Navitron Renewable Energy and Sustainability Forum

General Renewable Topics => General Discussion => Topic started by: rogthedodge on December 06, 2018, 12:55:14 PM



Title: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: rogthedodge on December 06, 2018, 12:55:14 PM
Hello there - being familiar with Forum etiquette (albeit automotive centric), I apologise if this is in the wrong section.

Some key facts:-
Cottage built in c.1850, "brick and a half" construction
c.93m2 across both floors
Unoccupied for last 2 years
Mains electric and water only - no gas anywhere near
Oil fired heating and water
Orientation - north-east / south west
Long, thin garden to south west elevation (max width 15 metres, length c.100metres)
Neighbour to the east is C18th Grade II listed hall
Cottage walls to east and south are only accessible from above Hall gardens

We're planning on completely renovating
Just my wife and I as occupants with regular visits from family and friends
Adding c.30m2 extension to ground floor only (on north and west elevations, away from the Hall)
We understand that we need some thermal value calcs to start the process
Architect is finalising preferred plans currently
Oil fired system to be decommissioned
Replace with (and this is the bit I'm tying myself in knots with)....
...combination of ASHP (access costs for plant machinery to install GSHP could be prohibitive), solar PV, PV thermal.
I'd like to store excess electricity using Sunamp / Powerwall -or equivalent (we have a petrol hybrid car)
Underfloor heating
Rainwater harvesting

At this early stage, I'd welcome thoughts from those with far more experience, particularly around the heat / power source combinations

...lights blue touch paper and stands well back  ;D

Cheers
Rog



Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: JohnS on December 06, 2018, 01:07:37 PM
Welcome,

I presume that you have read some of the similar topics on this forum for ideas.  If not, do so now  ;)  ;)

You will soon realise that the first and best solution is insulation.  And the second is more insulation.  And then, thirdly, even more insulation.

Having substantially reduced your heating needs, you are then in a position to consider how to meet them.


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: brackwell on December 06, 2018, 01:50:41 PM
Welcome,

Is it practicable to fit underfloor heating to such an old property ? Have you got suspended wood floors or would you have to dig down? Have you got any real foundations even? I would want to hear from any body who has done that.

Dont be too quick to dismiss the oil boiler as PV,Thermal or ASHP just do not cut the mustard in winter just when you need it most.

Which part of the country are you?

It will take ages to dry the stucture out and this must be done before decorating and insulating.

Have you got a intact damp course ?

Ken


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: kristen on December 06, 2018, 02:49:19 PM
Yeah, insulation first, middle and last. Forget Building Regs, that requirement has doubled every decade for the past 50 years ... you only want to do this once, so do it right, not redo-every-10-years.

Each Doubling of insulation reduces heat requirement by 10% I think, so law of diminishing returns of course ... but cost of heating is going up by circa 10% p.a., so worth being bold when raiding that piggy-bank.

After insulation then air tightness. If you can get it tight enough then you'll need ducted air (MVHR "Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery"), which will recover heat from the exhaust air)

For a single skinned building I'd be really wanting to wrap it, externally.  That sort of retro-fit is a nightmare though ...

Your extension may have a South facing aspect? which might be a prime candidate for some passive heating.

When we built an extension the architect had some fancy roof shapes. The passive-house consultant's calculations showed them to be a massive (I kid you not) heat loss, not to mention the cost for constructing Hips etc., so my simple take has been "no complicated shapes".

Also "No roof glass". We wanted to do that because wife and I (wrongly) thought the new bit would not have enough light. Passive House guy CALCs showed how awful that would have been - massive overheating in summer, and falling-cold-air in winter causing draughts - both of which would make us uncomfortable ... which would lead to "feel cold, turn up thermostat"

I think UFH best if you can insulate well, particularly if floor is a significant thermal mass. We put water through our floor only a few degrees above ambient, but pumped for many hours. The amount of heat we need is tiny ... but the floor will radiate heat for ages, so if the house was not well insulated we would need heating with a much quicker response time.

If UFH does work out, and you go the ASHP route, and you are air tight, then you can use reversible ASHP to put cold water through the floor during Heatwave - instead of opening windows, letting in the hot air (during the day) or the files (at night)

I have Biomass boiler, Solar Thermal and PV.  The Solar Thermal has need plumber-tinkering - air gets in - such that I can't actually say it has been "eco cost effective" overall. I'm not alone in having that problem, but others have never had any problem. Personally I think PV + ASHP is a better route. If you need more hot water you can run ASHP from Grid, and if you have enough hot water, in Summer, you can use the PV for something else, or export it. If you have Solar Thermal you have to do something with excess heat,a nd you still need a backup for when "not enough".

