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  1. Hello, I was wondering whether anyone could offer any thoughts or advice about the following threshold detail. I'm actually an architect myself and am working solo, so I don't get the benefit of second opinions. I've always worked on larger schemes at the earlier 'conceptual' stage of projects so my practical knowledge of construction details is a little rusty now. This spring, I'm piloting a digitally-enabled kit-of-parts construction system assembled from cnc-cut plywood or OSB that I've been in the process of developing over the last year. Its just a small garden room, so I'm not too concerned about U-values, but I am trying to achieve airtightness to test out how all the details work before I self build our family home next year. I'll then have it tested to see how airtight it is. So, on to the detail - see image attached. Here's the floor build up from top to bottom: 50mm brick pavers, 10mm mortar bed, 18mm T&G Wisa Ply floated floor, 60mm Rigid insulation, RC slab. I'm thinking I can just secure the concrete threshold piece into a bed of mortar over the floated ply substrate - just like the brick. The DPM coming up the slab edge can fold over and tuck under the threshold piece protecting the exposed edges of ply and insulation. An additional waterproof board will go over the DMP too. The only reason I'm questioning it is because I haven't found many examples of how it is done online and so am relying purely on my knowledge/research and common sense. Anyway, any thoughts greatly appreciated. Thanks
  2. I am working with a structural engineer specialising in Traditional Timber frames to design a new build Wealden Hall House. Could anyone point me towards a person / company with a good degree of experience in efficient building design for traditional timber frames? Pursuing a truly historically-accurate frame design results in some specific cold-bridging issues (use of continuous timber posts / plates / joists through cross sections), that we are seeking mitigation strategies for. Thank you.
  3. Hi all, Just to introduce myself. We are just about to finalise our renovation/extension project in the West End of Glasgow. Detached bungalow which we have pushed out the back 6m and also added another storey to it. The last two years, to be quite frank, have been pretty hellish, not only in terms of financial outlay (budgets - lol, aye ok) but, personal energy investment. I don't think we really realised how big an undertaking it was until one day, standing with my brother in law and we had no roof and it was just basically a shell. My brother in law looked around and went "fk me" and then it kind of hit me, square in the face or what we have taken on! We would have been quicker and cheaper, flattening the house and doing a fresh build but we weren't allowed to do that (a story for another day). Anyway, external wall insulation has just been completed and we are about to to start the roughcasting externally. Because we look at the building everyday we don't kind of realise how impressive it is and its totally out of context with the neighbours single storey 85m2 detached bungalows(we have 18 objection letters from the neighbours and even neighbours as far as 1.5 miles away, councillors, mp's the lot) as ours rises 6.2m at the back (the neighbour calls the wall facing him The Berlin Wall!). I work in the insulation industry but to be honest, I have learned so much more about insulation, insulation u values, lambda values - the works. We have made mistakes yes but fixed them. At the end of the day, we have built a house in which we are only temporary custodians but this house will stand proudly (Berlin Wall-esque) for a long long time and with excellent insulation and air tightness values, solar panel power generation and we are really proud of what we have achieved. Incidentally - never again!
  4. Hi, I am in the middle of building a timber-frame house (awaiting first fix electrics and plumbing). The recent hot spell has convinced me to get brise-soliel on the south facing upstairs windows. I have them planned for downstairs already. But I played around with PHPP and although my overheating reduced it didn't disappear. My phpp consultant has no figures inputted for L31 window ventilation air change rate and P59 Window night ventilation (in summer vent sheet) Has anyone got 'typical' figures for these? I have used 0.35 and 0.15 respectively and my overheating drops down to 3.9% (with all southern windows shaded). Apart from fitted brise-soliel there isn't much else I can do as all doors windows are fitted and insulation is in place - so I just want to check if the ventilation figures are reasonable. Thanks
  5. Hi everyone We bought a plot with planning permission for 2 houses here in Aberdeenshire last December. During the period of reflection afforded to us by coronavirus we’ve decided that we’d rather not build the design that we have planning permission for but instead construct more modest dwellings to Passivhaus standard. Would be very interested to hear from anyone else in Scotland and especially in Aberdeenshire regarding their experience of constructing a Passivhaus and any associated planning or building control challenges? Live long and prosper!?
