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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2007
    I was turning this subject over in my mind and wondered if some basic parameters should not be set out first. As houses should have a useful life of greater then 50 years, I think that the ability to modify the house in line with developments, at present unknown or only guessed at should be paramount.
    As an example, suppose 50 years ago, houses were built with solid concrete floors and wooden framed walls with inbuilt plastic membranes to stop condensation in the insulation. We would have had to forego the benefit of PVC wiring (unless surface wired), extention loadspeakers in different rooms, central heating. I suspect the list could go on.
    At present the biggest modification that houses will go through will be the "Internet controlled" house, the communications can be wireless, but motors to open/close curtains etc will still be needed and their resulting power supply leads. Also with the falling cost of LED bulbs (and semiconductor light emitters as yet un-invented) low voltage distribution could be required.
    So what I am getting around to saying, is that the inner skin of the house should be ameanable to having extra wires/pipes inbedded in them. So the overall spec should include a "wasteable" layer of say 1", where this action can all take place in. Could be 1" of bonding plaster or some light weight concrete layer. It is this layer that will also take the load of things that people nail/screw onto their walls, mirrors, pictures, clocks, barometers....etc.
    For the above reasons ( plus the fact that 3" long screws could be used by some numbskull) I would say that the conventional plastered blockwork must be the way to go. Hey , am I designing a house? because the internal blockwork then could take the weight of the roof. The block work could will also add some thermal mass. Build your house of blocks, then spray the walls with a tarry paint that will keep intersticular condensation at bay, and it can't be ripped/rumpled/removed as DPC membranes can. Hang your insulation and clad in any cementatious(Sp.?) panelling of your choice and paint to suit.
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