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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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    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTime5 days ago edited
     
    Interesting to see the pictures - definitely has character!
    Posted By: PortugalProjectThe French video is excellent and I intend to incorporate a version of it when the roof is removed, though not wishing to Infringe on my limited internal space any further I’m still problem hunting how to do a ground floor level support.
    Possibly run a concrete ring beam below the new floor, with vertical columns connecting to the 1st floor and roof, as per video 1.

    Posted By: Ed DaviesI sent a structural engineer some photos from which he was pretty sure of what was going on but neither he nor I would have been happy to go with that until he'd come and had a look himself.
    I can see why some would refuse, but pre-Covid GPs wouldn't have been comfortable seeing their patients remotely, yet in 70-80% of cases that's now happening.

    Posted By: djh
    Double check legalities since we've left the EU. I can imagine you can legally use any EU engineer, but UK might be stretching it.
    UK engineers are OK until the end of this year under the 'transition', probably not in 2021.

    Posted By: Peter_in_HungaryBuilders are not very good at following plans, they use the plans to get the footprint dimensions and then just build the way they always have.
    Yes, for small builders, that seems a universal rule. You'll need to explain what and why and keep a constant watch.
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTime3 days ago
     
    Mike,

    my experience is that the inability to follow plans is certainly not restricted to the smaller builders. Best method is word of mouth and references though as you say keeping an eye on any build is advisable.

    For the OP. I would be very, very careful when starting to remove structural parts of this building. It is often very difficult to see if a random piece of wood, brick or concrete is just jammed in or is actually having a keystone effect. With such old buildings, they settle a lot over time and weight loads can shift. Sometimes the removal of a support piece of the structure might take hours or days before this becomes apparent. Keep a very close eye on the lintels and roof. Indeed, making control point measurements that you control on a daily basis might be the way to go.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTime3 days ago edited
     
    Posted By: JontiI would be very, very careful when starting to remove structural parts of this building.
    Yes, especially when it has evidently moved - do get a structural engineer involved as per my suggestion above.
  1.  
    Hi again, busy few days.

    I hear and understand the caution but there is no way I can let out this property as rental accommodation with the obvious rot, structural instability, outright danger as you can see..... if something happened I would be facing criminal negligence and possible jail time haha
    It’s a no brainier for me but respect others may feel differently.

    My current plan is to remove everything except two walls so bearing in mind that means a new roof, all floors, all electrics, all plumbing, all internal walls, etc so any knock on effects will hopefully be covered.

    Jonti.... a very good point regards the control point measurements, the will prove especially useful when the structural support frame is fitted, roof and floor removed, thank you.

    Mike.... re an engineer, I’m trying but not so easy so far.
    And previously you mentioned about being interested in what’s under the floor? Welllll..... lets just say I’m rethinking the leca and underfloor heating idea :bigsmile:
    Photos to follow, excuse the lack of colour again due compressing.
  2.  
    Under said concrete floor (3cm max) I found.....
      C655DC8E-94AD-4778-97C7-1A996253F84A.jpeg
  3.  
    Very old, quite damaged, terracotta/clay tiles or maybe bricks with the odd large natural stone block
  4.  
    Cleaning the old render from the internal side of the 2000yr old wall I created....
      C5D9CBC8-FFF5-4019-B7DB-5DEE201265CE.png
  5.  
    A further test area in far front corner (the one shown on previous photos as the ‘leaning’ wall).....
      8EF33E97-E22A-4F61-BBA4-59A53619F696.png
  6.  
    Seems quite a large area of missing dirt that I guess must be water erosion, that could go some way to explaining why only this area of the house walls are leaning.
    There was always a damp smell in the lower part of the house but on checking the dirt I was surprised to find it very moist, not quite wet but well beyond damp!
    Certainly reinforces my idea that some foundation work would be advisable.

    As always any advice, stories or experiences are welcome :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTime1 day ago
     
    I would strongly advise getting someone in who knows what they are doing to have a look. They will hopefully tell you it is normal and a cheap fix but better safe than sorry.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTime1 day ago edited
     
    There may have been some flow of water beneath the floor - I wonder if you can trace a channel of voids below the floor, which might support the idea. Another possibility is that the voids may have resulted from ground / wall movement - soil can undergo liquefaction during earthquakes. It's quite likely that the concrete has contributed to moisture buildup.