  6. Hi all, We have just started to build a two-story timber frame in Donegal in the North west of Ireland. We are building to passivhaus standards and have an experienced passivhaus builder. I have gained loads of information from this forum and hope to get some more as the build progresses. We have a lot of south facing glazing (by design - to capture views of Donegal bay) and have added some shading to the ground floor southern windows. PHPP calculations demonstrated that overheating can be mitigated by adding some cooling from the underfloor slabs. We intend to use a Mitsubishi 8.5kW ecodan and have a Brink passive certified MHRV specified. Phpp and plans attached. Two storey-Floor Plans, Sections, Elevations 280620.pdf
  7. Hi folks. Thanks for letting me join this forum, we're looking forward to sharing information and learning lots! We're just starting out on a replacement dwelling for the bungalow my father built in the 1950s. It'll be our 2nd self build... Or rather self managed build - with some physical input from us all. Our 1st was 25 years ago. This one is to be approaching passivehaus probably and maybe a timber frame build. We also have yet to gain planning and we are fortunate to have a stunning location. We're a very practical 60something couple with a 30 something married son +DIL who we will be sharing it all with. We're planning to build a house which provides 2 separate living areas and kitchens, but shares a utility room and plant room, so it can ultimately be one house when we've popped our clogs! Looking forward to the journey!
  8. Hi, new to the group. We are planning a near Passivhaus bungalow, commencing in Jan
  9. Hello everyone, first post and just wanted to introduce myself as you all seem like an extremely informative and helpful bunch - I hope one day to provide the same level of contribution and advice when we finally get to build our dream! We are hoping to build a 4 bed Passivhaus in North Somerset, about 8 miles south of Bristol. We are still in the very early stages of planning, as in, not sure if the plot in question has any potential for planning as yet, so have been spending a considerable amount of time reading about the Local Plans, NPFF and what the implications are of trying to build a village washed over with the Green Belt and is outside of a settlement boundary. The plot is part of a large garden, so might be considered a windfall plot but the two issues I mentioned are obviously very difficult to overcome, if at all. We do not have the sort of budget for a Paragraph 79 house but nevertheless given the location, we felt it was an avenue worth exploring further. In any case the research we have been undertaking generally won't be a wasted effort, since I feel it is helping us understand the build process and makes us better informed clients. In terms of build systems we are very keen on ICF, and going through the process now of trying to understand what the pros and cons are of the various systems - of which this site has proven very helpful already! We have also started to try and make a short list of architects that meet the following criteria: have demonstrable Passivhaus experience, have ICF experience, and can provide a Passivhaus design beyond just a box (yes I know that it is the most efficient design in terms of energy efficiency, but hey, its our dream :). this has proven difficult to say the least, the vast majority of architects who are local who have Passivhaus experience seem to only have experience with timber frame or seem so fanatical about the concept of eco design that I wondered whether we would be chased away with pitch forks if we even broached the idea of a monolothic concrete house. :). The other type of architects we found with lots of Passivhaus experience seem to be based in London, and frankly I wonder whether they would be so fancy that our fairly modest budget just wouldn't be of interest to them. If anyone can recommend an architect who meets the above criteria that would be great. So anyway, that's a brief synopsis of where we are, I sincerely hope to be able to contribute further to this site with updates!
  10. Hi everyone, Just a quick note to say hello and introduce our project, which is a self build at the Gravenhill site in Bicester. We have submitted for planning and intend to construct using SIPs to a near Passive Haus standard. While we have refurbished a couple of Victorian houses, a self build is a significant step up. Thankfully I have stumbled across this site and it seems it will prove invaluable to what is likely to be a steep learning curve. I look forward to discussing the project and contributing once I have some knowledge! If anyone is interested I have uploaded the 3D drawings. Thanks, Tom 370 - PL 500 Proposed Renders.pdf
  11. We are trying to do our best to create a pretty airtight house.... Our Architect has suggested a joiner made front door. Will this be a huge source of air leakage? We are installing MVHR and ASHP and it will kill performance if the door lets wind through. Our current double glazed french patio doors let a gale blow through on windy days....
  12. We are self-building/managing an MBC Passivhaus near Norwich, just starting plaster-boarding. We are aiming for Passivhaus Certification. Our first MBC air-test was okay, 0.47ach, despite (and it seems others of you have a despite) there being a couple of areas where air-tightness could have been better. Having remedied these areas, and been diligent about sealing penetrations, I'd anticipated an improved result, however our recent second air-test wasn't to the required Passivhaus standard of 0.6ach. We checked what we could with a smoke pen, but couldn't find anything significant. Has anyone had similar circumstances, and did they manage to discover why? I'm applying additional taping to window reveal corners, in the hope that this is enough. thanks in anticipation.