I would only do ASHP with UFH. Personally I don't think heat-pump up to 60C+ makes sense


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: kristen on December 06, 2018, 02:52:27 PM
P.S. I recommend The Passive House Handbook. Laid out to be an easy read for both Layperson and Technician. Explains what the benefits of getting to that ultimate goal are, and you would then be well informed to either do that, or what compromises you are making if not.

https://www.greenbooks.co.uk/the-passivhaus-handbook


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: linesrg on December 06, 2018, 03:34:38 PM
Rog,

Just to keep hammering the issue, focus on insulation and draught proofing/ airtightness. We live in a 1859 stone farmhouse so I am familiar with some of the issues you'll have.

We are installing UFH downstairs room by room.

We started off with oil heating via a Stanley range, moved to a condensing LPG boiler and are now on a GSHP. If you can get a JCB on site you should manage to get a 360o excavator in? I guess a JCB with a 1mtr bucket could dig trenches for a GSHP?

The last room we did we put in 120mm of rigid insulation under the UFH pipework. The walls were framed with 75 x 50mm battening in which we stuffed 75mm of rigid insulation and overlaid it with another 25mm prior to the plasterboard going up. The ceiling space we stuffed with 200mm of fibreglass for good measure. We also put a triple glazed window in.

There is still away to go yet but I see the water was circulating at 43oC out the other morning when it was -6oC outside, not bad considering it is meant to manage 41oC at -1oC.

I'm currently working on increasing the loft insulation from 200 to 300mm.

I am one person who has experienced issues with Solar ET so I would hesitate to recommend it whole heartedly.

Don't overrate how little energy you'll get from Solar PV in the winter months so don't overestimate the benefits of a battery storage system driven solely by solar input.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: billi on December 06, 2018, 04:12:34 PM
hi rog , maybe we know each other ...

 anyway,  maybe its a good idea to post a photo of your new home ,  it might help to visiualize the situation

do you have garden ? land area ?


I might get shot now ,  but i disagree with the insulating religion , not in principle , but it depends  ...

because who needs tribble glased windows and 6 " insulation in summer ?

surely same ocours for PV  more PV and more PV , but that more still is usefull all year round  , while the insulation is just standing idle

all  am saying is to find a balance of investment and return , not only money wise , if the  house is old and attractive , i would think twice how to  address the energy footprint

Billi


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: kristen on December 06, 2018, 04:34:46 PM
I might get shot now ,  but i disagree with the insulating religion , not in principle , but it depends  ...

because who needs tribble glased windows and 6 " insulation in summer ?

Inside my house was 25C at the peak of Summer heatwave - and over 35C outside. No cooling/aircon involved.

But, yup, I agree about PV, PV , PV too ...

I have an expectation that the budget is not unlimited, sadly ... and personally I would do extra insulation before extra PV. 

Extra insulation gets you more comfort, along with less heating (cost). I was hell-bent on aiming for Zero Energy when we built our passive House extension. I now think that good comfort, and minimal energy, is a better objective. We have UFH in Passive House part, because we already had a boiler ... but we have no heat upstairs (OK it doesn't fall much before 18-19C, but that's still cold enough to rouse me earlier, and feeling colder, in the morning than "comfort" would dictate). I would also add reversible-heatpump for summer cooling under my "comfort" heading.

My view is that PV can be added later, and expanded piecemeal - to remove any feeling of Guilt from being comfortable :) but the insulation infrastructure has to be right-first-time, or there is going to be a lot of expense, and disruption, doing "more later"


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: rogthedodge on December 06, 2018, 05:58:47 PM
Wow...thanks one and all. A couple of pics to set the scene
(https://i.postimg.cc/wt9FZHJB/IMG-0063.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/wt9FZHJB)

(https://i.postimg.cc/fJ0H08DM/IMG-0906.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/fJ0H08DM)

hopefully they show up!

The north-east elevation garden is c. 88m2  - the long thin garden to south west elevation is 370m2. 160m long. WE cannot get access to the rear garden (long, thin) with a JCB unless we go through a fence and across neighbouring farmland. I'm also aware of the upfront capital cost of GSHP.

I understand the comments ref insulation particularly from Richard and his Victorian farmhouse, but want to get the balance right. I have read much about Passivhaus, but I'm not convinced we want to live in a hermetically sealed box. I accept that there are trade offs between insulation and the size of the ASHP required, for example. I like Billi's quote of "good comfort and minimal energy".

The floors are mix of stone (original 1860 cottage) and suspended wooden floor to the rear (south-western) extension. We also live in a moderate radon area which according to the surveyor will need addressing. There is also a pantry with a floor below the level of the rest of the house.

We have 2x lofts - one with access, the other without. The loftspace with access requires improved insulation as it has been boarded and following a new roof being installed c.3-4 yrs ago, the spaces between the rafters have not been insulated...

And of course John - I will read some similar topic posts  ;)

oh yes and I've found evidence of our flying rodent friends......
thanks again
Rog


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: billi on December 06, 2018, 06:20:49 PM
 what a beauty .....   thinking time now , they are double glassed PVC windows ?n Last pic with the long brick wall is facing west ?



Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: kristen on December 06, 2018, 06:40:43 PM
I have read much about Passivhaus, but I'm not convinced we want to live in a hermetically sealed box

I had a forum-chum visit a couple of weeks ago with his wife. Their architect had persuaded them that Passive House was like living in a plastic bag :) but I think fair to say that they minds were completely changed after visiting (I'm in Suffolk, you are welcome to visit if you are anywhere nearby, or travel this way at some point). My extension is passive house, the main house is "poured concrete", so more airtight than normal builds ... but a long way off Passive House; after upgrading it with cavity-fill, uPVC double glazing (in place of Crittall windows) and loft insulation we were then able to reduce the heat-input and that meant we then encouraged some damp, which we have successfully combated with MVHR retrofit. The visitors particularly liked being able to compare the old, not-so-hermetically-sealed, with the new properly-hermetically-sealed :) and figured that here is a rare opportunity for such a comparison.

Passive House air quality is superb - but best experience first hand. I can't remember how much air change there is, but reasonably sure its not far off equivalent of a draughty old building :).  Being designed-in the air gets everywhere, so unlike a draughty old house there aren't pockets that have no air and get damp and moulds etc.  Since building (4 or 5 years) we haven't had a single winter cough / cold, whereas prior I used to take months to shake off a cough every winter.  That is normal apparently - a combination of good air quality, lack of any moulds and the even temperature (lock up and go away for 24 hours mid-winter and it will lose around 1C in 24 hours)


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: biff on December 06, 2018, 07:04:44 PM
Hello Rog and welcome to the forum,
                                All is good. I am sure you will find the ideas that will serve you well here.
       "Passive house is like living in a plastic bag"     :hysteria :hysteria :hysteria. He sounds good gas and a genuine character.
   I am behind the times construction wise. There are all these new ideas like lime-crete floors all kinds of new ideas. There was one chap in Wales (Grand Designs) whose new house was the last word in new ideas. In the end he parted company with his architect because the local Builder could not follow the instructions, In fact some of these instructions were abandoned but not before the money started running out.
 It,s comfort and ease of of use that would tick the boxes for me. Insulation, insulate , insulate,,
                                                         Biff


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: rogthedodge on December 06, 2018, 07:55:45 PM
Yes Biff - long brick wall faces almost due west. This is the boundary with the GII listed place next door - t'Lord o' t'manor so to speak :)
The wall below the chimney is effectively in the Hall garden.

The windows are a complete notch pitch of crumbling wood and awful, cheap uPVC. Horrible (but large) conservatory just visible in pic2 will be going too...absorbed in to the ground floor extension.

Thankfully my builder friend and his architect have worked together for 30+ yrs and we've visited 5 of their collaborative projects so far, so we've already had three setting the scene type meetings etc - got a chap coming from a renewables company to meet with SWMBO and I, builder and architect next week.

looking forward to getting going in earnest - along with all the tribulations the project will no doubt bring  :ballspin
Cheers
Rog


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: camillitech on December 06, 2018, 10:54:01 PM
I have read much about Passivhaus, but I'm not convinced we want to live in a hermetically sealed box

Don't knock it until you've experienced it. 20 degrees inside here come winter or summer for feck all heat input with fresh air and dry towels all year round  :genuflect And we're no even PH just extremely well insulated, air tight and triple glazed with MVHR


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: rogthedodge on December 06, 2018, 11:20:26 PM
I also wonder how much depends on ones' assessment of 'comfortable heat'. We currently aim for c.16-18 degrees in the house. I get Passivhaus if you're starting from scratch, but is the investment vs benefit curve exponential for an older house such as ours?

Happy to not knock it until we've experienced it - so is that an invitation for us to move in to get the first hand experience?  ;D

Question ref 'air tight' and 'MVHR'? Do these principles exclude ever opening windows to let in fresh air (the house is in a rural hamlet) and to hear the sounds of nature? (serious question). Or am i oversimplifying the result of how you live day to day in 'air tight' / 'MVHR' ?

Cheers
Rog









Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: kristen on December 07, 2018, 06:19:18 AM
I also wonder how much depends on ones' assessment of 'comfortable heat'. We currently aim for c.16-18 degrees in the house

We used to be down at that temperature, put on extra layers, move from a warmer room with fire to much colder areas of house; people hated visiting us in winter  :o. With hindsight that was "normal" but not what I would call "comfortable".  Dunno what age you are, and if this is your "forever home", but if so then comfort in old age, and also cost-of-running on pension might be considerations. We deliberately invested capital in exchange for low running costs in order to maintain lifestyle into retirement.

Quote
I get Passivhaus if you're starting from scratch, but is the investment vs benefit curve exponential for an older house such as ours?

