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PDF version of: Winter 2014: Greendale Cottage - a self build diary
PDF version of: Winter 2014: Greendale Cottage - a self build diary
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Cover story: Phil Newbold and his wife Joy sold their leaky, Victorian house in 2008 and started looking for a building plot to build a low-energy house. They found a plot with planning consent in the village of Eggleston in Teesdale in 2010, moved to a rented house in the village and were gazumped a week before completion. This turned out to be a blessing but at the time it was devastating, not only because of losing £2000 in legal fees but because of the time Phil had spent preparing detailed design drawings for the house...

From derelict barn to Passivhaus - A pioneering low energy retrofit of a derelict farm building at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's Stirley Community Farm in Huddersfield has recently become one of only a handful of projects in the UK to receive EnerPHit certification from the German Passivhaus Institut...

Green Deal fund closes under a dark cloud: - Since its introduction in June 2014, The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) has been beset with difficulties for all of those concerned. Most recently, Green Deal providers, installers and homeowners all have varied concerns and queries relating to the fund's premature closure. Government ministers, trade associations and others are all criticising the various parties involved -the blame game has begun. Mike George discusses recent events relating to what is clearly the biggest component part of the fund - external wall installations (EWI).

Fixing fuel poverty – is there a healthier way? - Winter is here and, with it, another season of misery for many, living in inefficient homes that they can’t afford to keep warm and healthy. The Green Deal (as predicted in these pages a couple of years ago) was never going to deliver affordable warmth to low income households; and while the targeting of the ECO (energy company obligations) has been swung around so a higher proportion is directed to the most vulnerable, the overall level of activity has also been cranked right back. Kate de Selincourt hunts for a warm glow somewhere on the horizon...

London’s first co-housing project? - Henley Halebrown Rorrison Architects (HHbR) has completed 1-6 Copper Lane, thought to be London’s first co-housing development. Located in Stoke Newington, in North London, the project consists of six homes and shows how architecture can respond to a new social need that has arisen through changes in both lifestyles and economics. City dwellers, especially in London, are looking at alternative forms and arrangements of housing to make home ownership more affordable, as well as shaping more convivial and sustainable neighbourhoods...

The Green Deal part 2 - Part 1 of the Somerset Road case study (Green Building, Vol 24, No 1) looked at the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) and its intricacies in great detail. Since then, GDHIF has closed prematurely and at the time of writing, the external wall insulation (EWI) works on this project are part completed. In this, the second of the series, the author and building owner, Mike George, offers an opinion of best practice on what are perhaps the most important aspects of EWI works – survey and enablement ...

Oak trees, carpentry traditions and timber conversion - The potential inter-relationship between the two main species of oak and the carpentry traditions of timber-frame buildings within the British Isles is facinating. It is suggested that natural distributions pre-date the development of carpentry traditions and that subsequent woodland management and the ability to convert timber using water power might have perpetuated the distribution until relatively recent times. In addition a suggestion is made that there may also be a link between cruck frames and the development of the technology to produce appropriate sash-mounted saws and the ability to harness waterpower. Charles Hippisley-Cox reports...

Warm Up Bristol - By just about any measure, the Green Deal has not been a success. Even the launch of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund in June 20141, heralded as a much needed boost to the scheme, ended abruptly in July 2014 after £70 million of funding was claimed in just three days...

AECB Silver standard retrofit in Clapham - Most of us will be familiar with schemes that aim to improve an existing building’s long term carbon footprint. Often they can be fairly unsexy, unimaginative and a little clunky. A listed building poses even greater challenges to the retrofitter: orientation dependent solutions may not be achievable, historic details and materials need to be respected, the local authority will have an opinion which adds risks and unknowns to design initiatives, and so on. Claire Truman reports from a tour of an 'AECB Silver standard' property in Clapham, London...

AECB local groups
Product news
Insiders - reports from around the industry

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The Green Building Bible 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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