Tuesday, 28 August 2012

CfSH - Level 6 Design Stage Certificate

We have received the Code for Sustainable Home design stage assessment certificate - officially achieving the top rating of level 6.

It is practically impossible to score maximum points everywhere, however we scored maximum credits in 5 of the 9 sections. We dropped a point in the energy section, most of which should be recovered in the post-construction assessment following the air pressure test. Another point was dropped in materials due to using timber/aluminium composite windows. Points were also dropped in the management section as we chose not to take part in the considerate constructors scheme and key point indicators due to the extra financial costs they would incur. Some points were also dropped in the ecology section, some of which are only applicable for taller developments. There is an extra credit we could achieve through extensive ecological enhancement, should we need to.

We are really pleased and proud of what we have achieved here.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Build Week 3 - Low Level Masonry

With the foundations now in place it is time to start setting out and building the low level masonry to the level required for the beam & block floor system. It was a week hampered by weather and setting out difficulties.

Building with the SIPS system is very quick and easy when the base is in place. The challenge is getting the low level masonry set out precisely to match the dimensions of the SIPS. There is little room for error as the SIPS shell is manufactured to the precise measurements of the computer model and when it arrives on site  there is little room for give and take. To add to the challenge of this the walls of the existing retaining structure were not built square meaning that we had to spend time to adjust the exact location and orientation to make it fit as required.

 The tanking system was installed as well, which is basically a dimpled plastic sheet which is fixed to the inside of the retaining wall. It guarantees that there is no water ingress to where the structure resides. We lost a day to the weather, but it was nice to finally see the footprint of the building rise from the ground.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Build Week 2 - Foundations

This week was the real start of the project with the foundations being poured. Monday to Wednesday was spent completing the foundation excavations and getting them passed by the building control and warranty inspectors.

At 7:45 on Thursday morning the concrete pump lorry arrived. Over 5 hours 10 concrete lorries came and went, and 60 cubic metres of concrete was poured in the foundations and infilling the existing retaining wall. Without the pump lorry it would have taken about a week. Luckily it was a fine day and all went very well.

Friday saw the start of the masonry so we now feel we are now well and truly under way.  

Friday, 10 August 2012

Build Week 1

This was a week of preparation and traipsing around in the sticky clay. The aim was to get the foundations & drainage set out and started, and to get the retaining wall waterproofed and french drain installed.

The constant on / off rain proved very frustrating as the clay became really sticky and foundation excavations filled with water. However David, Mick & Tom battled through, and the first week was relatively successful with the retaining wall waterproofed externally with the french drain installed to carry water away from behind the wall. The mains drainage was connected and most of the foundations excavated.

Looking forward to week 2 getting the foundations poured and looking like things are starting to take shape ... and some better weather would be nice too.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Code for Sustainable Homes - Level 6 Achieved

The audit of the design stage CfSH assessment has come back with good results. There are a few pieces of evidence that require clarifying but level 6 has been achieved. It is extremely satisfying as an awful lot of work has been put into achieving this.