Its really hard to do as retrofit, and why we built extension, rather than fix the existing - that was too hard (for a number of reasons including concrete floors throughout which would have had to be taken up, insulated, and put back, and almost certainly have 60's asbestos pipe insulation in there). There is a standard called "EnerPHit" which is intended when upgrading an existing building.

The "problem", as such, with Passive House is that it is all-or-bust. Any cold-bridge or air-leakage makes a huge difference, so you basically have too get rid of all of them. "No external vent for cooker extractor" == "lots to tackle" ... that's a hard thing for an existing build (can be a hard thing for a new build too, if the builders are Bodger, Liar and Fixit!)

The easiest is "wrap", and to my mind that is better as it keeps the thermal mass within the insulation. That won't work if you love your brickwork (and having enough external pipework to restock B&Q ;D what the heck is all that about? Bends, guttering along the face, drains not in line with downpipes, bolt-on-boxes, cables on roof no longer connected to aerials ... the building is lucky to have you now giving it some love :) )

Quote
is that an invitation for us to move in to get the first hand experience?

Happy you stay until convinced.  Confident that won't involve overnight  :angel:

Quote
Do these principles exclude ever opening windows to let in fresh air (the house is in a rural hamlet) and to hear the sounds of nature?

Nope, definitely not. We night-vent to shed heat in hot weather. House climbs a degree or so during the day, and we have to shed that by tomorrow - and it sure as heck aint going to be lost through the mega-insulated walls! But I wouldn't open the windows during a hot summer's day (to let some nice fresh air in ...) because that would let the heat in. Similarly I don't open the windows "to air the room" in Winter.  There is simply no need, and I would resent the heat needed to warm the room back up again. But on except for mid-winter and heatwave, yeah we open stuff "at will".

We have friends with a big passive house, he's a farmer ... he would have the windows open all the time (excepting the heat/cooling issue), she says "but that lets the flies in and the house has plenty of air anyway". You might find habits change ...

But once you have PV, and "free summer electricity", coming back to "comfort" I think using UFH and reverse HeatPump in Summer for cooling would be worthwhile - if insulation levels mean that "cooling effort" is not huge.


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: todthedog on December 07, 2018, 06:57:47 AM
Hello Rog and welcome.
Fully believe in the insulate mantra, we had an old french farmhouse, spent several months carefully lime pointing the exposed stone walls both inside and out. Then spent a few years appreciating the look and freezing. At last got approval to insulate (it took the threat of moving) the house became warm and snug. Mrs T then mentioned why it had taken so long!
We had pv a turbine and ST. The latter gave us hot water for 9 months of the year I would combine this with a heatpump.
Great project and look forward to your voyage remember we love pictures.


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: kristen on December 07, 2018, 07:03:46 AM
.., spent several months carefully lime pointing the exposed stone walls both inside and out ... got approval to insulate

How did you reconcile "Nice Brickwork" with "Cover with insulation"?


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: todthedog on December 07, 2018, 07:11:26 AM
Didn't, I drylined everywhere stud and track 100mm of rockwool plasterboard white paint. Strangely MrsT liked the new walls thought it made everywhere so much brighter. A big surprise to me as well! :hysteria I should add no celotex available in France at that time

Kristen,Do you have any thoughts on external wrapping?


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: billi on December 07, 2018, 07:50:27 AM
Quote
Cottage built in c.1850, "brick and a half" construction

So are the walls then about only  6-7" wide ?  is the brick  inside exposed  too , is there a cavity in between  ?


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: camillitech on December 07, 2018, 07:53:33 AM
I also wonder how much depends on ones' assessment of 'comfortable heat'. We currently aim for c.16-18 degrees in the house. I get Passivhaus if you're starting from scratch, but is the investment vs benefit curve exponential for an older house such as ours?

Happy to not knock it until we've experienced it - so is that an invitation for us to move in to get the first hand experience?  ;D

Question ref 'air tight' and 'MVHR'? Do these principles exclude ever opening windows to let in fresh air (the house is in a rural hamlet) and to hear the sounds of nature? (serious question). Or am i oversimplifying the result of how you live day to day in 'air tight' / 'MVHR' ?

Cheers
Rog
 

16 - 18 degrees Rog  :o been there, done that, coffee goes cold as soon as you put it in the cup, food cold before you eat it, shivering after a shower, feck that  ;D But each to his own I guess, wish I could tolerate the cold but I can't and I guess I'll only get worse as I get older. However, this is about your house and if you are comfortable at lower temperatures that's fine.

As for windows we only ever open them when the boodly fire, smoke or CO alarms go off  :hysteria I spend most of my life outdoors in the sounds of nature so I'm quite happy indoors looking at it without the sound effects  ;D

Yep, you can visit anytime, we're not hard to find and if you've made the effort to get here you deserve 'tea and biscuits'  ;D

Good luck, Paul


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: kristen on December 07, 2018, 08:42:12 AM
16 - 18 degrees Rog  :o been there, done that, coffee goes cold as soon as you put it in the cup, food cold before you eat it, shivering after a shower, feck that

Snap. And you are SO right :)

Do you have any thoughts on external wrapping?

