Elle

Eco-friendly living in Bristol

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1 hour ago, Elle said:

There's been a couple of plots in bath listed recently that I've considered too, but I'm not so familiar with that neck of the woods- is it a nice place to live (in your opinion?)

 

Bath is a very desirable location. Although traffic is a nightmare anywhere near the city centre. 

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Have you looked at Stroud, few plots popping up there.

 

your garden ideas would fit in there. 

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5 hours ago, Elle said:

I looked into passivhaus standards and the lack of ventilation concerns me a little, I understand making it air tight is crucial for efficiency but to me a building needs a level of 'breathability' to be a healthy environment. I also want a lot of light, so passiv standards can prove a bit limiting when it comes to window sizes. I want to try to live off-grid, but still connected so that I can sell any excess back to the grid - looking at solar PV panels as they seem affordable but effective. Ideally heating the home through ground source heat pumps too, and trying to decide between timber frame or SIPS. A permaculture garden would be nice. 

To get close you 'net zero' on your energy you need to work out the house heat loads (not that hard) plus your domestic hot water (DHW).

Then you can calculate the size of a PV system.

A guy on here, who has now vanished, has a house with about 150m2 livable area, an ASHP, MVHR with built in heat pump, plus some extra cooling, and got to net zero with around 6.25 kW of PV.

That basically sets your roof size, which, for a fairly basic house design, sets your floor area.

The important things to remember is that any shading on the roof kills PV performance, and if you spend a lot of time in it, then East, South and West facing modules may be more beneficial.  Roof intergrated PV can work out cheaper than tiling, and it can help a lot with cooling as it reduces the solar radiation getting though into the house but about 20%.

Forget a ground source heat pump, just not worth the extra money in my opinion.  Spend that saved case on decreasing the overall thermal losses of the house, what we call 'fabric first'.

This means you need to exceed building regulations' minimum standards, by quite a bit, especially with airtightness.

So your walls will be thicker, as will your roof.  If you go for underfloor heating, then you need a lot of insulation under for house, and around the periphery with some designs.

Airtightness is all about uncontrolled losses, you want to control the losses, via the MVHR.  But try and pick an area where people do not burn coal and wood, count the local chimneys.

 

Liking a 'a lot of light' can become expensive.  Not just the costs of extra glazing, but extra heating during the winter nights, and extra cooling during the spring and autumn, when the sun is lower in the sky, but still churning out a lot of energy.  So think very carefully about this.  Putting in blinds, Brise soleils, reflective film, noble gasses and special coatings, is really a patch for poor design.  They are just cutting out the light (though some of the films allow more UV than IF though).  Careful orientation of the glazing is more important than the overall size.  I see some great houses on the south Cornish Coast, they have fantastic view, and then blinds over the windows.  The better places are on the North Coast, they only need the blinds in the summer.  You can pipe in natural light with sunpipes, or design your own, they are only mirrors.

 

Can't help much about the garden, but trees can be a mixed blessing.  They are useful to reduce the effects of the prevailing wind, but then they shade your PV.  So choose carefully.  And will you need a sewage plant and a bore hole for fresh water?

 

As with any project, make the big decisions first, then research the details.

 

And two important things kW and kWh, they are different, learn the difference and people will be very impressed.  Shall leave you to research them.

 

 

Edited by SteamyTea
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@Russell griffiths I'm not going to lie, I'm not a massive fan of stroud. No particular reason, but there's just something about the place

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On 20/11/2020 at 16:12, joe90 said:


you mean Hotwells 🤣, very central location but a very steep slope, nice views tho and short walk to the centre.

It's funny how things change, I grew up very close to hotwells in Ashton (not Long Ashton) near the cumberland basin and hotwells was somewhere to be avoided, and don't get me started on Bemy, total dump back then, but now read hot spot.

Wish we'd stayed in our 3 bed victorian town house, which my parents sold because it was too big and bought a ex council semi.

 

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33 minutes ago, LSB said:

Bemy, total dump back then, but now read hot spot

Not sure it’s that great now... just one of the only affordable parts left in Bristol for a lot of people. 

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3 minutes ago, Gav_P said:

Not sure it’s that great now... just one of the only affordable parts left in Bristol for a lot of people. 

not sure about that, my brother still lives in the area and he says it is really expensive, cheap areas are Sadly Broke, Southmead, Knowle West and any of the huge ex local authority estates, like Hartcliffe.

But, I now live on the East Coast (Suffolk not USA) so I may well be out of date.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, LSB said:

not sure about that, my brother still lives in the area and he says it is really expensive, cheap areas are Sadly Broke, Southmead, Knowle West and any of the huge ex local authority estates, like Hartcliffe.

But, I now live on the East Coast (Suffolk not USA) so I may well be out of date.

 

 

Sorry I should have said, anywhere near central Bristol... all the others you mention are out of town. 

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2 hours ago, Elle said:

@Russell griffiths I'm not going to lie, I'm not a massive fan of stroud. No particular reason, but there's just something about the place

The Dead Zone was filmed there 

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2 hours ago, Elle said:

@Russell griffiths I'm not going to lie, I'm not a massive fan of stroud. No particular reason, but there's just something about the place

You are going to super struggle in Clifton etc . Unless your budget is Uber like .

Best option is to buy a property with potential to either split the plot or demolish. Rare though . 
I have an underground kingdom open to visitors / victims .

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33 minutes ago, pocster said:

 
I have an underground kingdom open to visitors / victims .


@Elle he also has some really nice walk on glazing for sale, along with probably the UKs only top glazed shower ... 

 

As many have said, you need to take a look at the budget and the location, and also work out where your compromises may have to be made and what is more important to you. 

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On 20/11/2020 at 16:01, Elle said:

There's been a couple of plots in bath listed recently that I've considered too, but I'm not so familiar with that neck of the woods- is it a nice place to live (in your opinion?)

 

Yes, Bath area is generally a really nice place to live, we certainly like it and everyone we've so far met who's moved into the area has been really happy with the move too. Property prices are a bit silly mind you.

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