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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.

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    • CommentAuthorBruno
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2014
    Hi everyone,
    As often the case, this problem has probably been covered in previous threads, but (a) building practice seems to be evolving at a fair pace and (b) individual cases always differ slightly; so I’d like to go ahead and pose the following:
    How should we best construct an attached garage and utility room (all single storey, and flat-roofed) to the main body of our two-storey new build masonry house, in a robust manner that minimises thermal bridging and maintains airtightness?
    The image attached shows the relevant portion of our plans. The house is to be single skin blockwork, externally insulated in EPS (and finished in render). In principle, we could carry the external insulation around the utility room and WC, but enveloping the garage seems a retrograde step as it would introduce the garage door into the ‘thermal boundary’. To complicate matters further, almost all of the side wall abuts the fence of the neighbouring house (with their property immediately up against the other side of this fence), making external insulation difficult (impossible?).
    My instinct is to place an external door between the main house and the utility room and to treat the entire single storey element as distinct to the rest of the house, thermally speaking (and perhaps aesthetically too). I’m even considering building (and externally insulating) only the two-storey house first (neatly preserving the main dwelling as an independent, thermally efficient, build) and then constructing the single storey element afterwards. I’m thinking that the utility room might then best be insulated internally.
    Alternatively, timber frame might provide an answer to the problem of constructing the wall against the fence, since the exterior face could be fully insulated and finished before erecting. If we go down this route then I’d like to hear from those more knowledgeable than I am as to how best to integrate the timber frame with the masonry construction of the main build.
    All thoughts/questions welcomed.
    Thank you.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2014
    Try to use a single form of construction and to keep the insulation barrier intact and encapsulating all your heated areas. I would run a mile from flat roofs, they will leak! They all do it. Shallow pitch?

    The plan is not too bad, I would run the EWI across the front of the garage and inside the front pier nearest the house and thinner down the whole wall inside the garage and return it forwards a foot on the far side. Need to go right up through the garage roof with it too.

    I have taken down fences, built and re put up fences, need to ask, if they say no then it's their lookout in more than one way.
    • CommentAuthorBruno
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2014
    Thanks for the quick response Tony - I only recently discovered this forum, and already it seems legendary!

    Re your flat roof comment: I think (hope) it's just my poor terminology. We'll be designing in a good fall and plan on using one of the regularly recommended (i.e. expensive) single ply EPDM suppliers.

    Re the single form of construction, I think I'll take your advice and drop the crazy timber frame idea. But to be clear on the adjacent property, even if I remove the fence, our neighbour's house is merely inches away on the other side. Hence my suggestion that EWI along that wall would be impossible via the usual method of application. I will try and draw up my (possibly equally crazy) "externally insulate the house, internally insulate the utility, don't insulate the garage" idea and post it for comment.
    Thanks again.
    • CommentAuthorBruno
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2014
    Hi Tony / others,

    So to recap we plan an EWI new build but can't EWI a single-storey element of the property because it all but abuts the neighbouring house.

    I finally had a spare hour (or two) to think further about this today and decided the first floor element ought to be cavity wall. This should combine with the block+EWI construction of the main build reasonably easily, without any great forseeable problems in terms of thermal bridging or buildability (very quick sketch attached). Any reason why this wouldn't work?

    Thanks again
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