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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.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

Buy individually or both books together. Delivery is free!

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    • CommentAuthorvord
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2019
    Had building regs around today as I've simplified my plans and wanted to tie things up. I have this annoying change of use going on with an old pub dating from 1600, 1850, and 1920 depending on where you look. Building regs for change of use call for insulating the heck out of the place.

    The issue I'm having is you can't just insulate a solid wall with plastic paint or cement render outside and high external ground levels. The regs assume it is quick and easy to bung a bit of insulation on, but for me there is digging trenches outside, knocking off render and replacing with lime, replacing all the doors and windows lost in the process. The assumed payback on energy saving is 30 years, and I'm running into thousands of years payback. Apart from the time and money I doubt that will be environmentally friendly. I would much rather throw £100k into a pot to help other people insulate their lofts ratherthan do inefficient work here, but there isn't the option.

    Has anyone been through this? I'm getting a bit fed up. I tried being depressed for a while but that didn't work for me so I'm looking at making a plan. It seems obviously silly so am I missing something here? My plan at the moment is to find cheap insulation and throw it away again when the damp issues get a bit much.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2019 edited
    Yes, you do seem to have missed something. Building Regulations (L1B) item 5.12 says that:

    Reasonable provision would be to upgrade those thermal elements whose U-value is worse than the threshold value in column (a) of Table 3 to achieve the U-values given in column (b) of Table 3 provided this is technically, functionally and economically feasible. A reasonable test of economic feasibility is to achieve a simple payback of 15 years or less. Where the standard given in column (b) is not technically, functionally or economically feasible, then the thermal element should be upgraded to the best standard that is technically and functionally feasible and delivers a simple payback period of 15 years or less. Generally, this lesser standard should not be worse than 0.7 W/(m2.K)

    ...so clearly you're not expected to invest if the payback period is 30 years, let alone thousands of years.

    However, since this is a green building forum, I'm sure that everyone would encourage you to upgrade the thermal envelope as must as possible. If you pose specific problems there will no doubt be plenty of advice on potential solutions.
    • CommentAuthorvord
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2019
    Thanks Mike. I reached an impass with the private building regs firm over the issue of payback time. He has agreed to sign off works to date and I'll move on to the council building regs for the rest of the project.

    The disagreement was only over 2 short pieces of wall. While they aren't causing issues at the moment they have been troubled by modern finishes and optimistic external ground levels so are damp with no means of drying out. In an ideal world I would be straight on to fixing them, but old houses are rarely ideal and there are some more urgent things to pour money into.
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