Yes: it was more expensive than I was prepared to pay :(

Our house is rendered, which I don't like - "maintenance" cost/upheaval to paint every few years. So I would consider a brick skin an improvement

Take render off (if any). Insulate. Render-the-insulation (or in my case "add a brick skin")

Move all the windows out (so that the insulation-layer is continuous).  More hassle/cost ... but probably replacing the windows anyway to get to Triple-Glazed, if so then maybe no-hassle.

No cold bridging - but presumably all the original lintels are now inside the insulation, so that's taken care of that. If need lintels over new windows then they have to be separate from the internal ones.  We have glass-ties between our inner-and-outer brick courses (on the new passive house bit), and no lintels [nor anything else] that reach through from outside-to-inside

Figure out how to join the new external insulation to the loft insulation.  Roof off? <sigh-£££> But if having to do the roof anyway that's probably no issue. And it presents an opportunity to increase the overhangs - that's a key Passive House objective - keep sun off the window-glass when it is high in Summer, but let it in when low in winter. We have a parapet and "walk" around instead of a gutter, Raising that to accommodate insulation would mean the slates would be below the gutter! so we'd have to raise the whole roof (or tackle it somehow differently). Pretty sure the O/P said "roof is new" so "roof off" probably not-going-to-happen.

Then there is the issue of figuring out how to insulate the ground floor. I've always wondered why that is a big deal as I can't get my head around where that heat is going, and "how fast", as its warm down there at some point ...  Assuming the new external insulation goes down far enough, then the heat is not going to go down through the floor and then escape out sideways. But experts tell me that's wrong, so I just put up with the fact that it doesn't compute inside MY head.

So get all the ground floors UP, insulate, fit UFH, and replace the floor final-finish. Alternatively insulation over the top of the existing floor, UFH on top of that, and cut several inches? off the bottom of all the doors - and stoop when you go into every room, even if you are five-foot-nothing :( In a house with high ceilings that might work, but for me: we have lovely doors, beautifully proportioned, and I'm not cutting anything off them! Could lift the lintels and keep the door height ... but I would sacrifice some ceiling-height. More £££

"Lift the lintels" has a potential extra benefit. MVHR needs [return] air-flow room-to-room. You can bang a hole in the wall of course, but (in our new bit) we just put a gap between lintel and top-of-door - the architrave hides it, so you have to know-it-is-there and stand well back in order to see it.

Brings a 1st-world-problem though, in that the "gap" (whatever hole you create for air-flow) transmits noise :(

If instead you insulate internally you lose some room space, you can box in each room each time you redecorate :) - which is great for piecemeal retro-fit. But you have no thermal mass, so you need  a fast-heat solution (I think?) and UFH (buried in concrete type) is presumably not an option. If the room heats massively in Summer (South facing window) you have no thermal-mass to combat that ... my house will gain barely a degree a day in a heat wave, so until it's gone on for a week or more I haven't really got to do anything. External shutters on South facing windows might be a solution.

In Passive House the enemy becomes East and West. Summer Sun is low, and powerful, Morning and Evening.  We have deciduous Pleach on the East side, so that allows Sun in during the winter, and not in Summer. But we have no protection (and no opportunity) on West. Never thought of shutters, at the time, but I might consider a retro fit.

What about Toys? - CAT5, Home Automation, Whole House Vacuum ... and all the "I wish I had done this" and "I'm really glad I did that" list?

I reckon we ought to have a thread for that ... there must be a wealth of collective information amongst the incumbents?  I've got a huge soapbox on that one (which will come as no surprise to you lot I assume?!!)


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: rogthedodge on December 07, 2018, 09:48:44 AM
Quote
Cottage built in c.1850, "brick and a half" construction

So are the walls then about only  6-7" wide ?  is the brick  inside exposed  too , is there a cavity in between  ?
The wall thicknesses vary around the house. "Brick and a half" locally seems to indicate wall is c.9 in think. In other places they are 15 in thick. Brick inside has varying degrees of plaster  / boarding etc.

There is a cavity on some elevations and not on others. Previous owner had allowed a very large creeper to escape all over one elevation which had bridged any DPC etc

Our previous house was a modern (2007) detached place and we set temperate at c.18 degrees which even Mrs N found perfectly comfortable. I suffer from eczema, so I would prefer to be on the cool-side rather than baking. I do get Paul's comment ref our temperature tolerances may change as we age. :-\

I've wondered about a turbine as our "very long, thin" back garden has the room, but I'm not convinced a) we're positioned well (in the lee of hills to our west) and b) the council will not take kindly to it being close to The Hall.

As we are waiting for our builder to recover from an operation, we have time to evaluate options more fully. As noted above we live in Derbyshire and would be grateful if we could come and visit anyone within c.2hrs travel, who has faced similar challenges. Happy to buy tea/ coffee / beer / wine as appropriate ;D. Please PM accordingly.

