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ebuild is sad to announce its closure - it has become too time and resource intensive to develop, manage and maintain.

However, ebuild will remain on-line in archive mode (ie no posting facilties) for several weeks so that users can use it as an information resource.

New Here And New To All This!


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11 replies to this topic

#1 NewB

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 10:29 AM

Hi,

It's good to be here! We're planning a small, two-bed detached house on land to the side of our current property. We have planning permission and are involved in the serious task of planning with just about zero knowledge and definitely zero experience! We're hoping to build as eco and energy efficient as possible, considering passive if we can afford it and if it can be achieved within the planning constraints. Otherwise SIPS, timber frame; are we missing anything? :) We went to the Build It Live show this last Saturday, having been about 18 months previously prior to starting the process. In some ways we came away better informed but in others more confused!We're looking forward to learning all we can from the lovely folk on this forum!

Oh, and we're in beautiful Lancashire!

#2 joiner

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 11:36 AM

:) Welcome.

Don't forget the usefulness of the search box up there in the top right hand corner. Enter the specific keyword(s) and make sure that "Forums" is selected as the search criteria and hit the magnifying glass symbol.

And, of course, read through the fabulous resource of the blog pages, particularly Jeremy Harris's which has become something of a classic.

#3 NewB

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 01:27 PM

Thank you. Jeremy's fame precedes him, his blog was mentioned in glowing terms by someone we met at the self-build show who was in the process of building a passive house.

Edited by NewB, 22 February 2016 - 01:29 PM.


#4 PeterStarck

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 02:42 PM

Hi and welcome. I'm building a low energy house to PH standards in my garden. It's our first selfbuild and it's all possible, we designed it ourselves and it's a timber I-beam portal frame. Be prepared to do a lot of research before you even start on the plans.

#5 SteamyTea

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 03:33 PM

Welcome
Have you done a full energy audit on your current house?
This may sound odd, but many things will stay the same or can be easily adjusted.
Hot water usage is pretty consistent, as it cooking and lighting.
It is also worth noting your internal temperature, you probably already have it set where you feel comfortable, so that may not change much either.

Now onto the horrible 'Eco' term.
Decide what you mean by it, is it low energy, self generated energy, local materials, just looks, novel technology, long term environmental sustainability, short term environmental damage, adding to the natural 'store', swapping natural capital, offsetting CO2...
It is a long list and fraught with complicated issues.
And for every 'fact', there will be several counter opinions.

#6 NewB

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 04:15 PM

Thank you for your welcome!
I have a good idea of energy usage in our current house but your point is worth noting. And you're right about 'eco', I just didn't know what other word(s) to use! Realistically for us it means the use of renewable energy as efficiently as possible, together with considering a few technologies which, I imagine, are more mainstream nowadays than novel (ie. air source heat pump with thermal store, MVHR, rainwater reclamation). If it is possible to achieve any of the other items on your list then that would be a bonus. We've already run into the confusion of info and opinion there is out there. My head is spinning with it all! I'm not working at present and good at research so the 15 months or so we have before we expect to get the build rolling will be well spent.

#7 SteamyTea

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 04:40 PM

Realistically there is only one type of renewable energy for domestic usage, photovoltaic. It is worth looking into designing around that from the start.
Check with your DNO how much you can fit, you may be limited. Then see about designing your roof to maximise not just the amount, but also your usage patterns i.e. morning usage or mid day. Extra modules are cheap and easy to fit. A decent PV system is cheaper than tiling a roof.

My opinion on the Eco side is using materials with low embodied energy/CO2, so this tends to be timber.
Insulation can get confusing, but if you decide that you are going down the timber frame route, then the best for general usage is cellulose, it is also good on the recycling side (though it won't have The Independent in it soon). Failing that, mineral wool.
Spend your money on insulation and associated airtightness and you won't go far wrong.

If you get into the sustainable debate, my view is that this is more to do with lifestyle than any technological fix. It is often easier to be more sustainable by taking a bike to work than a bus, or getting your shopping delivered than driving the most economical car to the farm shop (why are there so many 4x4s at organic farm shops).
Sustainability has more to do with sharing resources than anything else. It is a minefield.

#8 NewB

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 05:04 PM

Much of what you say, particularly about timber and spending on insulation, chimes in with what I've researched so far so that's helpful, thank you.

#9 VIPMan

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 05:08 PM

Hi NewB - there are a few of us in Lancashire - RecoveringAcademic and I are in/near Lancaster.

Edited by VIPMan, 22 February 2016 - 05:08 PM.


#10 recoveringacademic

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 05:11 PM

View PostNewB, on 22 February 2016 - 10:29 AM, said:

Oh, and we're in beautiful Lancashire!

Welcome also from sunny Lancashire (not far from J33)
Also building in our garden, but out of Durisol, and as you will find out, sandwiched between two lots of Great Crested Newts. Bless them.

Edited by recoveringacademic, 22 February 2016 - 05:11 PM.


#11 NewB

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 07:49 PM

Thank you fellow Lancastrians! I'm Lancashire born and bred but my DH is a reformed southerner! We're living - and hopefully building - in the south Preston area. I've never heard of Durisol, something else for me to look up! Our local Booths store had lengthy building delays because of the newts, I hadn't considered they might pose a problem for us! There's far more to this self-building lark than first meets the eye!

#12 SteamyTea

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 10:18 PM

Get the RoundUp and flame throwers ready for spring.
A few tonnes of gritting salt may help as well. :ph34r: