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Hardwood floor finishes by ‘Wood and Beyond’

Information written for Selfbuild Central by Jonathan Sapir of UK solid and engineered hardwoods vendor wood and beyond.

The vast majority of homeowners are unaware that in recent years the world of wood flooring has completely transformed. Two main trends have contributed to this transformation, which by all accounts is a positive one. The […]

Timber frame

overview

‘Timber frame’ can have several meanings:

Platform frame where walls are assembled on site into storey[for the purposes of part B (fire) of the Approved Documents to the Building Regulations] this includes – (a) any gallery[for the purposes of part B of the Approved Documents] – A raised area or platform around the […]

Lammas eco village

summer 2011

The Lammas self build project at Tir y Gafel, Glandwr, Pembrokeshire, is Wales’ first collective initiative based on what is now the (TAN)6 national planning guidance for sustainable rural communities. (One Planet Development).

Planning permissionthe legal basis for being allowed to do some form of development such as building a house. (not […]

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 […]

Van Midden House

The Van Midden house is at the Lembas Organics farm at the Bridge of Muchalls, Stonehaven. It is a very low energy house due to high levels of insulation and the use of timber I beamsprefabricated timber beams with a web of OSBOriented Strand Board and softwood flanges. They are very light, efficient and […]

‘Under the Sun’, Birmingham

Bringing existing houses up to a high standard of energy efficiency is a much greater challenge than with new ones.

This particular example of self build eco renovation is outstanding because of the way it will achieve a net zero carbonbit of a slippery fish. It tends to mean that a building uses no […]

Tressour Wood

This timber post and beamSubstantial, usually horizontal structural member. house in Aberfeldy pioneered “breathing construction” in the UK.

Designed by Gaia Architects and built in 1992 this well insulated passive solar house also has a wood burning stove and stack effect cooling for summer. The building materials used were chosen for being non-toxic and […]

The Tree House

The Tree House in Clapham, London is a recently completed and very elegant example of a self build detached house. It has, on occasion, been open to the public as part of the London Open House programme. Situated on a small urban plot of land dominated by a large sycamore tree it has taken […]

Passivhaus at Denby Dale

the front of the house with double storey[for the purposes of part B (fire) of the Approved Documents to the Building Regulations] this includes – (a) any gallery[for the purposes of part B of the Approved Documents] – A raised area or platform around the sides or at the back of a room which […]

Parramatta

This 122 m² self build, passive solar house in Montrose was the winner of the Angus Design Award 2006. It is a post and beamSubstantial, usually horizontal structural member. structure of Douglas fir and has larch cladding with breathing walla bit of a misnomer. A better term is ‘vapour open’ because it is not […]

Orkney straw bale

October 2009

Set on a windswept hillside overlooking Scapa Flow is what is probably the UK’s most northerly straw bale house. At the stage of being wind and weather tight but not yet plastered internally, this is an example of a self build house with very low embodied energythe total amount of energy […]

Timber

January ’13

Advantages of timber

Constructing with FSCForest Stewardship Council (who accredit timber) see their database timber (or another accreditation organisation such as PEFCProgramme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. See their web site) is potentially one of the greenest ways of building for several reasons.

Timber itself captures and locks up CO² as […]

Joinery / fixed furniture

Sourcing timber

Sourcing sustainably produced timber and manufactured timber building products requires checking the following –

Was the timber sustainably grown? How far has it travelled? Does it contain chemicals such as adhesives or timber treatment?

The FSCForest Stewardship Council (who accredit timber) see their database Woodmark or the PEFCProgramme for the Endorsement […]

Decorating

There is a line of thought that says that if beautiful basic building materials are used sensitively and creatively then there is less need for decoration, in the same way you would probably not want to paint over stylish tiles or a hardwood floor. The paint stripping industry is witness to this. This is all […]

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 […]

Cohousing

One of the most recent cohousing schemes to get off the ground is LILAC in Leeds. They are committed to ecologically sound building and have an interesting ownership structure,

The Lancaster Cohousing, which has also recently been completed, is documented on their blog and their web site home page

Recreating the village

Although very […]

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 […]

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 […]

Healthy buildings

Ideally your home should be the place where you are best protected from the woes of the world, from pollution and all the nasties out there. But it’s not so for most people.

The concept of ‘sick building syndrome’ has now moved from speculation into widespread acceptance with several well designed studies showing how people […]

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