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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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    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2021
     
    According to representatives of the building companies 'gagging' clauses are rare and often at the insistance of the home owner 🤣
    • CommentAuthorjms452
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2021
     
    They left more wiggle room than that 8m40s - The homebuilders federation said of NDAs 'They are not widely used...' '... some times at the request of the customer'
  1.  
    Posted By: jms452They left more wiggle room than that 8m40s - The homebuilders federation said of NDAs 'They are not widely used...' '... some times at the request of the customer'

    Plausible deniability.....
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2021
     
    My local council (Guildford) has a couple of thermal image cameras available for council tax payers to borrow. Refundable deposit required. I borrowed it a few winters ago to zap my house.

    Although not designed as a passive t/f house, I was very anal about taping every joint where cold air could sneak in. My air pressure test based upon the pre-build assessment was 9 whatevers per hour. The test gave a 1.7 reading so I was pleased.

    The thermal camera did not show any major issues. But, the camera is so sensitive, with a display between cold (blue) to red (warm) based upon only a few degrees temp difference, it is easy to become paranoid based upon the thermal colour when the reality is almost insignificant. But of course, the quality of a new build developer house is a different issue.

    Some of my worst area were the timber frame of the skylights, which were 3 degrees cooler than the surrounding plasterboard ceiling. Likewise, areas immediately adjacent to doors.
    • CommentAuthorjms452
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: Rexthe camera is so sensitive, with a display between cold (blue) to red (warm) based upon only a few degrees temp difference, it is easy to become paranoid based upon the thermal colour when the reality is almost insignificant. But of course, the quality of a new build developer house is a different issue.


    Seeing the subtleties is interesting but when you're looking for 'stuff worth fixing' in retrofit find the bad areas, lock the scale and use this to resurvey. Put's it all nicely into perspective.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2021
     
    Posted By: RexSome of my worst area were the timber frame of the skylights, which were 3 degrees cooler than the surrounding plasterboard ceiling. Likewise, areas immediately adjacent to doors.

    Depends what the temperature of the plasterboard was of course, compared to the room :bigsmile: :devil:

    IIRC the PH standard says that the coldest point on a window must be 17°C or warmer, assuming the room is at 20°C. Not sure whether that 'says' is a 'requires' or a 'guarantees', but anyway, it's a 3°C difference. :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorNewbuild
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2021
     
    I recently found out that the EPC audit failed and a rectified EPC cannot yet be lodged.

    I think the basic geometry was the wrong scale and evidence was missing to substantiate the heat loss of significant thermal elements.
    • CommentAuthorwholaa
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2021
     
    Newbuild,
    do you think moving the windows to sit on the cavity closers could be finally justified in these new builds? I guess they are brick and external insulation isn't viable.
    • CommentAuthorNewbuild
    • CommentTimeMay 23rd 2021
     
    Hello,

    To my understanding, ACD are claimed for some of these junctions; and even after EPC audit where the lintel was defaulted.

    The outer leaf of the building in some places is brick and in others a concrete artstone type block so external insulation most likely not suitable.

    Insulating the reveals themselves would also put skirtings over glazing etc and I have not done the calculation to work out what thickness would be needed to change the dew point of the junction.

    The last update I have is that the warranty provider are now involved and that it was quite hard to communicate the fault to them; so who knows what will be determined.

    I would think that it's entirely possible to set the frames back as required, it would need some minor internal works to facilitate. Possibly new deeper uPVC sills if the current ones can't accomdate a 30mm change and there is only one stone artstone sil that might need moving.

    Any advice or guidance would be appreciated - the overall feeling is that very few invovled actually understand what's going on.

    But on a upside; the window subcontractors workforce now do check the window setbacks specifically for this and query it on other sites - where previously they did not. So there has been some "greater good!" Achieved!
    • CommentAuthorNewbuild
    • CommentTimeMay 23rd 2021
     
    Here's an image whilst the frames were removed in an area for additional clarity.
      Hnet.com-image.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMay 23rd 2021
     
    @Newbuild, I confess I've lost track of what the issue is that we're looking at?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMay 23rd 2021
     
    Where is the cavity insulation?

