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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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    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2020
     
    We grow Globe Artichokes and eat them fairly regularly in season. They are also quite decorative if you let a few go to seed and watch the thistle head develop.
    We also grow first and second early spuds, and this year we've experimented with bog standard supermarket ones as seed, rather than buying dedicated seed. They're due for harvesting any time now - fingers crossed.
  1.  
    Looks like I'm 'on trend' with my edible garden, at least with Treehugger:

    https://www.treehugger.com/edible-landscaping-plants-4859239

    Posted By: owlmanWe grow Globe Artichokes and eat them fairly regularly in season. They are also quite decorative if you let a few go to seed and watch the thistle head develop.
    We also grow first and second early spuds, and this year we've experimented with bog standard supermarket ones as seed, rather than buying dedicated seed. They're due for harvesting any time now - fingers crossed.

    They have globe artichokes in that treehugger article. I didn't realise how nice they looked when they flower. Thanks for mentioning them - a new addition to the garden next year! :)
  2.  
    Small update as I've somewhat ground to a halt with the various renovations. After such a big push in the winter and spring months I'm distinctly lacking in motivation over the summer.

    I have managed to sort out the woodshed so that it has racking for the logs (and kindling above) and also a separate space at the back of the woodshed for a new chest freezer that was supposed to store our allotment bounty but actually stores pizzas and such. We didn't have much of a harvest this year and tended to just eat stuff when it was ready. As we expand the allotment (and edible garden), I'm hopeful of filling both the freezer and pantry with our produce.

    There is also racking on the right hand side of the woodshed that receives sunlight through the woodshed planks and I have all the freshly cut timber from a downed tree donated by a neighbour and some branches that I cut from trees along the stream. Hopefully these will be dry enough to burn by this time next year. All the pallet wood leaning against the right side racking is going to be used as fencing along the next set of gabions I install on the streambank (January/February 2021's job!!).
      woodshed.jpg
  3.  
    I've also done a very slight amount of work with the external vent for the woodburner. I'm now using external air for my woodburner!

    I also cleaned the top part of the wall and plastered a parge coat on the bottom of the wall. The woodburner vent will be boxed in, together with a radiator. The whole lot will be surrounded with insulation (behind the radiator!) and covered with woodwool boards, lime plaster and a suitable radiator cover.
      woodburner vent.jpg
  4.  
    This is the cleaned up wall, now free of the 'dot and dab' plaster that held on the plasterboard. Also now free of any damp!

    I've pointed it with lime plaster and we will either fit some oak shelves with hidden brackets or just put some pictures up there. This wall is a party wall with the annex on the other side. All of the internal walls of the annex were internally insulated, so this wall essentially has EWI. The wall on the right of the photo is an external wall and I'll be removing the cement pointing and then putting some IWI insulation on there. I'm looking at 50mm Calsitherm climate boards (calcium silicate) as this is the ground floor and as we have an issue with drainage on the lane outside, I don't want to fit woodfibre. I will be fitting a french drain out there and doing remedial drainage work but that won't be a for a good while.
      feature wall.jpg
  5.  
    A bit of an update. I have had the radiator fitted and I boxed it in and surrounded it with insulation (above, back and sides) and then covered with a grill and fitted shelving. I then had to remove a lot of the insulation as the intake pipe for the wood burner (the orange pipe) was getting covered with condensations. I fitted an insulated foil duct over the top of the original intake pipe and it solved the condensation problem. We are happy with the overall effect and we have turned a cold and damp corner of the room into a bit of a focal point. The shelf on top of the radiator cover is a kitchen worktop that was cut in half to also form the wall shelves above the radiator. I now need to complete the wall on the right of the picture with internal insulation and lime plaster. The radiator cover will also have a skirting board attached at the base.
      Rad1.jpg
      Rad2.jpg
      Rad3.jpg
  6.  
    The other work we had done was to seal up a double doorway into our living room that entered into the centre of the room, bringing cold air right into the heart of the living room. The entrance to the living room meant walking down a narrow corridor, past a staircase (that leads up to the third floor).

    We decided to open up a new doorway at one end of the living room, which was much nearer the staircase down to the ground floor. This meant that we could also turn the middle floor bedroom into a bedroom/en-suite by adding a new stud wall across the hallway, meeting the wall where the old living room door used to be.

    We have noticed a significant increase in comfort levels in both the living room and in the bedroom by having the doors moved and the stud wall creating. It's interesting to note that creating a comfortable home isn't just about insulation and glazing, it can be as simple as moving a doorway.

    The attached pictures show the floorplan with indicators showing where the old and new living room doors were positioned. I've also added pictures that show the the new stud wall that created the bedroom/en-suite (from the hallway and from within the bedroom). Other pictures show the blocked up living room door and how the bedroom looks now (we also added bamboo flooring - chosen because it's a renewable product, hard wearing and cheaper than oak!
      floorplan.jpg
      ensuite3.jpg
      ensuite2.jpg
      ensuite 4.jpg
      Ensuite1.jpg
  7.  
    My next project (apart from filling/caulking the above plaster work, skirtings, door frames and architrave) is to fit heat recovery ventilation system into the house. It's not hugely airtight, but as we slowly work through the renovations, it is getting more so and the amount of damp/condensation is increasing. We've therefore reached the point where we need to ventilate the house before we continue sealing it up.

    Another on-going project is the continuation of the allotment build. Photos to follow.

    p.s. The Jerusalem Artichokes we put in last year in the 'edible garden' were absolutely awful. They gave us dreadful stomach aches, so we threw them away. Maybe in that part of the garden we will have some decorative plants that attract bees and other beneficial insects. :bigsmile:
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Posted By: Pile-o-Stonewe also added bamboo flooring - chosen because it's a renewable product, hard wearing and cheaper than oak!

    Looks good. We're very pleased with our bamboo flooring too. It doesn't seem to have faded where it gets full sun either. I would thouroughly recommend it to everybody :bigsmile:

    We've therefore reached the point where we need to ventilate the house before we continue sealing it up.

    I'm impressed by the logic. :cool:

    Excellent project, very inspiring! Keep it coming.
  8.  
    Thanks djh, both for your kind words about my mini-blog but also for your reassurance about the bamboo flooring! The spare bedroom has a north facing window so no worries about sun damage there, but we are considering using it throughout the whole of the middle floor, so it's good to know that it'll continue to look good for a long time.
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