...and thanks once again for all the ideas, comments
Rog




Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: Tinbum on December 07, 2018, 09:56:40 AM

Take render off (if any). Insulate. Render-the-insulation (or in my case "add a brick skin")


Is there a reason for removing the old render unless it is already falling off? Just wondering as I'm going to wrap my rendered house.

An old pub down the road from be has just been rendered with a brick effect. It looks quite good but I think they missed a big trick by not insulating first.  ???


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: billi on December 07, 2018, 10:42:03 AM
ok , so the windows are attached to the outer brick side , and there may be some cavety , maybe ??  I guess that can be filled ?  and inside plastered with an insulating plaster like hempcrete or clay straw plaster  with a wall heating idea  , just thinking ....

still , i dont getit , what part of the house you  will be in and what space you have on the garden side , but  seems you have some roof area for PV  and maybe a facade for a  trombe wall ?  ( kind of a transparente glas panel  infront of the brick  to heat it up and transfer warmth into the house

Just thinking loud

Billi



Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: linesrg on December 07, 2018, 11:19:48 AM
Rog,

Unless you have a suitable elevation and are able to erect the turbine well clear of any immediate obstructions i.e. the house then it is simply a non-starter. You'd also need to consider the noise it makes..........

My view is that you need to retain the outer aspect of the property as I presume on of the reasons for buying was the aesthetic? Insulation therefore needs to be internal.

I assume some of the walls will be solid so you will need to allow some ventilation on the inner walls so simplistically I think you are looking at internally framing although you should be able to mount the insulation board directly to the inner wall where you have cavities unless the cavities are full of cr*p and you have damp bridging going on.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: kristen on December 07, 2018, 11:32:09 AM
Is there a reason for removing the old render unless it is already falling off?
I don't know that, so was just my assumption.  Existing render adds some insulation and air tightness presumably.  Adds to overall thickness if left behind, but probably not consequential. Dunno if some risk in future if left behind - e.g. if it got damp, somehow?


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: kristen on December 07, 2018, 11:33:59 AM
inside plastered with an insulating plaster like hempcrete or clay straw plaster

Ignorant question: does that provide significant insulation? (My cavity is 12" of "fluff" insulation; the window reveals are "quite deep" :) )


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: kristen on December 07, 2018, 11:35:09 AM
In case helpful, and O/P not aware of it:

Aerogel is (I think?) the thinnest insulation available (in terms of U-Value vs. thickness).  Not cheap, and not particularly nice to work with.  We used it for some "tricky spots"


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: billi on December 07, 2018, 02:56:11 PM
 Kristen ,  iam not an expert , when it comes to cavities  builtings ,  i just   know  from some newbuilts and  if i look at  rog s pics  , that i  allways am puzzled,  when the windows are attached to the "outershell"  and thinking , what happens in the cavety then , heatwise ...

I was doing   the gardens for  a development  in Ireland  with about 50 houses   and  to be fair quite good  high standards  

But  in d´general,  i am more a friend of external insulation ( which i cant suggest here )  for obvious reasons  (hence  the idea of a glass facade  as a heat insulating idea )

so those 50 houses had kingspan insulated plasterboard inside  fixed to a  concrete block cavety wall  , but the windows where placed on the outershell   , i thought thats wrong, if the cavety is not well insulated too

But  ....



Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: rogthedodge on December 07, 2018, 03:25:30 PM
There is no external render to any elevation - just good old plain brick. We are not living in the house at present - renting c.15mins away.
Back to original pics..
(https://i.postimg.cc/wt9FZHJB/IMG-0063.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/wt9FZHJB)
above north-east elevation is twice width of southwest elevation below..if you get my drift?

(https://i.postimg.cc/fJ0H08DM/IMG-0906.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/fJ0H08DM)
so we have 2x north-east facing roofs and 2x south east facing roofs

what you cannot see is the GII listed hall which would have a view of some of the roof elevations.

Having chatted to the builder, as we're dealing pretty much with a bare shell, we'll strip back all walls. Shot below is the room with chimney showing in second shot above = 3x external walls which the damp meter showed as good, but not dry lined. Hempcrete rings a bell. Sand mixed with another ingredient ...a solution from many years ago

(https://i.postimg.cc/sB1jH0pq/IMG-0139.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/sB1jH0pq)


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: rogthedodge on December 07, 2018, 03:50:27 PM
I'm sure the eagle-eyed amongst will have spotted that our house is not at 90 degrees - should have read 2x north east facing roofs and 2x south west facing roofs facepalm

at the risk of hi-jacking my own thread. I've just worked out where Paul is......beautiful. Somewhere in the distance below
(https://i.postimg.cc/fk90z5VY/Scotland-June-2010-039.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/fk90z5VY)
taken from atop Applecross Pass


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: brackwell on December 07, 2018, 04:16:53 PM
What are you doing with the fireplaces/chimneys.  These are probably the biggest source of heat loss in the house by allowing warm air to go up the chimney 24/7 .  Remove ,block up or fit a wood burning stove that can be shut off completely.


