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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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  1.  
    Was taken by the simplicity of the wall construction of Ralph Swallow's extension in latest issue of GB. Is Ralph a member of this forum? If so perhaps he could comment and we could discuss further...
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMay 8th 2009
     
    How do you get round part L1B of the building regulations?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMay 8th 2009
     
    The bit about when one repairs or alters more than 25% of an element (wall) of an existing building then the alterations have to meet buildings regulation standards for the thermal conductivity of that element. This is called Part L1B and is a building regs document.

    I think your prices are great and approve of what you are doing but would like to see higher levels of insulation used.
  2.  
    Was impressed that the construction in the article appears to single skin 140mm concrete block, i.e. a sensible sized blockyou can actually handle. The extension appears to be a stand alone structure suggesting you can build houses this way, with external insulation. Good idea?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2009
     
    yes better idea than cavity walls -- some hope of maintaining air tightness too as well as being cheaper.
  3.  
    Posted By: Chris WardleWas impressed that the construction in the article appears to single skin 140mm concrete block, i.e. a sensible sized blockyou can actually handle. The extension appears to be a stand alone structure suggesting you can build houses this way, with external insulation. Good idea?


    I hope so, since this is how I'm planning to construct our new build (~300m2 above ground on two floors plus ~80m2 in a basement)). Gives the benefit of thermal mass inside the house combined with maximising insulation for a given wall thickness and minimising thermal bridges. Should help with airtightness as well.
  4.  
    "single skin 140mm concrete block, i.e. a sensible sized blockyou can actually handle. "
    Chris
    I feel sorry for your labourer , the dense 100mm are bad enough!
  5.  
    Yes - I am a forum member. We (Fluid Structures) are AECB members

    The wall construction for the main part of the extension (the white rendered box) was the most elegant form of construction we could come up with i.e. space efficient, buildable, low U value and high thermal mass. Definitely better than the brick veneered timber frame used on the smaller adjacent part of the project.

    Although architecturally the white rendered block is part of the overall house it is "standalone" from a structural point of view as was mentioned above.

    The concrete blocks were managable as they were smaller than normal format, as specified, although still 140 thick and 7N/sqmm strength. From memory I think the blocks cost about £1000 for the whole thing.

    Please don't assume that 140mm single leaf is suitable in all cases - as implied in the article close attention has to be paid to wind loadings for the site and how these are carried past or around door and window openings, i.e. check with an open minded structural engineer. (Fortunately in this case the self builder was one of those....)

    Hope this helps

    Please email if specific queries

    Ralph


    PS - Mark - we had planned on a basement as well, but when we saw what the ground was like at 3m down decided to reign in a bit.....
  6.  
    Posted By: ralphswallow
    PS - Mark - we had planned on a basement as well, but when we saw what the ground was like at 3m down decided to reign in a bit.....


    Hi Ralph,

    I'm sat in waiting for the soil survey man to arrive to dig a couple of 5m test holes this morning. Seems like we could be on the boundary between clay and cornbrash, and I'm hoping that we don't end up with one half of the house on the brash and the other on clay.

    Cheers,
    Mark.
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