about the sole plate being built to the correct dims. All the corrective measures to ensure its level etc also sound very onerous and time consuming. The cnc machine will cut all the parts that make up my wall cassettes with 0 tolerance. 18mm thick WISA Spruce ply itself will have a +/- 1mm across its thickness. Essentially, the tolerance of the sole plate will need to match the tolerance of my cassettes - 0! I'm also going to make a tweak to my system, so the front and rear panels of the cassette extend down to slot over the sole plate (see indicated in red over the detail) - I think SIPS works like this too. Anyway, that just increases the need for the sole plate to be the right dim. So, I'm toying with the idea of a cnc-cut plywood sole plate; double layered, exterior grade (or even marine grade) staggered and glued together. I'll know that right angles are true and dims are mm accurate. After bonding it'll all form one continuous piece. It won't arrive warped. It will still need packing underneath I imagine - maybe structural leveling mortar or whatever the SE's specify. It'll cost more to produce I know that. There's still a lot more research I need to do and I need to get the SE's view. I'll continue to mull it over.... Thought I'd see if anyone had any thoughts. I'm sure this is pretty rogue!
  9. These are some pretty existential questions about the profession! I know of course first and foremost a building must be built to last - especially in a time of climate crisis. But, I do think looks matter. I think some eco-builds can lack character and look a bit stark. A lot of the time people pull down ugly buildings. So in this sense, attractiveness can contribute to the longevity of a building. My aim - over the course of my career - will be to try and design and deliver attractive buildings that are good for the planet. But, there are bound to be some trade offs where I'll have to weigh up one goal against another. Ha! I'm in gd company then! 1. After Saveasteading pointed out the blockwork would sink, I've introduced a steel bracket that I think we can bolt back into the slab - the block can partially bear onto this. - See revised detail. 2. Maybe if I can reduce the depth of the stone a bit so there is no protruding ledge it will help......need to think this one over 3. The glass installers think an EDPM membrane should work as second line of defence in case of water ingress
  10. There are no wet services in this garden room. Heating is all electric. I have an 18mm service void behind the plasterboard for cables - which I hope will be wide enough. I’ll increase that for future projects for pipe work.
  11. Thanks Charlie! Fingers crossed it all comes together okay on site
  12. The external timber is all Larch. The large cantilever is achieved with a double joisted beam within the cassette. Engineer’s design. The post only has to hold itself up - it’s part of a trellis (not fully shown in that image). What sort of warranty are you talking about? I haven’t looked into warranties for this, but an LABC New Homes Warranty is on my radar for the next project - which will be a new home.
  13. I posted a few days ago with a timber frame 'cassette' system sunken below ground. It was met with skepticism (or outright disbelief) and I got lots of useful feedback. So, I changed the detail. I'm now sharing my updated details for the purposes of: 1. comment if there is any 2. sharing for sharing's sake (I'm new to this community so not sure if it's strictly problems-that-need-solutions content only or you're all just a bunch of self-build nerds that enjoy looking at construction details and other's progress. Please do tell me if this is a pointless post...) Anyway here are the updated details and a screenshot from my Enscape environment so you can see the visual intention of the details.
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