It was with some trepidation recently when Neil from the Severn Wye Energy Agency came round to assess The Secret Acre’s new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This was after all the independent validation of our smallholding’s whole eco-makeover!
But it didn’t really strike us until we moved in last month, that this is the first house either of us have ever lived in, that has been fitted out to the modern building regulation standards of energy efficiency introduced in the last decade. Continue reading
A mild panic is starting to set in. After getting watertight in July, August has seen the house suddenly starting to look like you could actually live in it again. So much so that in another few weeks we plan to move the rest of our stuff in. Have we even booked a van?!!
At least one thing has stayed the same, finishing as we started with our eco obsession with insulation. Our final lorry load of insulation in August was for the external solid wall insulation to be wrapped around the bungalow’s three remaining original white walls. Continue reading
After all that wattle and daub stuff, someone invented the brick wall. In the 1930s someone else invented the cavity wall, which trapped an insulating layer of air, but was still cold in winter. More recently someone realised injecting the air cavity with an insulating foam was even better.
In the last few years, about 30 year after the rest of Europe, the UK Government finally adopted building regulations to require proper home insulation in the first place! Continue reading
The timber frame extension shot up almost overnight, so now the whole building is in place just awaiting the windows to get us water tight. In the original part of the house the first fix has been done and the walls beautifully re-plastered. Continue reading
Like most eco-warriors I had the standard comprehensive list in my heart of eco-bling I wanted at The Secret Acre – PV, solar thermal, rainwater harvesting, green roof, etc.
So making it warm and properly insulated for the next 100 years has to come first, and then worry about the bling. And as with every retrofit, you have to work with the existing building you have to do what is possible, practical and appropriate. Continue reading
It seemed like everyone had it in for our Secret Acre’s 1930s bungalow. You’ll be knocking it down then was the default view of Estate Agents, Builders, other prospective buyers, and Architects – especially the Architects! No we bloody well won’t was our answer, muttering darkly under our breath about embodied carbon and the general un-green waste of replacing one set of perfectly good bricks with another set of slightly newer bricks. Continue reading