Eco-renovation is not always easy – week 6

alexhunt Bright Green News, New Project Leave a Comment

As Fran rightly predicted 2 weeks ago – things are getting pretty hairy… with a deadline looming and still alot to do, things have been moving along at lightning pace but there is only a certain number of hours in every day!!

laying stage one of the new floor

careful not to pierce the underfloor heating - the new chipboard covering goes down

There was even a little additional weekend working happening to get things moved forward so that we could hit the ground running when the whole team arrived on Monday morning.
ridge beam

the new ridge beam in the dining room was installed this week

So, first things first – now the floor is laid on the first floor we need to get cracking with finishing the roof linings – with 50mm Celotex between the rafters, we are now overboarding with 100mm of Celotex (reducing thermal bridging) and bringing the U value of the roof to an impressive 0.15W/m2K – the building regulations Part L1B stipulate that if upgrading a thermal element you should reach 0.18W/m2K – but the Bright Green Homes ethos is to better the regulations rather than build to the regulations. The Pro Clima Intello Plus airtightness layer is then carefully attached to this, with great care taken to seal all of the penetrations and joints. Finally the plasterboard is tacked over the top.
Intello Plus

care is taken around all of the openings to make sure the airtightness layer is continued

Of course in any renovation there are lots of little niggles, bumps, lumps, noggins etc. to deal with. Also – we have been careful to over, rather than under insulate any of the gaps – for instance we have added nigh on 400mm of Earthwool recycled glass bottle insulation (supplied by Travis Perkins – www.travisperkins.co.uk) to the void in the pitch of the living room – this brings the U value even lower!
Earthwool

adding 400mm of Earthwool to the living room roof

Its not a pleasant job, but someone has to do it – so its good when someone steps up to the plate and volunteers (even if it is by default).

So – we have been busy upstairs, trying to get ready for the plasterers who are booked in at the end of the week – at the same time we have been installing the new ridge beam above the dining room so we can remove the cross ties and install another rooflight to increase the levels of natural light. Finishing off the installation of the MVHR system (supplied by Service Vent – www.servicevent.co.uk) which is another one of those jobs where size really does matter – the smaller the better!!

working in the loft

size really does matter!

Also the whole time this is happening our electrician has been beavering away putting in all the first fix electrics. So much of what goes into a good build ends up hidden behind walls that it is often the way that it appears on a site that nothing is happening. Nothing could be further from the truth – like a good magic trick its all in the preparation.

We also have to make sure that we are ready for Flowmax (www.flowmax.co.uk) to install the underfloor heating on the groundfloor – this involves battening out the whole groundfloor, including building a whole new floor in the Garage

building a new floor

building a new floor in the garage

With all of these things to happen at the same time we have had 10 tradesmen on site this week – a feat of logistics just to make sure there is enough tea in the building to keep them all going! Remarkably, the whole team have really pulled together on this project and are working their socks off to try and make our extremely challenging deadline.

insulating the studio

adding floor insulation to the garage (sorry, studio) floor

So – as time marches on with us – the plasterers arrived and we were not quite ready for them – but entering the spirit of things they were happy to get on with plasterboarding the ceilings on the groundfloor – but not before Mark had stuffed the ceiling void with 100mm of Earthwool Acoustic insulation. So now, unlike the house was before, people will be able to sleep soundly downstairs while people upstairs can move around without disturbing them.

UF heating

the groundfloor manifold for the Rehau underfloor heating system

So, as Alex got increasingly worried that things wouldn’t be ready for Martin and his Flowmax team – Simon was sure that things would be alright – in the end Simon was proved right and Alex’s concerns were allayed when come Friday morning we were ready for round 2 of the underfloor heating installation.

Green Van Hire

The Green Van Hire Company run all of their vans on recycled cooking oil

We have also teamed up this week with The Green Van Hire Company (www.greenvanhire.co.uk) to conduct an experiment to see if they can better the prices we have been getting for waste disposal – as they have previously been involved in van hire and removals this is a new foray for them, and the actual result is that we got a slightly cheaper service, a greener alternative and we can support another local green business – a win-win-win if you ask me.

So, charging forward we have a long week ahead – rooflight to fit, plasterboarding the rest of the groundfloor ceiling and the first floor ceiling, bonding and plastering over the top to the high end finish we are looking for, the decorating begins (outside to begin with) the construction of the new media wall, the utility cupboard, fitting the bathroom floor etc etc… phew… lots to do….

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