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Cement / wood wool boards

novolit magnesite / woodwool board

There are various types of cement/wood wool board combinations with Heraklith (which uses a magnesite cement) being one of the better known makes in the UK. Although the cement component is a cause of embodied energythe total amount of energy it takes to make a material (or a building). […]


demolition is not without its risks

Building Control

Demolition of existing buildings is covered on the Planning Portal web site. Also if there is a tenant in the building then check out Initial demolition notices

Basically the local authority Building Control require 6 weeks written notice (except for certain exempt buildings). They may then […]

Chewton Mendip

A very interesting terrace of three houses, on a curved road junction, has recently been completed in this Somerset village.

Some of the main features of the design are:

Very high insulation levels provided by insulating concrete forms (ICF) with added exterior face insulation Structural insulated panel (SIP) roofs Eco-slab ground floors and upper […]

Hockerton Housing Project

The five earth sheltered houses. Image by WindandSun who provided the PVPhoto Voltaic. referring to the generation of electricity from sunlight installation

The Hockerton Housing Project is the UK’s first (and almost only) selfbuild earth sheltered housing development. It is a remarkable place, not only because of the five houses which are built into […]

Cement and concrete

There are several problems with cement:

the huge amount of energy which goes into making it because of the high temperatures needed in the kilns. It is reckoned that cement manufacturing accounts for 7% of global CO2Carbon dioxide is a gas which is given off when carbon based materials such as fossil fuels (coal, […]

Embodied Energy

The embodied energy in a house is the total energy required to build it. That includes the extraction, mining etc. of the raw materials, processing and manufacturing them and transporting them to the site and assembling them.

The embodied energy of materials can vary enormously depending on how you measure it, where it is located […]

Rammed Earth

rammed earth can be quite attractive if left unfinished

Rammed earth is an age-old method of building walls by packing moist subsoil into formwork and then compacting it, either by machine or manually. The formwork is then struck and lifted to form the next layer. In terms of embodied energythe total amount of energy […]