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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 […]

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 […]

Insulation properties

A cork oak. The bark (cork) is stripped about every 8 years and regrows

The qualities of insulation types

Assuming that the question of designing in enough insulation into your self build project has been dealt with the question is about what kind of insulation materials to use. Here the issues are –

the […]

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 […]

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

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.

The Regulations […]