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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    • CommentAuthoratomicbisf
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2013
    Hi all,

    anyone in or around Bath may know that Bath Green Homes are organising a 'heat detective' project: http://www.transitionbath.org/green-living-fair

    Anyway, I have volunteered and the first training is tomorrow night in the use of the camera. The idea is to be able to offer low-cost (for a donation to cover the cost of the camera) surveys of heat loss.

    Please note, I haven't organised this, but I thought anyone local may be interested.

    • CommentAuthorMackers
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2013
    That's a great idea. Good idea for other areas too
    Sounds like a great idea. How or where are you advertising this service? Keep us informed of the take up.
    • CommentAuthoratomicbisf
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2013 edited
    Posted By: chippyclausSounds like a great idea. How or where are you advertising this service? Keep us informed of the take up.

    I'm not actually sure yet, as I've only just got involved!

    Here are some preliminary images I took last night, which was not ideal as it was rather warm for this time of year and a 15C difference between inside and outside temperatures is recommended. Also not sure why it defaults to F, but I'm sure that can be corrected.

    IWI on external wall (left, with window and venetian blind) and party wall to right. Seems the loft insulation needs adjusting near the eaves!

    Hullo all. I've been reading here since just after I bought my house in 2007. If I had known then what I have learned here I would perhaps have chosen differently. My house is 70% solid wall and had leaded single pane timber casements, no loft insulation, down lighters cut through all rooms, 20 year old boiler etc
    I've fixed up most of the issues including a painful episode being the first vrc430 vaillant weather compensated installation in the uk. but found that those hidden gaps in insulation, leaks and draughts are hard if not impossible for the average guy to find. Especially when using the traditional methods like strolling round on a windy day with candles, feathers etc !
    So I bit the bullet and splashed out on a proper thermal camera. I bought a flir e4 thinking that the basic model would be fine. I got a superb price of £800 which was pretty much 20% off. After waving that around for a day or so I snooped around looking for tips on using the thing properly. I have a physics and instrumentation background so just needed someone's condensed experience in correlating the images to building issues.
    I then discovered that thanks to flir using the same internal components across their ex range you can hack the e4 to be an e8 ! Now it's running at 320x240 which would cost over £4k !
    A few days is all it took to spot dozens of issues - extractor fans, gaps in cavity wall insulation, gaps in loft insulation, missing window cavity spaces, missing bay window insulation, front door draughts, leaking sealed unit mounting, cold chimney breast. Also stupidly routed cold water pipe, location of studs to mount tv and speakers in garden office etc. Even my poor basset who has glaucoma you can see the one eye hotter, the wife had sore knee - that glows nicely. My 4 year old thinks it hilarious to spot the dogs at the bottom of the garden.
    Anyway I am lending out to friends and family right now and noticed a few threads here on loan cameras. This is NOT an advert or commercial, just wanting to enable people who could benefit from a week with this thing but what are people's thoughts on taking a deposit and a nominal wear and tear fee to members of this forum ?
    Am I crazy and it will be stolen or bashed or is it a good idea to help a community back who's advice I've been taking for free for 6 years ?
    • CommentAuthorGarethC
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2013
    Showing them pictures like the above strikes me as a wonderful way to get it into homeowners' heads that they -need- insulation, and where they need it. i.e. wonderful 'marketing' for insulation, as much as a crucial tool to show where work needs to be done. For many, it can seem a bit hard to know a) how big the problem is, and b) where to start.

