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    • CommentAuthorJaneBucks
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2014
     
    Hi to everyone on this very busy and knowledgeable forum! I am not at all clued up about green building issues, but I'm really hoping people can give me some basic advice and signposts, having read some of the relevant threads but feeling a bit out of my depth.
    I own a 1914 semi which is part rendered at the upper floor level at the front and some of the side of the house (and the latter faces north east). Below the rendering at the side of the house there is a substantial car port which is securely fixed to the house wall and may perhaps give some shelter to the ground floor room (which is the living room). When we moved in over 3 years ago, I had some IWI fixed to the two external walls in the smallest bedroom, as we were redecorating it. This was done by a general builder as I had no idea this might raise technical issues for condensation, and I think it involved some batons with insulation between them, and plaster boards over that. So far we haven't noticed any problem with this work.

    I am now ready to redecorate the other two bedrooms (both of which include walls facing north east) and originally thought I would just do much the same for these bedrooms that I had done for the small bedroom, but now realise that there is a great deal more to think about than I had previously realised!

    So, here are my questions...
    - would I be better to consider EWI rather than more IWI, and what are the main issues I need to consider on this?
    - if I were to go with piecemeal IWI for the other two bedrooms as I originally envisaged, should I just follow the advice available from the energy trust website and use one of the registered fitters, or can I use a general builder again, to do an insulation installation that will be effective and proof (no pun intended!) against any damp or condensation problems?
    - am I right to think that the car port is providing some shelter for the living room?
    -will I have to finance all this myself, or are there grants available to help?
    - should I seek out a chartered surveyor to come and give me specific advice for my house, and if so, how do I find one who is knowledgeable about SWI?

    So, just a few simple questions, hoping for simple answers (I'm such an optimist!). In truth, the complexity of all this feels quite overwhelming to an ignoramus, and raises considerable fears of doing something which turns out later to be the wrong thing.

    Many thanks, Jane
    • CommentAuthorjms452
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2014 edited
     
    Hi Jane,

    Good for you on getting stuck in and you are right to think ahead...

    IMO there isn't really a right or wrong answer from the info you have given so a few questions:

    Do you like the outside of your house as is?
    i.e. If you were recreating this in EWI it could be done but is likely to make an expensive option more so.

    How are your room sizes? is 10cm off the inside of each external wall a problem (i.e. stair-cases)?

    - would I be better to consider EWI rather than more IWI, and what are the main issues I need to consider on this?
    EWI should give you a slightly lower heat loss but will probably cost more.

    Are there any damp issues or spalling? Is there a damp proof course?

    Any other renovation plans, windows?, extensions...

    a photo or two is always good.

    - am I right to think that the car port is providing some shelter for the living room?
    yes - but not much from a thermal perspective.

    -will I have to finance all this myself, or are there grants available to help?
    There will be some ECO funding probably.

    - should I seek out a chartered surveyor to come and give me specific advice for my house, and if so, how do I find one who is knowledgeable about SWI?
    If you want ECO funding I understand that a green deal assessor would be what you'd want...

    John
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2014
     
    Before doing any insulation work check out any draught proofing measures that are easy and cheap to do.
    This may also highlight any damp problems.

    And welcome.
    • CommentAuthorJaneBucks
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2014
     
    Many thanks for these prompt and helpful responses. Sorry for the delay in my own response -I composed a long message yesterday but then couldn't send it due to technical difficulties online, so I will compose a new message now. Firstly, thanks for the hint about draught proofing. In response to Johns comments -
    - yes I do quite like the exterior of my house, and since it is a semi, I think it might look quite odd if it didn't match it's other half, so to speak
    - room sizes are okay, and the stairs are in the centre of the house adjoining the party wall, so they're not an issue
    - when I bought the house I had it fully surveyed and there were a few damp problems which I dealt with through injections into the wall
    - no other renovation plans really, the windows are original and there is some very poor DIY secondary glazing which I plan to replace with professional secondary glazing
    - how do I find a green deal assessor and is this scheme still in operation (one of the other threads seemed to be doubtful about this)?

    From what you say, and from looking at the energy saving trust website, it looks like the issues may not be quite so unmanageable as I had first thought. Some of the other threads here made me a little alarmed about the technical issues of condensation with IWI.

    All comments and in out very gratefully received!
  1.  
    Wood fibre insulation, which performs without a VCL, gets you round the risks of a VCL failing.


    Good stuff, and cheaper than it used to be, though still more expensive than most plastic. I've just done my first installation, and shall be doing my own front room (previously done in XPS in 1987) soon.

    Nick
    • CommentAuthorjms452
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2014
     
    Jane,

    Your answers seem to be pointing one way...

    I think the green deal is still running although not sure if has ECO cash for IWI - Anyone?

    You might well be moving towards getting quotes from decent builders/plasters (who know what a vapour control layer is) to fit IWI for you room by room without the bureaucracy and limited suppliers of the green deal...

    J
    • CommentAuthorJaneBucks
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2014
     
    Many thanks Nick, and thanks to John for the hint about what VCL refers to! This all sounds encouraging.

    Nick, is it easy to obtain the wood fibre you refer to?

    And John, my previous builders didn't seem to know about VCLs as they didn't mention the need for one, so that doesn't necessarily give me confidence in that regard! I'll look at the energy saving trust website and see if that provides guidance in this regard.

    Your input is much appreciated.
  2.  
    http://www.lowcarbonhub.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/EST-guide-to-practical_refurbishment_of_solid-walled_houses.pdf

    Old, but not bad. Has some mention of VCLs
    • CommentAuthorJaneBucks
    • CommentTimeMar 27th 2014
     
    Many thanks Nick, will read and digest!
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