    Clearly draughts can get behind the lining making the cavity closer pointless
    • CommentAuthorNewbuild
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2021
     
    The warranty provider have said:

    "Our records show cavity closers are correctly fitted and within suitable tolerance. There does not appear to be thermal defect at this location. "

    :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2021
     
    Ask to see the actual records
  2.  
    Posted By: NewbuildThe warranty provider have said:

    "Our records show cavity closers are correctly fitted and within suitable tolerance. There does not appear to be thermal defect at this location. "

    http:///newforum/extensions/Vanillacons/smilies/standard/bigsmile.gif" alt=":bigsmile:" title=":bigsmile:" >

    Then of course there is the as planned / designed and as built / installed and the typical gulf between the two.
    Ask to see the actual records and the signed inspection along with the installation standards so that you can assess whether the work was done as specified.
    • CommentAuthorNewbuild
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2021
     
    Unfortunately the warranty provider will not share the records.

    They have also determined there is no way they can assist as "the cavity closers are not damaged".
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2021
     
    Keep pushing
  3.  
    Gather your evidence together and it sounds like a case for the small claims court. Often the threat is enough.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2021
     
    Are the cavity closers actually the problem? I'm still confused as to what the problem is.
  4.  
    Posted By: djhAre the cavity closers actually the problem? I'm still confused as to what the problem is.

    The problem is poor (out of spec) thermal performance caused by incorrect construction. Surely it is not up to the claimant to determine the actual cause because they are not qualified to do so, just the same as if you take your car to the garage because e.g. it won't start, you don't tell them what the problem is, you describe the symptoms. Same here, the problem is bad thermal performance - it is up to who ever has the liability to fix it to find the problem and make the repair.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2021
     
    Posted By: Peter_in_HungaryThe problem is poor (out of spec) thermal performance caused by incorrect construction. Surely it is not up to the claimant to determine the actual cause because they are not qualified to do so

    Agreed but that's my point. The warranty provider is talking about cavity closer installation, but if that isn't the specific instance of 'incorrect construction' that is causing the trouble then no amount of getting records and specs is going to cause them to change their minds. So, again, what is the cause of the problem? Are we clear?

    And yes, in an ideal world, there would be a third-party test of thermal performance that was able to verify the existence of a problem and the contractual terms would oblige the builder or warranty provider to correct the problem so the third-party could verify that the problem had been fixed. And it would all be paid for by the builder or warranty provider or insurance company with no additional effort or cash from the householder.

    And ideally pigs would fly. (although that brings some unfortunate images to mind :shocked: )

    The reality is likely to be that the householder will need a suitably qualified surveyor to gather third-party evidence in a form that can be used by a suitably qualified lawyer to discover if the builder can be held liable and if so to then enforce that liability. All at the householder's expense unless the lawyer can persuade the builder et al to reimburse the costs.
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2021
     
    There were three houses built around me more or less, during the time that I built. One is a SIP construction and I would love to see a thermal image of its construction. Mine is timber frame with 180mm internal Warmcell insulation and around 250 in the roof plus me being paranoid about air tightness and insulation everywhere.

    One site was bought from a developer, who obtained planning and sold the site ready to be demolished. I was fascinated watching it being built. Really poor detailing of the insulation; the roof insulation just roughly fitted in place on the basis that when the plasterboard is fixed, no-one will see how poorly installed it is.

    And I just love it when it snows. My west facing roof remains snow covered for days; their west facing roof and the snow has gone within hours.

    No need for a thermal camera to see how bad it is. But as a city banker, he probably does not know nor even care.
    • CommentAuthorNewbuild
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2021 edited
     
    As an update this is still "progressing".

    Waiting for the comming heating season.

    Warranty provider have denied all requests to do with thermal defects so far. But they did send a surveyor who promptly took some thermal images on a mobile phone, whilst the house had been ventilated all day (window doors open) for covid with the heating off. So unsurprisingly his images showed no issues... As surprise, surprise the inside and outside were all the same temperature by that point.

    Builder have said they had no obligation to build correct thermal details. Despite claiming various ACDs in the as built SAP and resulting EPC.
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