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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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    • CommentAuthorGriff
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2013
    Hi from the rolling wet hills of Mid Wales. I want to build a garden office that's as green as poss, using materials to hand and with little experience. Well I once took several weeks to make a small bicks and cement herb garden that was rustic in the extreme....

    We have a lovely 16th cent (not listed) house that we are saving bit by bit. Traditional or modern green materials throughout, biomass heating, lime wherever possible, super thinck insulation etc etc.

    But I run a small company and I need a little office, just 3 or 4 by 4m (internal) on a tiny bit of sloping land we have. If I had £12k to spend and didn't care about the eco side I'd rush out and get some steel, glass and cedar thing and spend time just looking at the swankyness of it all. I'd love to use strawbale but the footprint is too big and my main worry is damp. Its wet here, did i mention that? Despite many people saying 'don't worry about damp, as long as you render properly it will be fine', I can't help thinking eventually I'll have a soggy, rotten heap. And they are hard to find round here.

    I also have a lot of concrete rubble left from demolishing some terrible cr*p the local council poured into the house in the 90's as part of a grant.

    So, use that as foundations? I also have a fair bit of 2-6" rock about, maybe use that to build up a load bearing wall around the base? Then shuttered hempcrete walls?

    Lastly i have a lot of what I'd describe as cord wood. Tons of fruitwood saplings about toilet roll to forearm thick over 8ft long that I want to use. Roofing materials maybe?

    I intend to get doors and windows from my local tip.

    Apart from not building in more than the allowed height for planning regs, my canvas is blank.

    Any advice, suggestions, inspiration etc etc gratefully appreciated.

    Many thanks in advance.

    • CommentAuthorRobinB
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2013
    Have you seen you can make cordwood walls. Could be quite swanky. As you say the long ones would make a nice ceiling.
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2013
    Look around for secondhand or reclaimed stuff. Stuff that already exists is better than new, there may be a better use for new stuff elsewhere.
    Then there is 'eco', 'green', 'sustainable', low energy usage', 'low embodied energy' , the last two are measurable and real, the others are whatever anyone wants them to be.

    I need a new shed and am thinking along the lines of a high tech tent.
    You can make cordwood walls, but you want insulation too, and you have a restricted footprint.

    Walter Segal Post and beam. Tamped rubble in pits with a bit of mortar on top and a paving slab (mortar allows you to waggle it level).
    Steamy, I may have some Multifoil for you to sew in, as long as you sew in a 25mm gap on either side.....:)
    • CommentAuthorseascape
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2013
    Grr just lost my post somewhere.

    Don't discount strawbale because of rain, although they are wide. Take a look at thinkingcowgirl/wordpress.com under post 'Death of one tiny house and the birth of another.

    When taken down after 9 years being lashed by west country rain it was completely dry, only failed because it was built of old wooden pallets laid directly on the ground and they rotted in one corner.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2013
    I intend to get doors and windows from my local tip.

    Is that still possible? Mine have signs up everywhere saying only a certain contractor can remove materials.
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2013 edited
    Posted By: Nick ParsonsSteamy, I may have some Multifoil for you to sew in
    Not thinking that high tech, and anyway, I want it to be calm peaceful place :wink:

    Griff if you are wondering what that is about don't read this:
    • CommentAuthorfinny
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2013
    Our local window installer always has leftovers..wrong sizes ordered by customer etc. he is happy for people to cart off..he is in Mid Wales too.. better nip round there myself as we are about to start the "garden shed/batch"
    can whisper you their details..
    For windows keep an eye on ebay. When I was building my tiny house (sadly unfinished) I scored 4 brand new, still in their wrapping, Jeld-Wen double glazed timber windows for £200, would have cost over a grand new. People order the wrong size etc and then they're not much use as for replacements they have to fit exactly. If you're building from scratch you can stockpile your parts and then frame around them which is what I planned to do.
    • CommentAuthorGriff
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2013
    Thanks for the comments and help. Will post something fuller a wee bit later.
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