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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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  1.  
    I have just been veg-ing out and watching DIY SOS (sad b---er). It seems to be a SIPs build with EWI, but the presenter held up a section of the (?) 100 or 125mm SIPs panel and his colleague explained that it gave really good thermal performance, with a U value of ''1.5''...

    When TV ''do-up'' programmes explain like this, or (another prog) do conservatories which apperr not to comply with Building Regs what chance do we have of a well-informed public?!
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2015
     
    The thing is I don't think quoting the U value really matters to the "general" public.

    What matters are the cost (savings), comfort and so on. Also health, although that's a more indirect sale.

    I keep going on about this but I think the main thing that holds back high performance building is the knowledge of what is possible, blinding people with numbers will not help.
  2.  
    I agree to an extent, but if they are going to mention them, they might at least get it right. And I also think you can enlighten, rather than blind, with numbers.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2015
     
    Fair point.

    The trouble is you mention numbers and the self-imposed blinkers come on!
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2015
     
    Indeed, should at least get them right.

    The best way to not blind people with numbers is to give some context. E.g., compare against a standard block-and-brick cavity wall. “One third of the heat loss” or whatever.

    But yes, as long as most people don't understand that spending significant amounts on heating means your house is broken we won't get anywhere.
    • CommentAuthortorrent99
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2015
     
    >>But yes, as long as most people don't understand that spending significant amounts on heating means your house is broken we won't get anywhere.

    I think what brought it home to me was buying my flat and looking into modern building regs vs the insulation levels in my 1960s flat. In comparison of my "average" property vs one built to modern standards the difference is just massive! My flat is clearly broken.

    It's kind of like comparing a Model T with a Ford Focus, sure they do the same job, but one is so much cheaper to run, so much more comfortable etc etc.

    The trouble with the presentation of "green" homes on TV is that they usually go for the really full on ones, the purpose built passive houses, the Grand Designs tree houses etc. These are like Formula 1 cars and Ferrari Supercars. Very nice, very impressive, but nothing that the average Joe Public can practically SEE THEMSELVES with. Show them the Ford Focus house and how it compares to their Model T...
    • CommentAuthorchuckey
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2015
     
    Both ourselves and another couple moved into similar Victorian houses in 1980. Over the years we have had both the cavities filled and UPVC DG windows. They have rebuilt the front room fire place and use it to burn wood all winter. Their windows are all single glazed and still have their 1960s style louvres at the top. The decoration is good but very traditional, lovely people and we get on well. But I still do not understand them, case of now't as strange as folk.
    The trouble is that we have a nation of such people.
    Frank
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2015
     
    Frank
    For a laugh, read both their meters and compare the numbers to yours.
    You can ask them, or take a stab at how many kg of timber they burn.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2015 edited
     
    Posted By: torrent99In comparison of my "average" property vs one built to modern standards the difference is just massive! My flat is clearly broken.
    And the one built to 'modern' standards is also 'broken' compared to what it should/could be - PassiveHouse or close to. In Ireland that is pretty much what 'modern' now means - why is England/NI (not Scotland/Wales) proud to be the stubbornly stupid ('Save Our Sausages') man of Europe?

    PH is now shown to be hardly any cost extra over inadequate 'modern' Building Regs standard. Exeter City Council is building all its renewed programme of social housing to full-PH standard, for £1400/m2, as well as its recreation centres etc.
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2015
     
    PH does take up for space for walls, so you get less usable space for the same size plot. This is an issue in some areas given the cost of land.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2015
     
    Yeah but less radiator space, more comfortable next to windows etc so more space is gained back that way.

    Would be interesting to see a comparison.
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2015
     
    ... yep.
    The e/o for PH-spec is more than compensated for with reduced running costs, ability to move furniture everywhere, warm 'window areas', and that really smug feeling watching the oil-delivery lorries go past....:devil:
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2015 edited
     
    Yes, a bit more space. Still, timber frame getting to 0.1 W/m²·K isn't going to be that much thicker than a standard cavity wall. It only gets really thick if you insist on living in a mud hut (:tongue:) then sticking the insulation on as an afterthought.
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2015
     
    But renters and buyers will mostly go for the property that has the biggest rooms. Most people don't care about running costs and the EPC is hardly every looked at.
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2015
     
    ringi, yes, kerb-appeal and location still are the prime drivers for purchasers and renters, but I think the masses are thinking a little more...maybe..?
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2015
     
    Nah, I agree with ringi on that! Perception is everything, and until we get that right, and what people then perceive is desirable, we will not get people on board.
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