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: kristen on December 07, 2018, 04:44:59 PM
or fit a wood burning stove that can be shut off completely.

Just for info: my wood-burning stove has an external air supply (pipe).

There is no external render to any elevation - just good old plain brick

Just in case of any misunderstanding, I think the discussion was that IF you were to wrap it (externally) you'd lose the brickwork, which is probably a feature that you would prefer to keep?


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: biff on December 07, 2018, 05:25:46 PM
Yee better not dally,
                The tea and biscuits will all be gone. I can see that he is in a rush and trying to open the back door. The house is that dry and warm that the frame shrunk and the back door jammed.
   Of course he will tell you that there is no back door to the house.
  I recall another friend who only started drinking and backing horses when he was 54 years old. he did not marry and lived on his own. Between the booze and the horses he ran out of money and then the callers started knocking on his front door looking for the dosh that he owed them. F had no back door.  F,s answer was to put a chain and padlock on the front door and then climb in the window beside the front door. When people came to knock on the door looking for F and their money, they would see the chain and padlock and go away. By then he was riding a bike loaned to him by a nephew who wished to inherit his farm,,,,eventually but unknown to the nephew, F had managed to get an amazing overdraft on the place and by the time he passed away there was nothing left for the nephew but his own old black Raleigh pushbike.
 In truth, having no back door is the sign that the house is worthy of credit, Having a back door can mean that the inhabitants are ready for a quick exit or escape, out the back door and over the back gate and away over the fields. I have to confess that all my relatives including myself, have all got back doors, I even have a side door. I will have to reflect deeply on this but it is good to know that I can now lay the blame for all my financial misfortunes at the back door of our old house of many years ago.
  Modern education and hygiene meant that back doors came into vogue. It was only right that people should go out the back and do the business somewhere that did not offend the nose. There are no officials records of what they did before that. We can only guess that they held themselves under strict control for days on end.  Now we are back to square one and no back door, no fresh air and nobody going outside to do the business.These days they demand loads of fiber in the diet or roughage. Such a diet breeds serial flautists and being trapped in such company, forbidden to open a window and no recourse to a back door, knowing in your heart and soul the deadly explosive nature of methane gas..Terror is too mild a word.
    There is something to be said for a draughty old barn of a house.
                                                                     Biff
    But insulate,,insulate , insulate


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: biff on December 08, 2018, 08:47:20 AM
The poor character above,
                          Who put a padlock and chain on his front door was factual, The rest could well be neigh blatant fiction. When people such as Paul put their money on Passive House design and go for it , is a very brave step into the future and one that will pay massive dividends. i was born some 20 years too early. That did not stop me implementing some of the best moves into my own building designs. I think that any builder worth his salt strives for improvement.
  Then we come to the horse hair and lime crete for the floors. I am not so sure of that. I would prefer something that could cope with floodwater,even in houses well clear of the flood planes. We can get snow and we can get thaw but these days we are getting them one after the other in very quick succession and flooding is occurring in places which normally not have that problem. The snow above quickly turns to water while the ice below stays put. So firm regulations must adhere to the old 160mm upstand in external door opening. There must be some way around that for wheel chairs. A few years back we enjoyed a 22 million extension to our local hospital in L kenny but even I knew that the engineers and architects were fast asleep on their feet because the rear main entrance tarmac was level with the inside floor. I remember saying to Mrs Biff, "Opps,,Crikee this is not right".The car park was built over a burn and cut out of the hill with three sides facing the rear entrance of the Hospital. We made world news with that farce. The way things are going in the world at present means we have to adapt out building designs to be more storm proof and flood proof. Passive house and it,s recycled heat, Air filters and temperature controls are here to stay. I just wish I had had the foresight to build one back then. I am exceedingly happy with what we have and would not change it. I am also very much a supporter of solid walls both inside and outside, The internals walls in this house are insulated on both sides, Not only are they sound proof but they heat up very quickly., I sincerely hope that everyone came through the storms to date in good condition.
                                 Biff


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: djs63 on December 08, 2018, 09:03:14 AM
Biff, I can’t picture what you mean by “the internal walls are insulated on both sides”, and they heat up quickly.
Does this mean the rooms on each side of the wall have insulated walls, if so how do they heat up quickly if insulated?

