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sloco
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Hi all, 

Just starting planning our second (last) build of a place for our retirement. Have been reading the excellent Harris blog and am intrigued by a) the lack of a 'traditional ' heat store and the use of a buffer and Sunamp. Has anyone else tried this ? and how helpful with the design might Sunamp be? We have good electrical but would appreciate recommendations for plumbing/ME, both design and install.  The house will be a rooms in roof bungalow approx 290 M2 of which 180 will be on the GF. Underfloor only of the GF tiny electric radiators upstair. Passiv from MBC looks likely , yet to choose windows so any views appreciated. MVHR and solar PV will be fitted.

 

Thanks Sloco

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Hi and welcome.

 

The Sun amp's main feature is much lower standing heat loss and  smaller size than a conventional tank. There are several on here using them.

 

I think most here would suggest quality tripple glazed windows. The likes of Internorm, Nordan, Rationel and many others are all worth considering. A lot depends on any special requirements and what finish you want. Remember if having mvhr order the windows without trickle vents.

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1 hour ago, sloco said:

Hi all, 

Just starting planning our second (last) build of a place for our retirement. Have been reading the excellent Harris blog and am intrigued by a) the lack of a 'traditional ' heat store and the use of a buffer and Sunamp. [...]

Thanks Sloco

 

Welcome indeed!

You've found one of our Techno-Gurus, I see. He's not the only one, there are a few: they take a bit of finding but I'll let you discover  them. 

 

We've also got some real sticklers for practical detail. For me their words make for difficult reading because they've all become experts by experience. And no matter how much  you read their words, there's no substitute for that.

 

Tell us about your first build. What did you learn? What did you get right? What are you going to do again because it worked so well?

 

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Yup, I am one of the "gurus".  We have an MCF TF + stone clad cottage-style house about 220 sq m usable floor space on 2½ floors.  All heated by a Willis heater through the UFH + twin SunAmp.  We just moved in before Xmas, and the main problem facing us over the holiday was that we had 3 kids, two spouses and a grandchild staying in the house, and my eldest son kept going around opening windows because he was complaining about being too hot!!  With just the two of us and one live-in son, we don't have the body-heat problem, but we keep the house cosy with maybe 6 hrs @ 3 kWh of E7 heat into the slab overnight.   I estimate that this will by down to 0 by around April.

 

No heating other than the ground floor UFH and the first floor is maybe 1-2°C cooler than the ground floor, but that's fine.  I've still got some fine tuningto do, but yes, it works brilliantly, IMO.

 

MBC has some good competition, but IMO, it just saves so much hassle and issues if you pick a proven company which can do the slab, frame and airtightness as a single bundle to a contracted spec.  If you go this route with a decent window supplier and MVHR, then you can be confident that your house as built will be in the passive-class band and this means that you can avoid so many hassles: No need for a conventional CH system; no radiators anywhere; no need for a gas supply; no need for expensive maintenance contracts, ....

 

BTW we have 4 induction + 2 gas rings on our hobb, but the gas is bottled.  We'll need to swap the bottle maybe once a year.  Big deal. 

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Terry, 

 

Thanks to you and all the others who replied to my 'hello' . It's very encouraging and reassuring to get this feedback from everyone on their experiences. On the last house we had a difficult site (1 in 4 slope with very tight access) with lovely views, south facing in Guildford. It was therefore an expensive build not least because we had to do a lot of drains work and retaining. We had an excellent builder but very few people now much about ASHP, MVHR  etc and in particular integrating all the systems for maximum benefit/ minimum cost. We were all electric. It took me about 9 months to get it settled down. We were making about £1400 a year from FIT payments, we got in at the absolute peak and the cost of power for the house was about £100 a month so we were fine. We had a lot of south facing double glazed window so it isn't environmentally first class but we had a calculated SAP of 82 and the EPC when we sold it came out at B not bad for 320 sq.m. detached in an exposed position.

 

The hob thing is interesting and we have talked about a gas ring partly to heat an empty pan but it seems that some modern induction hobs can handle this.

 

We are finalising the design at the moment and will for for a pre-app during January . Depending on this and the neighbours reaction we'll move to detailed design after that. Our daughter is doing a big extension nearby over the summer so we may not start until late 2018 as it will give us a chance to look at her subbies... and get the heating and hot water designs as simple as possible.

 

I agree with you re MBC  and the foundations. We went to see them and we were impressed.

 

all the best

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