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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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    • CommentAuthorjamesingram
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd 2017 edited
     
    AECB got panned by many for their criticism of large scale wood burning under the banner of renewable energy.
    in the article 'Biomass, the burning issue' several years back
    Are the rest of those that should've known better final relising the truth
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39053678

    "While much of the discussion has focussed on wind and solar power, across Europe the biggest source of green energy is biomass.
    It supplies around 65% of renewable power - usually electricity generated from burning wood pellets.
    EU Governments, under pressure to meet tough carbon cutting targets, have been encouraging electricity producers to use more of this form of energy by providing substantial subsidies for biomass burning.
    However this new assessment from Chatham House suggests that this policy is deeply flawed when it comes to cutting CO2."

    http://www.aecb.net/publications/biomass-a-burning-issue/
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd 2017
     
    Haven't we covered that here:
    http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/comments.php?DiscussionID=6241&page=1
    Which you started 6 1/2 years ago, under a different flavoured government and runs to around 1100 posts :bigsmile:

    I wrote something similar (just from a CO2 viewpoint) in 2006, so not a new concern.
  1.  
    steamy , yes, your right , just slightly disheartened its taken them (the general 'experts') so long to catch up on what a uneducated builder like me could see was flipping obvious 6 years
    its not exactly rocket science , is it ;-)
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd 2017
     
    I know the feeling Jim, -( disheartened ), I feel the same about anaerobic digesters, not the waste disposal ones, but the bloody con that's foisted on the Government by the AD industry, coining in subsidies. The ones that are growing foodstuffs to produce methane. The greening of society indeed, - bah humbug!
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd 2017
     
    I was there long before the paper was published and have been vilified on many occasions for my anti biomass burning views. Even on here.
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    I had no alternative - it's either oil, LPG or wood burning around here (no mains gas). I couldn't afford GSHP and ASHP would not be sufficient for my place, so I changed from oil to wood pellets thinking this was the lesser of the two evils! What would any of you have done in my position? (Serious question - not a sarcasm BTW!).
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017 edited
     
    Posted By: Jeff Bdone in my position? (Serious question - not a sarcasm BTW!).
    You could have got a HP sized correctly, just as you would with any other heating system.
    I don't have gas and heat with electrical resistive heaters. Not the most efficient, but it works.

    Did you get HP quotes that were very high and this swayed your choice?
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Posted By: SteamyTea
    Posted By: Jeff Bdone in my position? (Serious question - not a sarcasm BTW!).
    You could have got a HP sized correctly, just as you would with any other heating system.
    I don't have gas and heat with electrical resistive heaters. Not the most efficient, but it works.

    Did you get HP quotes that were very high and this swayed your choice?


    Steamy tea - yes and no! I got estimates rather than quotes. My garden is not big enough for the classic GSHP coil system so it would have meant a borehole which was around £25K IIRC. Bearing in mind this was then pre-RHI days (2007 or 2008) so yes, price prohibitive. Regarding ASHP I was told that it was simply not feasible as I don't have UFH, just classical steel rads everywhere. So wood pellet seemed the obvious choice.

    My heating requirement is such that I need a 25kW boiler. The place is now very well insulated (loads of loft insulation, IWI upstairs as it's a dormer bungalow) so can't do anymore with regards that aspect.

    However a new factor has recently entered the equation - both of us aren't getting any younger and my wife is getting concerned that if anything happens to me then she wouldn't be able to cope with the wood pellet boiler - cleaning, maintaining etc., so this may force a decision sooner rather than later! I have 5 years left to run on the RHI payments so I have to keep the wood pellet boiler going for that time. Maybe then we will have to think what to do next!
  2.  
    jeffb , im not sure domestic use is the main issue here, isnt it the use of biomass in electrical generation industry
  3.  
    "Within the EU, the UK is the biggest importer of wood pellets for heat and power, with some 7.5m tonnes shipped from the US and Canada in 2015-16. Most of these imports comes from the southeast US, where there are growing concerns about the trade.
    "This report confirms once again that cutting down trees and burning them as wood pellets in power plants is a disaster for climate policy, not a solution," said David Carr, General Counsel of the Southern Environmental Law Centre in the US."
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Jeff, I'm in a not dissimilar situation, rural, no gas, plenty of relatively cheap logwood. I'm currently looking at Infrared radiant panels for the future as well as Air/Air HP. I already installed underfloor electric cables in my hall way although not yet connected. I'll most likely do the same in the "new" kitchen,- they are not that expensive. Eventually, I may put in some sort of PV electricity management system,-- if the prices drop.
    • CommentAuthorMikel
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Our situation is also somewhat similar. Rural, no gas. However, there aren't that many woods around. They took most of those out for the the tin and copper mines!

    We put in our GSHP four years ago. At the time, wood pellet boilers seemed to be popular and our installer thought that they were the better option. I didn't think they are appropriate for us as I had concerns about the longer term pricing of wood pellets, the difficulty in handing wood pellets and the high boiler maintenance costs.

    I see the myth of heat pumps only working with UFH is still going around. Heat pumps will work perfectly OK with appropriately sized radiators. You may only get top performance with UFH but that doesn't mean radiators won't work. We are getting a winter SPF of 3.4 minimum for our GSHP using oversized radiators.

    As far as I can tell, there is no one perfect solution here. There is no environmental free lunch.
    • CommentAuthorskyewright
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Posted By: MikelOur situation is also somewhat similar. Rural, no gas. However, there aren't that many woods around. They took most of those out for the the tin and copper mines!

    Rural. No gas. Bulk delivery of wood is available from large scale forestry, however I don't want to burn stuff (I don't even burn the prunings from our windbreak).
    Our solution is resistive heating plus lots of insulation & air tightness improvements (& sensible use of clothing).

