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Found 4 results

  1. Hi Folks! Having used BuildHub as a learning resource for a little while, I've pulled my finger out and got a sign-in. After a year of getting our ducks in line, we are about to apply for planning for a home on our smallholding in Somerset. It may be on the optimistic side, but we are aiming for an off-grid build, to passive house standards (intending to get certified), primarily from sustainable materials. The design is very close to complete now, and the next stage for us is to put our plans in front of a design review panel. Part of the reason for this, is that our planning application will be made under paragraph 80e (previously paragraph 79, before that paragraph 55). (A national planning policy, first established in 1997, which sets out various circumstances which can enable the erection of new isolated dwellings in the open countryside.) I understand that getting a good report from the design panel is a significant step towards success with this planning route. The fundamental plan is to try and build: A 4 bed detached home Concrete-free foundations Using load-bearing straw bale construction technique To achieve an overall carbon negative construction Off-grid A large PV array Several large lithium batteries for storage Bore hole for water WETs system to process grey/black water Achieving passive house certification We still have a lot to figure out, but I'm learning more every day. Thanks for everyone on here for contributing to BuildHub as an information resource.
  2. With no mains water possible, we will be installing a rainwater harvester. (The harvester system is not the issue, as have done two, but with mains also available) I know we have to treat the water for drinking and for basins, showers, and baths, but not the first thing about how to do it. Then is it worth splitting the plumbing into treated and raw, to reduce the load on the treatment process? Wondering also if some harvesters are made of plastic that is not suitable.
  3. I don't know what the extent of knowledge on here is for this sort of thing (probably deep and wide) but all opinions appreciated as always... We're properly off-grid as far as electricity goes. The quote for connection was well over £20k eight years ago, the nearest juice-poles are half a mile away and coming off the back of a few years living off all of the grids on a sailing boat it made sense for us to remain un-connected - we were familiar with the demands and had got used to a low-consumption boat-based existence. Our current P.V. array is only 1kW but together with a small wind turbine it easily keeps up with our demands living in a caravan. Once we're in the house the array will increase to 4kW and I don't anticipate problems with juice abundance. The fly in the ointment is the battery bank. We currently have a 345ah, 48V bank of flooded, deep-cycle lead-acid batteries made by Crown. Despite regular equalisation and diligent maintenance we've had two fail in two years necessitating a eight hour round trip for a replacement in the first instance and in the second recent case the purchase of a new battery - £170. I'm contemplating replacing the bank with something more robust, reliable and if possible lower maintenance. I've thought about AGM, about lithium and about NiFe... I'm wondering if anyone has any opinions or even better - real world experience - of living with a bank?
  4. Hi All Here in N.I. we can currently only connect a maximum of 4kW of PV to the grid. I don't want to go fully off-grid but I do want more than this. Has anyone here heard of or installed a mix of circuits, some supplied only by a PB/battery and some directly by the mains? Thanks
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