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Larch and Lime passivhauses

Larch house entrance

Although not self build, the two passivhauses at Ebbw Vale may be very relevant to many self builders. Built in 2010 as show houses mainly for the attention of housing associations, they are attractive and innovative while being relatively modest. The 3 bed Larch House is clad with a locally sourced […]

Houses by Ecos

ECOS, (formerly known as the Somerset Trust for Sustainable Development) is a charity which has been behind several green house building initiatives. Although not self build, their houses are excellent examples of what is possible and are open to viewing on certain occasions. At present there are two schemes which are complete or nearing completion […]

Retrofit

‘Under the Sun’, a Victorian terrace house in Birmingham is an outstanding example of bringing a fairly typical old building up to PassivhausSee more on the Passivhaus standard. The PassivHaus Institute has pioneered a standard for low energy buildings. It includes very low energy usage and ways of achieving this. The word is derived […]

Designing with timber

timber house in the Field of Dreams, Findhorn FoundationThe Findhorn Foundation is a large community near Inverness. There is a strong emphasis on sustainable building.

designing with timber

Are the British inherently nervous of timber buildings? Does this go back to the Great Fire of London? Is this still valid considering how many […]

Design it yourself

see also A Pattern Language Almere, Netherlands Designing with timber Lighting Spiral stair calculators Stair design Straight stair calculator Window design

The Ashley Vale development in Bristol shows a wealth of creative input by the residents

Click the image above for 3D panoramic view with drag and zoom

Self build, although demanding, can be […]

Green Design

Denby Dale passivhausSee more on the Passivhaus standard. The PassivHaus Institute has pioneered a standard for low energy buildings. It includes very low energy usage and ways of achieving this. The word is derived from the idea of buildings which are fundamentally low energy and passive solar heated rather than using extra gadgets to […]

Regulations / standards

see also Building Regulations Approved Documents (England) 7 – Material and workmanship A – Structure B1 – Fire Safety C – Site preparation etc. D – Toxic substances E – Sound resistance F – Ventilation G – Sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency H – Drainage and waste disposal J – Combustion appliances and […]

Window design

There are many purposes a window can serve and several of these have important ecological considerations:

Letting light in Collecting solar heat Providing a view Acting as a door The visual character of a house

Windows may have associated drawbacks to consider:

They may let in too much light at certain times Too much […]

Water Conservation

see also Rainwater harvesting

This tends to be something of a regional issue but certainly in the South East, it is becoming a major concern with planning permissionthe legal basis for being allowed to do some form of development such as building a house. (not to be confused with Building RegulationsThese are the mass of […]

Combined Heat & Power

CHP Combined heat and power – where the heat which is produced when electricity is generated is used within a heating system rather than wasted. This can happen at different levels – within a single house, a housing development, a town etc. , or co-generation as it is also known is a technology which […]

Building Regulations

July 2015

What are the regulations for?

See the English government web site on Building Regulations. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are listed below. Slowly an increasing number of details in the regulations are diverging between the countries.

Building Regulations deal with whether the building is built properly and is safe and energy efficient etc.

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