  13. We've just completed a new build "house for life" - it started as "Passivhaus Principles" as we didn't want to commit to certification during the planning process because of its challenging form, but our Passivhaus consultants (Peter Warm) felt that with a few tweaks it could make it and, as of this week, it has been certified. We also had to go through the "Paragraph 55" (now 79) route to get planning permission, where you have to go to a Design Review Panel of professionals who get to decide if your design is "exceptional architecture". They unanimously approved it while Planning rejected it and also said they didn't want any further discussion on it. However, our forward thinking local councillor took it to the development committee where Planning was over-ruled (a story in itself). To be honest we are not hands-on self-builders in that we used architects, builders, etc to do it and it was an expensive build, but we were in a position to do this because what we actually hands-on self-built was a successful software company that was then sold. We were very involved in the whole process, living 250 metres from site, and especially in selecting and pushing the eco kit and we also had a planning condition to put a photographic record of the build in the public domain, which being a keen photographer I have done: www.thewalledgardendevon.uk Eileen designed the landscape and is now implementing it with muscle from local ex-marines. So it's a certified Passivhaus with private water supply, a positive energy house through solar and using both electrical and thermal batteries, with an EER of 101. We started a bit late on Buildhub as we were having problems with our Sunamp thermal batteries and we got a lot of help from @JSHarris in particular and others. However, happy to answer questions about our experiences if that's useful.....
  14. Hi guys, Just joined this group. Just finished building a Passivhaus in Penzance, Cornwall. My friend and I built 2 houses together, one for each family on a challenging plot chasing the passivhaus dream... We've been in the house since end July and just seeing how it copes with our first winter! So it's a timber. Frame design, sitting on a concrete raft (on 30cm insulation!) planned using the PHPP software to conform to PH standards. So it's super insulated, airtight (0.3ac/hr) no cold bridges, triple and quadruple (skylights) glazed with Brink MVHR system (ubbink plastic duct and plenum). My friend developed the wall buildup himself to achieve the PH standards without us having to buy premade PH timber frame sections, saved us a lot of money... Biggest struggle so far, trying to get the. Brink post heater to operate... It's wired up correctly but won't operate, even at high fan speeds...? Which is really why I joined this forum, to hopefully glean some info as our supplier hasn't solved it (or Brink at this stage!) Cheers.. Murray
  15. The Passivhaus Trust has announced that the number of certified Passivhaus units in the UK has topped 1000 - with at least as many again in the pipeline. http://www.passivhaustrust.org.uk/news/detail/?nId=787
  16. I know this has been discussed at some point, but it was on a very tiny slope and I have found nothing about anyone trying near a Watercourse or similar. So my question is: Is it possible under any circumstances to build Passive Slab on a slope of ca. 1.5 meters next to a Watercourse. My guess is "No" But i still think it s worth a try, as this would be a good slab solution. Here is some measurements (see Pic below) . House will be on a slope of 1.5 meters over 21 meters distance. But the bigger problem probably is the Watercourse directly next to it - oh, and I forgot- a few trees as well. I will ask Structural Engineer the same question, but her solution so far is not really a cheap one (Pile and Beam with slab , first quote coming is : 47000£+VAT ? ?) Thinking by now that it might be best to leave concrete out and just put suspended Timber Floor on Screwpiles. Anyone in here got experience with this? Even Though Helical Piles are not cheap, might still end up much cheaper. Has anyboday ever tried installing helical Piles themselves ? I just had a quote for the Piles themselves - just material - 1600mm length excl. shipping for 15USD each (100/pallet) , seems cheap enough to me ?
  17. Hello everyone, I came across this great Forum through JSHarris Blog (which was quite an amazing read to me). The first time ever that I found really usefull information in bulk, as a lot of the Info about so called "self building" is really just customised building (I tell the architect what i want and how it should look like at the end and then just empty a wheelbarrow of cash in front of his office every week) . My approach to building my own home is a little different, as I am German and as far back as I can remember I never heard about anyone buying an off-the-shelve home ( whats the point of someone else building YOUR house ) . That s until I moved to the UK, where it is the other way round (why would anyone go through the stress of building their own home if you can buy it off the shelf) . I hope I can learn bits and pieces here and also ask a few questions, as a few of you seem to be quite experienced and knowledgeable. It is always good to have advice from people who have done similar projects as there is a chance of avoiding costly mistakes here. So here I am , bought myself a plot of Land (came across it by accident, driving through the countryside in Wiltshire) with an old Timber Shed on it.(Shed is not quite the right word, as its footprint is around 130sqm) Wanted to renovate the Timber buidling (It s an old Assembley Hall ) and planned everything until I discovered that the foundations are too poor. So now I will have to knock the old down and build new. Which is an advantage somehow as I dont need to stick to any restrictions from the shape of the old building , but unfortunatley this will cost a fair bit more money (apparently Foundations are really expensive ? ? ) . The House going to be a 1 1/2 Storey Bungalow-Type 3 Bedroom with approx. 160sqm which we will try to build as energy efficient as possible on our tight budget.(We meaning Wife and Kids , although not planning to use the Kids as Labourers just yet ?. It will be Timber frame, but unlike so many of you, I do not have the option to use a Kit (or SIPs ) , as there is no access for a Lorry, Crane or even a Van within 50-60 meters from the site. So it will have to be built on site (oldschool) . I am now looking into the details of how to get construction Plans together (not really Building regs, as this is not that difficult to figure out) for the actual building to start. Most guys here that have done a House themselves have used a Timber Frame KIT and where provided with Construction Plans by the company or, alternatively had these done by their architect. The Problem with Architects is(as discussed elsewhere) , that they are quite expensive and on top of that rely on others to work with them (Structural Engineer) to make the plans work. Quite a bit of information for an introduction post so i stop here and just leave it with some drawings and models of the House .
