Monday, 26 November 2012

The Old Lemonade Factory Appearance On Frome FM

Maggie Gregory came to visit The Old Lemonade Factory as part of the open day. The informal chat has now been put together as a half hour edition of Maggie's 'Our House' programme on Frome FM. The show will be aired on Thurday 29th November and Monday 3rd December at 12:30 on Frome FM 96.6 FM.

The show is also available to listen to online or download as a podcast. Visit the Frome FM website . Just click on the Programmes tab, select 'Talk' and look down the left hand side for 'Our House'.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Open Day - 10th November

We are having an Open House day. Anyone interested in seeing the construction of a zero carbon level 6 CfSH property can visit and see what its like before it is fully finished and what is involved  in building one. It is currently the only Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6 house in Frome and we will  be happy to answer any questions.

UPDATE: A very good day talking to lots of people who were interested in what we are doing. Thank you to all those that came. We are looking forward to doing another open day when the project nears completion.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Build Week 12 - Bring Me Sunshine

The weather improved slightly - enough to get the waterproofing done anyway. Before the final coat can go on the aluminium edge trim and drip were put on. The  powder coated aluminium drip sits over the edge of the oak fascia and is coloured the same as the windows externally. The aluminium edge sits slightly set back from the edge which looks good and although quite bright at the moment will dull down over time. Looking forward to the sedum going on the roof next week.

The suntube covers went on and the pipe installed to the down stairs bathroom. It twists in a helter skelter fashion down through the floor to the bathroom below to allow more light into the plant room. The tube channels light down to the bathroom very well although it has a green hue as the protective plastic over the cover still.The spaces within the house are feeling light and large just as we had hoped.

Build Week 11 - Dry Lining & Wet Roofing

Having been pretty good thus far, the weather is proving quite frustrating. It is neither wet nor dry just damp, meaning that progress is very slow with the roof. The company doing the waterproofing decides to change to another product which cures much more quickly to help the job progress. Inside things continue. The plumbing pipes are fitted and drylining of the walls is progressing but proving a labour intensive job. The electrical layout is finalised and the remaining wiring is put into place. The design for the MVHR is started so that we can make sure that the ducting is routed correctly and efficently.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Build Week 10 - Roof & Rain

 This week the roof started but due to the continual rain it was a bit of a false start. The roof is a liquid applied rubber which requires primer than a couple of layers of the rubber to seal it. To do this requires a dry surface and dry weather otherwise the materials start to run with the rain. Frustratingly the weather provided us with little dry time and when the roof did dry it promptly began to rain again. The Oak fascia board on the verge and eaves is on and looks (and smells) very good. The rainwater tank was lowered into position, assembled and backfilled with gravel.

The large bifolding window was installed - unfortunately two of the windows were broken when it was delivered to the shop so we await to see it in its full glory. However it has a very solid feel and easy opening action and is every bit as good as we had hoped. The opening gives a glorious view over the vale. It is particularly nice that it practically elimiinates any noise from outside but when opened up the sound of the river flowing is very prominent and tranquil. Work continues on the internal drylining and electrical & plumbing first fix. We decided that we would invest in sunpipes to get natural light into the plant room and downstairs bathroom. Although much more costly than just using lights, we feel the benefit of natural light in the long term and the feel it brings to the rooms is worth it.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Build Week 9 - Windows

This week saw the arrival of the much anticipated windows. These are the Internorm Edition version. We particularly chose these as they are timber / aluminium composite and have a very high thermal performance. They are triple glazed, with a thermal performance of around twice the requirement - for those in the know they achieve a u-value of 0.74. They are essentially timber windows but have an insulated aluminium facing externally, which means that they will require minimal maintenance and last very well.