    We did look at an RHI GSHP, but the costs were ridiculous (everyone quoting wanted to put in systems capable of delivering massively more energy than we know we actually use - apparently the discrepancy was due to RHI requirements).

    Some day, when the rolling program of insulation air tightness improvements has got further, we may add one or more Air to Air heat pumps to the mix.
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Posted By: Jeff BI had no alternative - it's either oil, LPG or wood burning around here (no mains gas)


    You could have chosen to live in a small flat in a city hence having mains gas, no need to use a car, most of your walls not being outside walls and hence less heating needed. However like most of us on this forum you rather live in a area with lots of green plants instead of living a green lifestyle.....
    • CommentAuthorskyewright
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Posted By: ringiHowever like most of us on this forum you rather live in a area with lots of green plants instead of living a green lifestyle.....

    Have you read James Lovelock's recent (2014) "A Rough Ride to the Future"?
    His view on how mankind might survive climate change (he wasn't very hopeful we'd be successful in avoiding it) is for it to adapt to a warmer climate by all living in climate controlled cities...

    His vision (nightmare?) rather reminded me of Azimov's "Caves of Steel". Must re-read that some time...
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017 edited
     
    Posted By: jamesingramjeffb , im not sure domestic use is the main issue here, isnt it the use of biomass in electrical generation industry


    Yes that's right. My annual usage (3 tons) would keep the DRAX power plant going for, I calculate, about 8 seconds if their annual consumption of 12,000,000 tons is to be believed! (Can it really be 12 million - I wonder if it's a typo, so it's more like 1.2 Million?).
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Posted By: ringi
    Posted By: Jeff BI had no alternative - it's either oil, LPG or wood burning around here (no mains gas)


    You could have chosen to live in a small flat in a city hence having mains gas, no need to use a car, most of your walls not being outside walls and hence less heating needed. However like most of us on this forum you rather live in a area with lots of green plants instead of living a green lifestyle.....


    Not so much living in an area with lots of green plants - there aren't too many cities (with small flats or otherwise) in west Wales! We do have St.David's which is technically a city of course but.....
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Then it is after all the smallest city in the U.K.
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Posted By: Jeff Bthere aren't too many cities (with small flats or otherwise) in west Wales!


    But it is your choose to live in west Wales, unless there is some law I don't know about that stops you moving else where. Moving to get on the gas grid may be the best way to stop burning wood.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    In principle I agree with Ringi. If I knew of a flat in a city which was quiet [¹] I might be interested.

    [¹] By which I mean absolutely no awareness of other people.
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Posted By: Ed DaviesIn principle I agree with Ringi. If I knew of a flat in a city which was quiet [¹] I might be interested.

    [¹] By which I mean absolutely no awareness of other people.


    Hard, but any flats that have been build since sound testing come it are a lot better.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Surely the easiest way for any discerning deep greens to minimise the resources they consume is to simply kill themselves rather than move to a flat in a city? :devil:
    • CommentAuthorskyewright
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Posted By: djhSurely the easiest way for any discerning deep greens to minimise the resources they consume is to simply kill themselves rather than move to a flat in a city? :devil:

    For some reason that brings the phrase "Don't shoot the messenger" to mind. :wink:
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th 2017
     
    Posted By: djhSurely the easiest way for any discerning deep greens to minimise the resources they consume is to simply kill themselves rather than move to a flat in a city?

    Would that not leave a large, leaky and energy inefficient place in the countryside and a flat in the city. They would soon get filled up.

    Posted By: MikelI see the myth of heat pumps only working with UFH is still going around.
    I have seen MikeL's radiators, they may be tripples in places but do not look out of place (I have storage heaters and they are no wider).

    Posted By: Jeff BMy heating requirement is such that I need a 25kW boiler.

    So a couple of ASHP could do it with the right sized radiators. Look on eBay for bargains, they crop up every now and again.
    We are also moving to CO2 HPs which can deliver at a higher temperature.

    Posted By: owlmanI'm currently looking at Infrared radiant panels for the future as well as Air/Air HP
    I think this is a good way forward. Some small, cheap A2AHPs for quick delivery or boosting when needed, an ASHP for DHW preheating and general space heating, then 'something resistance' for those very cold outliers.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th 2017 edited
     
    Posted By: ringisome law I don't know about that stops you moving else where
    Immigration control at the Severn Bridge toll booths, once the other 3 of the 4 Celts wake up, realise they've been conned once again and make Brexit mean Subsidiarity within the EU - which will turn out to be Cameron's world-leading contribution to the evolution of human governance!
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th 2017
     
    Tom,
    Have you read this:
    https://www.amazon.com/Discovery-Middle-Earth-Mapping-World/dp/0393349926
    May give you a different perspective on the Celts.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th 2017 edited
     
    I don't need convincing, being 3/4 Scottish/Irish myself. I know Celts once covered Europe, and only late in their history displaced an equally impressive earlier race in the British Isles, who for example knew with great accuracy Earth's 25,772yr Precession, way before
    "Hipparchus first estimated the precession of the Earth's axis around 130BC"
    presumably by observing it several times round.
    (A method that's now being used to dramatically re-date the numerous builds and rebuilds of the Stonehenge complex, for example, which all happened pre the so-called 'Druids').

    I used the term loosely, as is common today, to describe the lands of the post-Roman pre-Saxon remnant in the British Isles - Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall (and their kin in Brittany).
  4.  
  5.  
    "Ban the burning of woodland/forest derived biomass for electricity generation
    Examine in detail how burning forest/woodland timber releases carbon into the atmosphere which cannot be reabsorbed by new tree planting for many decades and so increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations at a point when they need to be reduced."
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeJul 11th 2020
     
    Fully agree so signed it 🙂
   
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