  18. I've just come across this article in the local rag. Only two of these houses currently, but it's a good start. Turn on your adblockers, by the way, as the local news will take a long time to load up by the time it's done all adverts. Bournemouth Echo council passivhaus article
  19. Hi all, about to embark on self-build project. We have plot and planning. The layout optimises solar gain so I am keen to achieve passive house standard. I have noticed on this forum that many self-builders seem to include UFH in their passive house build but I have been told this is simply not necessary... So i'd be grateful for thoughts on this please!
  20. Hi, My name is Ted Nicholls, I'm a third year undergraduate studying Building Surveying at the University of Westminster. Please find attached a link to my dissertation questionnaire- 'An assessment of self-build homes in the UK in the context of the EU’s directive for nearly zero energy buildings (nZEB) plan for 2020. Through various questionnaires and interviews I hope to promote it as a feasible way to achieve nearly zero energy buildings' It would be really appreciated if anyone could take part in it and also forward the survey onto any individuals or companies with self-build knowledge to help further my research. Thanks in advance and best regards, Ted Nicholls https://goo.gl/forms/iBffpVYYSUjPsHu82
  21. Is there anyone out there who is in the early stages of their build 'journey', ideally a Passivhaus? The podcast/website www.houseplanninghelp.com, which I have been listening to since it started and think is very useful, is looking for its second self build case study for its Hub. It has already been following the build of Long Barrow, being built by Alex Baines, near Cirencester. This is an ICF, earth sheltered Passivhaus and now they are looking for a second case study to follow through from planning to final build. If at all interested, contact Ben Adam Smith at the website. Similar to myself, he has been researching as much as he can while looking for land for his own build but, like myself, not finding anything affordable. However, as well as learning himself, he has been sharing everything he has found with others via his podcasts and now the Hub. It would be great if someone could help him out with another case study. He wants it to be useful for everyone, including you, your builders and build team and will hopefully include all the good points as well as all the bad parts. After all, thats often when we learn the most. Hope someone can help. I'd love to do it but no luck with the land yet. www.houseplanninghelp.com
  22. Hi everyone, I'm a "mature" retired electronic/electrical design engineer come computer networking consultant come PH self builder. See following link for existing building details. http://passivhausprojekte.de/#k_4186 Currently designing second PH for construction in Brinkworth, on Woodbridge park golf course. Build commences 2nd August. Also designing next door neighbours from PHPP perspective. Scandanavian Lodge design ( planning requirement), Isoquick insulated raft foundation, Beco ICF walls (polstyrene lego bricks according to my wife!), attic trussed warm roof. Approx. 240m2 and 550m3 gross including voids which are within thermal and airtight envelope. Techie bit. Hmm.. The intension was to have very similar to current house as it works well! However no mains gas so all electric. MVHR to be a Paul Novus 300 with Lindab rigid safe ducting, silencers etc. Thermal store to be Akva Nero 750l (current house has Akvaterm std tank of 500l with top and bottom DHW coils giving up to 35l per min). Change of size result of no mains gas and probable use of Eco7 electric to supplement Solar PV via Immersun PWM switch to two high temp immersions. Space heating via VEAB CCW 125-6-2.5 in living area duct branch only - no active heating to bedrooms. Summer active cooling via VEAB CWK 125-6-2.5 in bedroom ducting only or VEAB CWK 160-6-2.5 for all areas... 3kW ASHP air to water supplying the VEAB CWK. Secondary DHW loop to provide "instant" hot water to all areas with little potted water wastage (as per current house). Well that was the plan until I discovered Sunamp and Zehnder Comfocool Q600! So undecided now although no apparent pricing/availability of Sunamp Stack.... Sunamp PV 5kW units look good but only a fraction of the capacity of a 750l TS. Multiple units look very expensive by comparison. However, need to make a decision soon I guess.......
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