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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    • CommentAuthorGaryB
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2017
    The U Value calculation isn't correct, I'm afraid. The battens have not been included for within the thermafleece layer, this will increase the overall U Value.
    There is a button for entering this in the bottom menu on BuildDesk U and you can enter the % timber based on the width and spacing of the battens.
    Thanks GB. I'm even more disappointed that I learned about aerogel too late for our annexe renovation :sad:

    Another item added to my 'things to re do' list :confused:
    Project #4. Installation of a modern heating system

    When we moved in, the house had a floor mounted gas boiler, that had no cover and was hidden in the corner of the utility room in the area where two kitchen base units met. It looked quite old and we soon found out that it wasn't very efficient and it didn't work very well. The hot water tank was three floors up, in the loft space and was heated by an immersion heater. The gas boiler wasn't connected to it, but it did have some copper pipework feeding it. I traced these back to the ground floor multifuel stove, but they had been disconnected from the stove.

    We fitted a wall mounted condensing boiler, attached to a 350l heatbank, which was installed in the utility room, close to the new boiler. The cylinder in the loft was removed. We connected the heatbank to the old woodburner (after cleaning out the back boiler) and it worked OK for a while, until water flooded out. The reason it had been originally disconnected was because it leaked :). Oh well.

    Aside from the boiler stove incident, the new heating worked well and we had nice mains pressure, potable, hot water. We removed one of the electric showers and replaced it with one attached to the heatbank. It was a bit overkill having a heatbank just connected to the gas boiler, but the heating system was a bit of a rush job and was always going to be revisited later. Many years later....

    We did finally connect it to a second heat source (solar), but that's another story.
    ''mans pressure hot water''...?
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2017
    Posted By: Nick Parsons''mans pressure hot water''...?

    Probably something to do with the leak! I'm told it can be a problem as one gets older ....
    haha, typo corrected! :)
    Project #5. Installation of A rated double glazing in the main house.

    Our property is listed, but it was originally a derelict mill that was restored/converted into a home. The original windows had been smashed by vandals and the frames were rotten. When the house was converted in 1990, the renovator installed oak framed windows with (thin) double glazing.

    I wrote this information into a 'Heritage' statement on my listed building application where I requested new double glazed windows, with steel casements (to reflect the industrial nature of the building) and kiln glass that had ripples and small imperfections that was as close to old Crown glass that would have been originally used.

    The LBO was very keen on the new windows, especially as they already had been used on various other, much more prestigious listed buildings.

    We went with a company called 'Touchstone Glazing' (http://www.touchstoneglazing.co.uk/home/) who replaced 46 of our windows with their powder-coated stainless steel openers and insulead fixed window panels with modern double glazing and kiln glass on the external pane.

    We were really pleased with the results, the lack of an internal breeze on window days (!) and have received a lot of complements about the look of the windows.
    Project #6 - Solar panels on the garage roof.

    Our house is listed and heavily shaded in summer by very large Beech trees at the front. So while we have a south facing roof, it wouldn't be practical (or permitted) to install solar panels onto it. However, we have a double garage behind the house that is in full sun in summer, but is permanently shaded by the house in winter. As such, it wasn't completely ideal for installing solar, but we wanted to 'do our bit' and reduce the large carbon footprint of the property as much as possible.

    We had huge wrangles with the council when we first submitted the plans, where they lost paperwork and delayed and delayed. Then the Tories announced a huge drop in FIT payments and so we couldn't wait any longer and went ahead with the solar installation. It was all fitted and working just in time before the FIT payments fell off a cliff (January 2016). The council took a dim view of us installing before the planning permission came through and decided to deny us planning permission (all documented as it happened in another thread on here).

    After a lot of discussion and getting the LBO out to look at the panels, they requested I resubmit the plannign documents, with a heritage statement stating that I had mitigated the impact of the panels as much as possible (i.e. they were roof integrated with black panels and frames and were on a 1990s garage, not the 1750s house), etc. etc.

    In the end they relented and gave us planning permission for the panels (a massive relief I can tell you as the alternative was to remove them and restore the roof). We installed 8 panels on the East facing roof and 8 panels on the west facing roof, making 4kw in all (16 x 250w). I have since read that many people think this is better than having all the panels facing South, as it means that you have sunlight on the panels for longer.

    The attached picture shows you the 'before' and 'after' pictures of the garage roof. On the Western side of the garage (pictured) we used to have two old and nasty roof windows that leaked into the garage. It's nice to now have a dry garage and 'free' electricity as well. :)

    A couple of months after the panels were fitted, I connected an iBoost up to the 350l heatbank we had previously installed. Even though my parents are home all day (they live in the 'granny annexe') and my wife and I often both work from home, we still have an excess of solar energy in summer. This fills the top third of the heatbank with hot water (often maxing out at 80C on really sunny days). While the garage wasn't ideal for solar (eat/west roof and completely shaded in winter), its performance has completely exceeded our expectations. So much so, that we decided to look at installing more panels.
    Looks very good. I installed our panels around the same time and had a broadly similar journey.

    We ended up with 2kWp on the east facing roof of the house. The council wouldn't let us install the other 2kWp on the west facing roof slope (we are in a conservation area), so they are on a south facing, but shaded, shed roof instead. We also have an iBoost.

    In the summer they are very effective. In the winter our generation figures are very low (but I haven't spent time working out why).
    Thanks Richard. We are also in a conservation area, which added to the pain. The council did a 'pre-planning survey' in 2015 that was supposed to save us time when we submitted the actual plans (it didn't!). The pre-planning advice was that I should request 6 panels (1.5kw) on the West roof (which can't be seen from the highway) and 4 panels (1kw) on the east side. I decided to try a gamble and fit all of them as I'd be in trouble for fitting them without permission anyway, so I might as well be 'hung for a sheep as a lamb''. It worked out in the end, but was a bit stressful at the time.

    What I have found is that a lot of the planning decisions, especially around Listed Building consent, seem to be based on the individual planning officers personal taste, rather than on set guidelines. We are lucky because the planning department seem unable to retain staff and so the LBO who liked aesthetics was replaced by an LBO who liked renewables. :)
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