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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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    • CommentAuthorjadam
    • CommentTimeOct 12th 2013
    Hi all

    Just thought I'd do a general hello message before I start asking lots of questions

    I've just moved into a 1930's 3 bed semi outside of Cambridge. Its is OK condition, but could do with a lot of decorating, and I'd like to do what I can to improve its energy performance (now its getting cold outside I'm realising how important this will be - it gets pretty chilly in-side)(single glazed, solid walls, no insulation, <100mm loft insulation (with lots of big gaps around all the downlighters :-( )

    Long term we're probably going to extend, so will be looking to make the most of that opportunity to get some more insulation in the new walls, and put IWI in the front of the house. But these will be the subject of lots more questions later!

    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeOct 12th 2013
    Welcome to the group Joe. I am sure you will find much valuable and interesting information here.

    • CommentAuthorGaryB
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2013 edited
    Hi Joe:

    Tasks for this winter:

    1. Get another 200 mm of loft insulation in quick.
    2. Use recycled baked bean cans (or whatever canned food you use) stuck down with silicone to seal the downlighter gaps on the top floor ceiling. Drill a hole in the top of the can and use a rubber grommet to feed the cables through. Allows heat dissipation from the lamp and you can insulate over with confidence.
    3. Replace the downlights with LED if they are still tungsten!
    4. Seal as many draughts as you can.
    5. Fit chimney balloons to all unused chimneys.
    6. Ensure all windows and doors have curtains or blinds.
    7. Set up some monitoring of energy use and log it on a spreadsheet, compensate for degree days and then you can see how well you're doing.

    Then spend the rest of the winter trawling through GBF and asking questions to plan your work for next year...
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2013 edited
    Posted By: GaryBUse recycled baked bean cans

    Posted By: GaryBuse a rubber grommet to feed the cables through

    Make sure the can is earthed!!
    • CommentAuthorGaryB
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2013
    It was an electrician gave me that tip, he didn't highlight that important detail!
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2013
    Sounds about right. He could then charge 200 quid to do it for you :wink:
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2013
    Or you could use clay plant pots, a little heavier on the plasterboard, but should work OK and no earthing.
    • CommentAuthorjadam
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2013
    Thanks for all the replies.

    Spent today clearing out the loft of all the junk left b the previous inhabitants. I wasn't sure - given the lack of insulation of the rest of the house, whether another 200mm of insulation would make a lot of difference, but its definitely in the plan.
    Have also ordered some of these ( http://www.downlightsdirect.co.uk/aurora-insulation-coverable-bathroom-downlight.html) to replace the downlighters in the bath room (the existing ones fell out when I went to replace a bulb - and I thought some properly bathroom rated ones might be good). They claim to be good to insulate straight over.

    I also noticed that there's no ventilation (eaves or otherwise) in the loft, but it is a slate roof, so I get the impression that air moves relatively freely in anyway. Is this right?

    Finally, have started uploading readings to imeasure so I've got a log of energy usage.

    I think this place is going to keep me busy, I've certainly got a lot to learn!
    Slate roof with no felt? If so there may be a fair bit of infiltration, but not if it has lime torching (pointing against the battens) in fair condition.Don't automatically assume a slate or tile roof with no felt will have enough ventilation in the absence of other vents.
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2013
    Posted By: jadamFinally, have started uploading readings to imeasure so I've got a log of energy usage.
    Good move
    We have a similar little one gong one here:


    Simple format to follow.

    There is also the 'Heating On' one that may be due to start up again soon:

    • CommentAuthorTimSmall
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2013
    Wookey organises a monthly ish meetup-down-the pub in Cambridge to talk green building stuff, which you might be interested in. He's not on this forum much at the moment due to work commitments, but he's got some contact info here http://wookware.org/ if you want to get hold of him.
    • CommentAuthorwookey
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2013
    Nothing like monthly in practice. 4-6 monthly is more like it. Frequency is entirely up to the membership. The mailing list is here: http://wookware.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/greenbuildingspods if you want to get (or send) mail about when the next meet is happening.

    It's been organised 'by invite' so far, but to be honest anyone who wants to spend an evening in the pub talking about green building on a technical level (i.e pretty-much like this forum but higher bandwidth and more beer) is welcome.

    Conveniently there's a meet on thursday 17th Oct. Mail me or the list if you are interested.
    • CommentAuthorTimSmall
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2013
    Sorry for "outing" the group then Wookey!

    BTW, I run a monthly one in Brighton - every second Tues of the month, 7 pm in The Battle of Trafalgar. I've registered a domain, but have yet to put any content up (2014 is looking less hectic at the moment, but we'll see).
    • CommentAuthorjadam
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2013
    Thanks for the invites.
    Sounds like a great plan, but I don't think I'll be able to make it this week. Hopefully next time....
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