    I think you can already hire thermal imaging cameras from HSS hire and places like that, but I think it's pretty pricey for someone who's not got a strong interest. I reckon your plan could be very helpful Spencer if you could get it to work.
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2013 edited
    Posted By: mspencersmithAnyway I am lending out to friends and family right now and noticed a few threads here on loan cameras. This is NOT an advert or commercial, just wanting to enable people who could benefit from a week with this thing but what are people's thoughts on taking a deposit and a nominal wear and tear fee to members of this forum ?
    Am I crazy and it will be stolen or bashed or is it a good idea to help a community back who's advice I've been taking for free for 6 years ?
    I suggested a while back that the GDF gets an IR camera and loans/cheap rents it out. It did not go any further though. It cannot be that hard to arrange this as the GBF forum has a way to collect payment from card payments (if only for a security swipe), just down to someone to organise it. Try emailing the site owner Keith.

    Interesting about the hack, worth looking of ebay for the 4 version. Was it a painless and risk free upgrade?
    • CommentAuthorandyman99
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2013
    I would love to be able to "borrow" a decent IR camera at some point when I think I have finished the work I am doing on my house. It would be great to see what problems are fixed and what remain. I looked a while back and really it seemed very expensive to hire one. It's also likely that you would need it for a day, then again a month later to see if you have fixed, or not, the issues. As an individual though I would be worried about damage occurring whilst it is being borrowed?
    • CommentAuthorscrimper
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2013
    Top idea ... I would love to hire it at some point next year ... would be a GREAT help.
    I will message Keith then. I would basically look to write it off over 6 months to 1 year given wear and tear so that sort of rental - my biggest worry is damage. Calibration drift I don't think comes up as an issue in discussions elsewhere but it is done annually anyway; pretty easy to check loosely with something of known temp more often.
    For this kind of work we're really looking at relative temps anyway and a quick radiometric snap at this sort of resolution is more than adequate.
    For damage i'd need to figure out a deposit scheme as I think commercial insurance would be tricky. The only reason I'm even contemplating this here is that this forum is selective by design and hopefully only contains earnest users.
    Commercial weekly rents are exorbitant I know, cheapest I could find for the E4 is £150 and that's 80x60 which is more of a toy than tool. 320x240 cameras go for £250+. I would probably look at something like £30 a week plus deposit and courier ( or collection if you want from Maidenhead ) ?
    I hope this isn't looking like commercial as I'm really only interested in getting the energy use of homes down - it's my passion. Friends and neighbors have been getting free thermal surveys whether they want them or not !
    . I just have to be sensible and assume the thing will be lucky to be alive after a year so have to budget for a replacement then plus a risk factor for damage or loss.
    Any thoughts ?
    As for the hack - very smooth and easy. Not entirely risk free I would say as I don't want anyone who isn't familiar with firmware flashing and general rigour in compiling source to think it's push button.
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2013 edited
    Posted By: mspencersmithor collection if you want from Maidenhead
    That is the starting point, if the first user is close to you they can pick it up, then pass it on to the next one, and so forth. I suggest heading West down the M4, then South down the M5, then West again along the A30, quick picture at Landsend and then head back up the M5 and left into Wales, it can wiggle around there, and so forth.
    Can any finances we worked out though PayPal (I think I opened an account but never used it).

    My old University lent us an IR camera and one rather tight student took a picture of her house, it was warmer on the oustide than the inside, and this was winter. :wink:
    Jewson Hire Shop runs a scheme whereby they lend out I.R. cameras Flir i3 and i7 to energy assessors for £64/£80 +VAT per week.
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2013 edited
    Posted By: SteamyTeaMy old University lent us an IR camera and one rather tight student took a picture of her house, it was warmer on the oustide than the inside, and this was winter. :wink:

    That's quite a good trick. How much did it cost her to cool her house, and what did she buy?
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2013
    I think the other students cooled it at 90 quid a week!

