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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
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    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2016
     
    Should smaller homes be better insulated than larger ones?

    If so then why?
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2016
     
    Maybe

    Why, it all depends what you are trying to show/prove.
  1.  
    If all houses had a rating such as heat lost per hour per cubic metre of volume that would help buyers/owners compare houses. It would also show whether smaller houses needed better insulation, everything else being equal.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2016 edited
     
    Or why not start to make it really complicated and set a standard for domestic energy usage based on degree days, location, size, occupancy, estimated usage, actual usage (if existing building).
    Bit like cars used to be. Small car, small energy usage, Large car, large energy usage.
    Not that is particular true these days.

    Thing is, even with a small energy company going bankrupt (probably though over ambitious targets and under capitalisation), energy prices will have to rise a lot until 'normal' people bother to read a meter, let alone take any real interest.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2016
     
    For equity maybe it should be heat loss per person. But you can't control the number of people who'll live in a house so you need some sort of proxy for that. Volume is possible but floor area would be better, I think.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2016
     
    Many years ago when I lived in Germany it was common for estate agents when selling or renting houses to quote both Wohnfl├Ąche, (living space) and, Grundst├╝ck, (plot size). Comparisons were easily reduced to price per M2. I don't know if it was mandatory or indeed if it still exists but it just seemed easy to compare ads. before you even started trundling around, and looking.

    The UK housing market has largely resisted such simplification, many preferring instead to rely on nebulous terminology like "number of bedrooms" or "reception rooms". A simple legislative move to force sellers/renters to quote total floor area and breakdown, would IMO be welcome, and could be a starting point to any energy rating system.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2016
     
    I like those ideas, bring them on
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2016 edited
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: tony</cite>Should smaller homes be better insulated than larger ones?</blockquote>

    I suspect a more meaningful way to look at it might to be evaluate for DAMP, Ventilation, Heating Requirement and Internal Air Quality, since these are the "sharp end" of the problem, and readily quantifiable, as I see it...

    gg
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2016
     
    Posted By: owlmanMany years ago when I lived in Germany it was common for estate agents when selling or renting houses to quote both Wohnfl├Ąche, (living space) and, Grundst├╝ck, (plot size). Comparisons were easily reduced to price per M2. I don't know if it was mandatory or indeed if it still exists but it just seemed easy to compare ads. before you even started trundling around, and looking.

    Indeed it does and the rules for Wohnfl├Ąche form the basis of the PHI 'treated floor area' standard. And surprise, surprise PH already does what is being talked about, so why reinvent the wheel?

    The reason that small houses need more insulation is the same reason that detached houses need more insulation than semis, which need more insulation than terraces, which need more insulation than blocks of flats. Which is the same reason mice eat a larger proportion of their body mass every day than elephants. The surface area:volume ratio is larger for smaller objects.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2016
     
    PHI 'treated floor area' Passiv Haus, is that what you mean?

    I'm on about making all house ads/exchanges,-- new, old, buy, rent, depict sizes in M2, not just Passiv Hauser. I assumed tony means all houses.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2016
     
    Posted By: owlmanPHI 'treated floor area' Passiv Haus, is that what you mean?

    I'm on about making all house ads/exchanges,-- new, old, buy, rent, depict sizes in M2, not just Passiv Hauser. I assumed tony means all houses.

    Exactly, but at the moment you cannot even choose to use PHI criteria in the UK instead of the SAP/EPC nonsense, let alone replace it. There's no point in inventing yet another one-off measurement system when there's already a perfectly good one that can be used, IMHO.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2016
     
    Nice idea.

    But
    As we are now post Brexit, we have to talking in Imperial units.
    Square feet is more impressive than square yards.
    Energy in Imperial is the Foot-Pound Force, though I always liked the term Erg.

    So if we are a bit quick, get ourselves on the radio and other media networks, we can start talking about Foot-Pound per Square Foot, or Pound Sterling per Foot-Pound, unless we are discussing Electric Vehicles and then we can discus Pound-Foot and Horsepower.

    Or maybe just go back to British Thermal Units, though I suspect that our mate Trump may have something to say on this, and who can blame him.
    His 'world' has voted him in, just as our 'world' has voted us out of the EU. Let us stop all this standardisation and just have local units, weights and measures. We don't need any government interference telling us how to sell a pile of sticks, or a bucket of coal. I have a lump of granite in my back garden that I am too tight to pay to get rid off (but the land fill tax will vanish soon thanks to us not having to take notice of any environmental legislation), I am willing to use that as my 'standard weight'.
    I also have a bit of twisted softwood that is longer than the others, that is good enough for me as length.

    So shall we stop this nonsense and just say that 'if you need to ask, you can't afford it'

    :devil:
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2016 edited
     
    I think there should be a level of energy usage for a home that is acceptable however high per m^2 it comes out at. After all a 20 m^2 studio flat using 2x per m^2 is better than one person living in a 60^2 flat using 2x per m^2.
    It is so match easier to get the PHI tick mark if a property is larger.

    (And having more height can make allow studio flat to have a raised sleeping platform that does not count towards the m^2, as legal it is a bunk bed....)

    I would go as far as to say the first X kWh of gas and electric per person should be tax free with a high tax on any usage about that level.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2016
     
    Love that idea
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2016 edited
     
    Posted By: djh
    Posted By: owlmanPHI 'treated floor area' Passiv Haus, is that what you mean?