Maybe I got out off bed too quickly this morning. Sorry.
David



Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: biff on December 08, 2018, 09:21:16 AM
No Problem at all David,
                        I did the walls solid 100mm concrete block, Inside, and 300 cavity on the externals, then when the roof was on, I dry lined the house using 50mm x 25mm tanalised batons at 400mm centers, I used the heavy foil backed sheet (8 x 4), x 12mm I infilled with poly sheeting, The baton traveled up the wall is screwed to the upstairs floor joists,screwed to the wallplate and then the roof rafter. (I think of these when the storm hits from the west). All the inside walls are done the exact same way. The  8x 4s sheets have tapered edges and are screwed on, filled and taped and then run over with the trowel. Its labor intensive but i enjoyed it.The poly between the batons provides good support for the sheets. then I had the cavity pumped. The blockwork has to be plumb and straight to make it work properly. On crooked walls it is a headache, involving plugging out and hacking back, nobody likes that kind of thing but on good straight walls it is surprisingly fast and clean..
                                                                                      Biff
   The room heats up quicker because the concrete blocks in the wall do not absorb the heat immediately like they would if they were plastered, There is a definite difference.
  So internals walls are some 170mm wide overall and door frames have to be made accordingly. The batons are banged on using a 50mm hilti, surprisingly strong grip.The lecky box and conduit are done normally.


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: djs63 on December 08, 2018, 06:34:14 PM
ThanksBiff,
I get it now. :)


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: rogthedodge on December 10, 2018, 03:54:39 PM
Thanks again folks, ref bracknell's question above. 2nd pic above shows the chimney stack on the south west elevation. On the ground floor this has an open fire currently which will be fitted with a wood burner. To the first floor (bedroom) we assume the fireplace has been blocked but is completely obscured by fitted wardrobes, so we'll know more when the wardrobes go.

The second stack on the WNW elevation has a blocked in fireplace to the first floor and nothing on the ground floor. A bit of a concern as to what is holding up all those bricks at present, as the ground floor fireplace has been removed to allow for double doors into the conservatory. :o

Rog


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: titan on December 11, 2018, 09:58:42 AM
I think a touch of realism is required. It is a nice looking house which probably attracted you to it. Insulation will improve comfort and reduce energy costs but where to put it. External is technically the best option with the walls within the heated envelope but will completely change the dwelling's appearance. Internally you could dry line but this will reduce all the room sizes depending on how much insulation you use. It also can create damp problems in the future dependent on a lot of unknowns with solid walls.  Roof insulation and windows are less problematic. All heat pumps work best at lowish flow temperatures, lower the better, and need to match the building's heat loss. without significant insulation a building of your age will not be suitable for using a heat pump. As a suggestion I would first do the calculations for the heat lost as accurately as possible it is simple enough to do a spreadsheet where you can change the data to show the effect of adding insulation and whether it is cost effective.   


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: kristen on December 11, 2018, 04:44:42 PM
I think a touch of realism is required.

Good post. All points spot-on :)


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: linesrg on December 11, 2018, 04:45:55 PM
titan,

Potential issues with both damp and radon were the reasons I suggested internal framing. It isn't perfect as you will always have some air movement the other side of the insulation and every electrical socket/ light switch etc. is a cold bridge but it is probably the best overall outcome. Yes you lose space in each room, in our worst case it would be 75mm on each of the three external walls.

We still have 50% of downstairs to convert to fully insulated and framed c/w UFH heating but we are getting there.

It is very difficult when you buy a property like this as so much needs doing and there is no best way of doing it only a sequence of what can be best be described as least worst options.

We started with the oil fired Stanley and I knew I wanted to go the heat pump route. In 2001 heat pump availability wasn't what it is now and it was also a different ball game in terms of financing so we ended up fitting a state of the art LPG condensing boiler for what ended up being 15 years as a 'temporary' stop gap.

We still have a way to go but we are getting there and the heat pump is coping admirably.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: biff on December 11, 2018, 05:49:13 PM
     "As the ground floor fireplace  has been removed  to allow for double doors into the  conservatory. "
          Sorry Rog I almost missed that completely. It might be a very good idea to  investigate how the support steel has been used and what kind of pads it is bearing on before you proceed.it is much easier  to  correct now if the need be. Lifting a floorboard  or two and a good bright torch should reassure you.
       Biff


Title: Re: Newbie - Our Project - Initial Idea
Post by: rogthedodge on December 17, 2018, 03:05:35 PM
back again - work travels got in the way >:(

Builder and local renewable energy specialist have talked us through the internal insulation and thermal loss calcs, in order to make ASHP viable. We also recognise that ASHP will need to be combined with Solar PV / PV Thermal to meet heat, power and hot water needs.

I do get the comments ref external cladding and in addition to the appearance issue, we have the challenge that to clad 2 of the walls, we would need to gain access to the garden of the large Hall which forms part of our boundary. Not insurmountable I know, but another hassle.

Same builder also pointed out the issue of the lintel (or potential lack thereof), when we were stood in the lounge / doorway to the conservatory. He pointed upwards and then said " I wonder what is supporting the 2ntonnes of bricks forming the chimney, flue and gable end"!!!  svengo

Taking a leaf from Richard's book - Will keep persevering
Rog