Work continues inside with the dry lining of the walls, and the start of the electrical and plumbing first fix. The windows went in, looking and feeling great. The mechanism on the big window seat sliding window is both smooth and assured. We are pleased with the colour of the front door as it should complement the red colour of the sedum very well in winter. Unfortunately the big bi-folding door can not be put in as the scaffolding is in the way - that will have to wait till next week. The ply deck of the roof is finished, with all the upstands for the solar panel frames - giving an indication of the extent of PV that we will have.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Build Week 8 - Transition

After the flurry of excitement getting the shell of the building up, we had a week of preparation for the next stages of the build.

The first task was to get the roof sorted out - it needs to be waterproofed before the sedum finish can be installed. To prepare for this, the roof has to have a ply deck added which will then be waterproofed with liquid rubber.

This week, work on the blue brick external plinth wall started and the hunt for the timber cladding began. The material finishes have to be agreed with Planning before the facades can be completed.

We had a very positive moment when the Building Inspector from the Local Authority visited and said he would like to put the project forward for their awards! We are thrilled and moments like this really make all the time and effort spent on the design and specification of the project worthwhile

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Build Week 7 - SIPS Structure Complete

This has been a very exciting week as the SIPS structure is now up. Being able to walk into the completed shell is really pleasing. All of the spaces and natural light within them have turned out exactly as imagined.

The final walls went up very quickly. The roof panels were fixed into manageable pieces on the ground prior to the arrival of the crane. On Friday the 36 tonne city crane turned up and the glulam beams and roof pieces were hoisted into place.The glulam beams look terrific and when they are oiled up will be a fabulous feature of the house.

It is always surprising how the size and scale of the building changes throughout the construction process. Before the roof went on, the building felt very tall - something we tried very hard to avoid. However the roof going on made it all proportionate. The roof has also transformed the large south opening and seems to make it much bigger. We are now able to stand in the opening, soak up the view and imagine how amazing it will be to use the balcony and enjoy the views all year round.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Build Week 6 - SIPS start

The next 2 weeks are the biggest of the project so far. When the SIPS shell has gone up all the other elements of the build can start, a real turning point and also we will feel like we have a house.

First of all the sole plate is laid onto the low level masonry. Discrepancies in level are sorted by using plastic shims to bring the sole plate up to the highest level.Once this is in place the insulated panels fit together just like a puzzle. Each is numbered and are assembled to the instruction drawings of the supplier, Glosfords. The panels are literally stuck together with glue which creates an airtight seal. It all happens extremely quickly with brief pauses to fit lintel beams over windows. The internal walls arrive already assembled and are just fitted into place.

The posi-joists for the floor are fitted and the then the floor deck goes on. Posi-joists are two smaller pieces of timber that are connected with a metal web. These give better strength than solid timber and allow services to be channelled through the floor construction.

We finish the week with the lower ground floor completed, the ground floor and some of its walls in place.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Build Week 5 - Beam & Block Floor

This week the floor structure went in. We chose to have a beam & block floor structure so we could use the existing foundations and allow ventilation and drainage to the basement walls. We used a specialist polystyrene block instead of the conventional concrete building block. Although more expensive it has many benefits over the traditional system. Expanded polystyrene it is a very good insulant, requiring little extra insulation to bring it up to the very high standard we set ourselves. This along with its T profile, which lets it sit in between and on top of the beam, means that the floor construction depth is reduced. The product uses a wider beam spacing meaning less beams, saving time and money. The polystyrene blocks are manufactured in 2.5m lengths and are easy to cut and fit into place, again saving time, money and a lot of work. This floor construction also scores A+ on the BRE green guide contributing to the CfSH materials assessment.

The day that the beams arrived was a very tough one as there was torrential rain all morning. Luckily we had hired a crane for the morning to lift the beams from the lorry directly onto the low level masonry. In hindsight we would have struggled greatly without the crane as the torrential rain made the clay ground very slippery and dangerous. As it was we managed to get the beams in place by lunchtime and could retire for the day absolutely soaked to the skin, but with all the beams insitu. The next day the polystyrene blocks were delivered and were quickly fitted into place. A job well done in difficult circumstances. The rest of the week was spent finishing the low level masonry in preparation for the SIPS installation..........