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J – Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems

The Approved DocumentsApproved documents (England) are detailed publications which come under the English Building RegulationsThese are the mass of regulations that cover safety, health, welfare, convenience, energy efficiency etc. in the way buildings are constructed. Not to be confused with Planning consent (which is more to do with whether you can put up the building […]

Insulation and wall thickness

See also – How much insulation?

There is a peculiar and not instantly obvious relationship between wall insulation, population density and planning regulations and it may have a bearing on the type of wall construction you choose.

With increasing levels of insulation, the total thickness of a wall becomes an issue in relation to land […]

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 […]

Flues

Flues are pipes or ducts which carry waste gasses away from a building to the air outside. This can work in two different ways:

the exhaust gasses are hot and rise naturally up the fluepipe to conduct gas, typically ventilation air or boiler exhaust. see Flue by convection (as with a wood burning stove or […]

Bandodle house

October 2009

On the Hill of Bandodle, Aberdeenshire, stands a beautiful selfbuild timber frame house designed by architect Genevieve Jones for her family. Incorporating high levels of insulation (in the form of 350mm of shoddy obtained from Elgin woolen mill) and mainly locally sourced materials, Larch, Douglas fir and Caithness slate, the house also […]

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 […]

Earth Heart

 

Earth Heart is a community of 22 people in 8 homes based on a large converted farm in Derbyshire set up in 1998 around home education. Although not initially concerned with eco selfbuild, they have embraced the concept thoroughly during their upgrading of an old farm house and several outbuildings into dwellings.

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Thermal Mass

Energy storage

High thermal mass is generally seen as a useful quality in a building because it can be utilised to trap and save any spare heat which might turn up.

It can also do the reverse equivalent for coolth during hot weather. This quality is utilised in passive solar design, including the PassivhausSee more […]

Saving energy

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 heat them. […]

Alterations & Fashion

‘Energy use’ is usually associated with how much energy is used to construct a new building. However, this is only part of the story. Most buildings get altered and repaired and redecorated a considerable number of times during their lifetime and taken to an extreme, some houses are constantly having ‘makeovers’. This can vastly increase […]

Findhorn Foundation

October 2009

See the Findhorn web site

The Findhorn Foundation near Fores in the North East of Scotland has a couple of interesting areas of eco-housing and a whole approach to living lightly on the earth including 750kW of electrical energy from 4 wind turbines recently installed for Findhorn Wind Park Ltd which is the […]

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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