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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    • CommentAuthorsune
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2008
     
    After reading green facelift part 1 was left thinking that it was a great idea as it might give a good hookline into making the existing housing stock more sustainable - it's all very well with the 2016 trget but what about the majority of houses out there?
    I did initially think (and still do) "why bother spending £200K on a refurb when you could just buy a plot and build something MUCH better (in terms of sustainability and looks) for less" - but then I did forgive the scheme because I thought it would discuss useful, effective, and practical ways to alter an existing and inefficient house.
    The first article was a very broad introduction (with no detail) to the project so I expected some real useful detail in the next installment...

    Green facelift part 2 was essentially all about the owner choosing oil for heating and then changing his mind in the end in favour of renewables (plus choosing high some high energy lighting and then changing his mind). This was far from fascinating and leads me to think what other mistakes may not have been noticed in this project if something so basic could have been approached with such a misguided attitude...I am the only one who thought this?

    Perhaps the project should be planned out a bit better - BEFORE jumping ahead and starting it. I know I would do lots of research before spending out £200K.....and if I was designing a sustainable house and wanted to call it "Green House" I certainly wouldn't be heating with fossil fuels.... or having the fact aired that I wanted to heat with fossil fuels in a magazine called "Green Building" with articles and a readership that have all surely transcended the notion of designing a petrochemical oil heating system into a sustainable house and moved onto things more worthy of their attention.

    I would be interested to know, Nick Worsley, if you feel you have been fairly represented in the article(s).

    Could we please have something a bit more advanced, with a bit more sense and substance to it for part 3

    I may be being cruel or missing out on some valid point or not understanding something or other which should be apparent to me - in which case my apologies.
    • CommentAuthorSimonH
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2008
     
    Hi Sune,

    I've just read this too, and also was a bit surprised at the oil reference. There's about 3 other things I'd consider before going oil. Thankfully they decided in time. I suppose the next thing we'll find is the U value are actually just above 0.35 and made from polyisocyanurate and they decided not to use untreated cladding but a mix of upvc / imported western red cedar and treated with a proprietary fungicide and preservative.. :shamed:

    Me I've still at the planning / reasearching stage - I keep going round in circles as just as I think I know what I want I read something that puts me off a previous decision. This months GBM just put me off sliding doors (to replace aging drafty west facing patio doors) and sticky out bits ( where I was going to extend out from some sections of wall that can't be cavity filled).

    To be honest - I'll get a proper SAP assessment done to help make my decision, but then again reading GBM this month - even that might not be a good indicator. Aaargh! Ah well, it's good to be kept informed!

    At least I've engaged an architect to do some preliminary elevations/plans to discuss with the planners. Although since then - I've decided that instead of putting the bath rooms in the new extension, they can go in the old extension on the north side (keeping pipe runs shorter) and we'll have bedrooms in the new extension at a later date. They can be left unfinished it we run out of cash. Or we can miss the extension off for a year or two if it gets really bad!

    Simon
    •  
      CommentAuthorrogerwhit
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2008
     
    Simon can't the old patio doors be refurbed with new seals?
    • CommentAuthorSimonH
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2008
     
    Probably but they're 1970's sliding aluminium units. They also need sealing at the edges of the frames - I got through last winter with good old sellotape - as it cut most of the drafts. Trouble is - you can't open the door then :-(

    I was going to recycle them into a green house and get some new low e sliding folding units, but now think a traditional french door in triple glazed form, with the side bars slightly thinner than the doors will work best. We don't really need the whole space to open up as there's a dining table to one side and sofa to the other. So the opening part is best in the middle. The whole window opening is 3.6m wide- which is why I felt some new units would be better in efficiency terms it's almost the width of the room. I also think French windows will cost around £2000 instead of £5000!

    Simon.
    •  
      CommentAuthorrogerwhit
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2008
     
    £2,000 sounds about right - for pine, though - add say £550 for oak. An espagnolette should keep the full height of the doors in contact with each other down the meeting weatherseal to stop draughts.
  1.  
    We've just filled our oil tank with 500 litres of oil costing £0.66 per litre. I'm sure when we first moved in 10 years ago, filling the oil tank cost £60.00 or less if you shopped around.
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