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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 […]

Demolitions

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 […]

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 […]

Architects

Although architects have been quite slow on learning about green design principles there has recently been a bit of a scramble to catch up and they all now claim to know about the subject. In fact most architects practices leave the technical work to architectural technicians they employ. It may pay to ask quite detailed […]

Regulations / standards

see also Building Regulations Approved Documents (England) 7 – Material and workmanship (England) B1 – Fire Safety C – Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture D – Toxic substances E – Resistance to the passage of sound F – Ventilation G – Sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency H – Drainage and […]

Ashley Vale, Bristol

from left to right – individual houses, the communal village green area, bungalows, the terrace of houses and, (bright red), the flats above the workshops and community centre. This is one of the most interesting recent examples of group selfbuild in the UK, not only because of its commitment to green values but also […]