    It was the start of me questioning the validity of high thermal mass housing and inter seasonal storage.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2013
    Surely it's quite easy for a house to be colder inside than outside if it's not heated, there's been a run of cold days and then a milder day. Or, just if the sun happens to be shining on it at the time you do the thermal imaging. Or, the average temperature has been stable for a week or two but the occupants open windows at night but leave them shut while they're out in the day. Or, even, it wasn't actually colder inside but the internal wall coatings happened to have a lower thermal emissivity than the outside.
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2013 edited
    Yes, not hard to get a cold house, but it was winter!
    She took the whole 'green' thing a bit too seriously I think (hope she is not reading this). Don't think I ever remember her commenting on cooking anything either.:wink:
    • CommentAuthorRobinB
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2013
    Love the idea of renting via GBF or mrspencersmith.
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2013
    And Robin your between the start point and myself, so come beginning of March it should be down my way :wink:
    I would be interested for sure, we are near Stroud south of Gloucester.
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2013
    Could put a cheap GPS tracker on it, post the file up on Google Earth with the images :wink:
    • CommentAuthorscrimper
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2013
    Please yes ... put me on the route map! ... we are 10 mins south of A303 near Shaftesbury ....
    • CommentAuthorCav8andrew
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2013
    Would also be interested, Outskirts of Bath just north of A4. Not sure if I qualify for B.G.H. thermal training as now living outside city limits.
    • CommentAuthornogsx3
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2014
    The Bath scheme looks really good but is for residents only and I'm just Outside Bath...

    Jewson are quoting £205 per week or £105 a day for a Flir i7 for a week ! Jewsons have 30% discount for onlnine tool hire only but excludes thermal cameras. I did try HSS but they didn't even bother replying.

    The options in Bristol are limited for borrowing or renting a thermal imaging camera and yet its meant to be the green capital in 2015. I've contacted many Bristol Green organisations but nobody appears to have a camera.

    Gordano have a good local Green organisation with a camera but its for locals only.

    Any other suggestions to avoid the very expensive commercial hire ?
    Hello all,
    On a loosely similar subject, I am borrowing a thermal imaging camera from our district council, who have two they lend out to local eco groups (such as the one I've just helped to set up for my village). The district council officer came to our first meeting, described how to use the camera and now we can take it in turns to use it. My husband has done a training course on them and we've used one before, so I'm reasonably sure we'll use it okay. However, I'm a bit worried about the rest of the group, who haven't used one before. Has anyone come across an idiot's guide to using them? A quick Google just came up with hits about growing your own drugs...!?
    Reading around, the hack seems to involve changing a configuration file slightly and uploading it to the camera through a slightly involved process.

    Those hire prices would pay for a new camera in a couple of months, as ever.

    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2014 edited
    • CommentAuthorTimSmall
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2014
    Thermal-imaging add-ons for smartphones are likely to be The Way Forward...

    IR Blue has been available for a year or so (very low resolution - 64 pixel plus visible light overlay) which has been available for a year or so for $200.


    Another couple are due out this year:

    Flir One: $350 (low res - 4800 pixels plus image enhancement using visible light).


    Mu Optics: Allegedly $325 - but higher res - 19200 pixels - tho' much delayed (was due out about 9 months ago I think) - to get an Flir (e.g. i7, E6 etc.) with the same resolution as this you'll pay nearly ten times as much(!). I wouldn't be surprised if the Mu eventually sells for nearer $500, but still - an impressive product...
    • CommentAuthorwookey
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2014
    Cambridge Carbon Footprint will lend out a Camera too (once you've had some training on how to use it). http://cambridgecarbonfootprint.org/blog/thermal-imaging-camera-calendar/

    Ivan from Navitron will come and do several houses in an area for ~£50 each. Get together with your mates. (He did mine a few years back).
    Thanks Wookey - my husband did the CCF training and we borrowed their camera last year to look at our previous house. He found the training very good! We've just borrowed the south cambs district council one, for which the training was rather minimal. Re. Ivan from Navitron doing houses - did you find you learnt significantly more than if you'd done it yourself, do you think?
    I was hoping to get some information on the quality of our cavity filled-ness, but couldn't really tell - I guess we're just too inexperienced. We found out a depressing amount about our last house, but it was very cold outside which probably made it a bit easier for us novices.
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