    Posted By: PortugalProjectI’m rethinking the leca and underfloor heating idea
    The biggest determinant of viability would probably be if the foundations don't go down much deeper than the floor. You'd need a couple of small gingerly dug trial pits to determine that, and I'd suggest that structural engineer again before embarking on that...

    As for the quarry / clay tiles, I wonder if enough can be salvaged to be reused in a part of the building - as they would be vapour permeable they could be relaid OK on a limecrete slab. Maybe you could obtain more from elsewhere, or find new ones that match reasonably well.
  7.  
    I saw someone retrofit foundations to an old building (a barn conversion) where they dug out a small section under the wall and poured reinforced concrete, then just moved along the wall until the whole building was done. Not for the faint hearted, but it worked well for them. I assume that the foundation wouldn't be as strong as one created in a single pour, but much better than his barn sitting on the earth. IIRC, they left part of the reinforcing steel exposed during the pour so that it could be linked to the reinforcing of the next part of the foundation.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTime15 hours ago edited
     
    Posted By: Pile-o-StoneI saw someone retrofit foundations to an old building (a barn conversion) where they dug out a small section under the wall and poured reinforced concrete, then just moved along the wall until the whole building was done.
    Underpinning can also be done by grout injection in some circumstances. Though I wouldn't go to the expense of either just to lower an adequate floor level, and not without advice from a structural engineer. Done incorrectly it can make the situation worse, and potentially much worse.
  8.  
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: Mike1</cite><blockquote><cite>Posted By: Pile-o-Stone</cite>I saw someone retrofit foundations to an old building (a barn conversion) where they dug out a small section under the wall and poured reinforced concrete, then just moved along the wall until the whole building was done.</blockquote>Underpinning can also be done by grout injection in some circumstances. Though I wouldn't go to the expense of either just to lower an adequate floor level, and not without advice from a structural engineer. Done incorrectly it can make the situation worse, and potentially much worse.</blockquote>

    I think the guy on Grand design did it because he wanted a garage and miscalculated the ceiling height. He dug down after doing the underpinning with a vast amount of concrete just so he could house his car in there. It was a crazy episode because the people were all 'eco this' and 'eco that' and used tons of concrete just for his car. I fauled to see what was eco about the whole build - apart from insulation which he'd have to install anyway as part of building regs.
  9.  
    Posted By: PortugalProjectCleaning the old render from the internal side of the 2000yr old wall I created....

    The photo following this statement looks more like the floor. Is that really the wall?


    Posted By: Pile-o-StoneI saw someone retrofit foundations to an old building (a barn conversion) where they dug out a small section under the wall and poured reinforced concrete, then just moved along the wall until the whole building was done.

    As quoted above this is called underpinning and is quite a standard procedure but with the type of walls you have
    Posted By: Pile-o-StoneNot for the faint hearted


    The use of a structural engineer is often required but often only for the regulations because the authorities want to see the calculations to justify the plans. The UK has got around this issue in some circumstances by having 'deemed to comply' which means that certain materials in given circumstances do not need to be justified by calculation. A good builder e.g. will be able to put in foundations and build a wall without an SE because they know what they are doing. In the same way a roofer will be able to put up a (standard) roof without an SE because it is their job. An architect will be able to draw plans for what ever goes for standard in their area (and they usually have tame SEs available)

    You need to understand what you have. Dig a couple of (narrow) holes next to the outside walls to see what if any foundations you have. This will govern what you can do with the floors. If you have the ceiling height you could build up on the existing.

    If you are going to replace the roof I would strongly recommend putting a ring beam on the wall. If it is a normal procedure where you are (it is here) then a builder should know how to do it, if it is not usual practice then it will need designing and the builder persuaded to follow the plan.

    Posted By: PortugalProjectMy current plan is to remove everything except two walls so bearing in mind that means a new roof, all floors, all electrics, all plumbing, all internal walls, etc so any knock on effects will hopefully be covered.

    Hmm - and given that foundations my be in question -- Do you have more than a building plot?
    It may actually work out cheaper to start again saving what architectural features e.g.roof tiles that is either prudent or what the conservation officers wants. New build can be made to look old (especially if rendering is used) and insulation is much easier to fit rather than retro-fit.
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