    I'm on about making all house ads/exchanges,-- new, old, buy, rent, depict sizes in M2, not just Passiv Hauser. I assumed tony means all houses.

    Exactly, but at the moment you cannot even choose to use PHI criteria in the UK instead of the SAP/EPC nonsense, let alone replace it. There's no point in inventing yet another one-off measurement system when there's already a perfectly good one that can be used, IMHO.


    I don't see making house sellers/landlords show floor area as:- "yet another one off measurement". It's surely a basic requirement for a buyer to work out whether they are getting a bum deal or not, and as I said easy to make comparisons. No different really from lenders quoting interest rates. Any thing else (e.g. flowery phraseology), could be construed as being deliberately evasive by sellers.
    Once that open principle is established/mandatory, then it could be used as the basis for any other energy performance criterion that (tony?) might wish to layer onto it.
    That's all I was saying, and floor/living area has to be fundamental, along with others, to that end, it would be a beginning.
    •  
      CommentAuthorjoe90
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2016 edited
     
    Is it not simpler to say " this is my house and here are my energy bills for that last "x" years."

    ( not sure what you would do for a new house)­čśŚ
  2.  
    1 Last time I checked BTU was already the USA customary unit for heat.

    2 These days floor plans do usually include areas.

    3 Even if they do not, it is already included in the mandatory EPC document.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2016
     
    Posted By: djhmice eat a larger proportion of their body mass every day
    A monotonous diet!
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2016
     
    as a youngster, I lived on a monotonous diet of mass every day, for years...

    (not good for the system)

    gg
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2016 edited
     
    As a teenager, a diet of grass :smoking:
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2016
     
    Posted By: gyrogearI lived on a monotonous diet of mass
    Catholic?

    Posted By: SteamyTeaa diet of grass
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diet_of_Worms
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2016
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: fostertom</cite>Catholic</blockquote>

    catholic (1) mass, or catholic (2)me ?
    (1 = 1; 2 = 0)

    well, actually 2 = 1 then but 0 now) :devil:

    gg
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2016
     
    shapeshifter!
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2016
     
    the kneees (not to mention the brain...) could not take it no more :smile:

    gg
    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2016 edited
     
    Re the science bits behind buying a house, you should always bear in mind that regular people don't give a sh..

    It's easy to forget, especially for learned people. It's also reasonable to say that the people here, the faculties that enable and drive them to be here, mean they're probably among the top 10%, maybe even top 5% intelligences in the country..

    Truly; it's easy to forget because you're in a world where everyone else you know is thus too, and you don't encounter average people with sufficient depth of engagement to really keep a handle on just how different their perspective is. Not trying to be elitist, but there are an awful lot more people out there who don't look at the numbers in the same way, and don't put that level of thought into a house, and don't care about these bottom lines as much as a host of other factors.. Factors which, really, are their bottom lines. £/sqm or and EPC grade B isn't going to wash on someone who's looking for a garden for the kids, a nice view and close to the less rough schools while being affordable

    I've a friend who spent twenty grand on her wedding, and had to borrow 5 grand for a house deposit from the fianc├ęes parents. That then got her a choice of 3 crappy houses on some government help to buy scheme. How much stronger a negotiating position would a 25 grand deposit have put her in? Didn't work out that way though, because it didn't align with what she wanted and what she was prepared to sacrifice..
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2016
     
    I agree will all that.
    I live in one of the poorest parts of Europe. Many people here are in 'fuel poverty'. This is mainly caused by lack of understanding and education (as in no knowledge, not lack of intelligence).
    Through a local charity I am involved in, I suggested that I create a free short course to explain what is going on, how to reduce usage and save cash.
    The amount of interest was zero.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2016
     
    It is so sad that nobody cares about anything anymore:(
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2016
     
    That is economics for you. There is generally enough cash in the economy to allow this sort of behaviour to happen. No amount of incentives, schemes, promotions, legislation or whatever to encourage or force people to use less will not make a jots worth of difference.

    If you want to reduce the sales of something, then just increase the price.
    It is that simple.

    Many people think that it is political suicide to raise domestic energy prices. I am not sure where they get the evidence for this from.
    Gordon Brown introduced VAT onto domestic fuel in the late 1990's, he became Prime Minister
    Prior to that The Thatcher government introduced de-regularisation and privatisation, they had a pretty long run at it.
    We now have a government that does not care two hoots about energy prices, they may well get voted in again.

    Quite simply, the nation has cheap energy, the government raises taxes on it at an acceptable level, the wheels of commerce are turning at an acceptable rate (some want faster, some want slower, some want them in a different direction). Where is the incentive to change anything. We are just about meeting out self imposed energy targets as well.

    I can power my house for a tenner a week, can we say that is expensive? If, by some magic, I could reduce that to zero, how much would a save?
    A tenner!
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2016
     
    +1 to the above... now just convince the Daily Maul writers/editor(s)....:devil:
    • CommentAuthorMikel
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2016
     
    Steamy,

    About trying to reach people in fuel poverty, we must have a chat about that. I recall a report dating from the 80s stating that 45% of Cornish properties were built before 1914. We have built quite a bit since then but there remain a very large percentage of old properties (granite).

    When we were looking for a house six years ago, I always asked to see the EPC. The usual response from estate agents at the time was that I was the first person to ask for one. Not that an EPC told you much then. There were a lot of agas in the properties we saw. Worth asking about fuel consumption. Best answer we got was from one person who said he used 4000 litres of oil per year and needed to have the aga on all the time to keep the damp at bay!!!
   
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