Greenconstructionuk's Blog

Houses made from recycled plastic bottles
21/06/2014, 9:00 pm
Filed under: Green Build

From Green Diary – Green Revolution Guide by Dr Prem


Earth Sheltered Homes
21/06/2014, 6:48 am
Filed under: Green Build

An interesting site here Earth Sheltered Homes

“Another type of building is emerging: one that actually heals the scars of its own construction. It conserves rainwater and fuel and it provides a habitat for creatures other than the human one. Maybe it will catch on, maybe it won’t. We’ll see.” – Malcolm Wells, 2002.

“The earth sheltered house uses the ground as insulating blanket which effectively protects it from temperature extremes, wind, rain and extreme weather events. An earth sheltered home is energy-efficient, quiet, freeze-proof and low maintenance. Aesthetically an earth sheltered home blends in with the natural environment, leaving more yard space and more space for wildlife.”

“Fifteen feet below ground the soil maintains a fairly constant temperature equal to the annual average temperature of the area’s surface air. If the average temperature in your area is 55, that means the soil temperature at 15 feet is 55 degrees and in the winter you will only have to bring the temperature inside your earth sheltered home up thirteen degrees, to bring it up to a comfortable 68 degrees. Versus bringing up the inside temperature 68 degrees, if your home is above ground and the outside windchill is 0. In the summer, that 55 degree soil will also keep your home much cooler than an above ground home. Many earth homes incorporate passive solar designs lessening even further the need for fuel for heating or cooling.”


Roundhouse In Wales
20/06/2014, 3:44 pm
Filed under: Green Build

This Roundhouse was built without planning permission. It does seem a good example of sustainable development, and I hope it gets permission retrospectively.

Some links:
Hobbit House': Global support grows for eco-home threatened with demolition – Wales Online

Charlie’s House


Loft Walls
26/01/2014, 8:32 pm
Filed under: Green Build

I made a hole in the wooden walls in the loft and can see some insulation on the other side. Its a bit uneven.

The mystery remains, what are they for? They must have been relatively expensive and difficult to build. I can’t see that they serve any purpose. The loft is too low to be converted to an upper floor. Perhaps it prevents squirrels or pigeons entering the loft, but why have a wall in two layers?

Loft Insulated
17/01/2014, 5:14 pm
Filed under: Green Build

As mentioned in the previous post, I’ve used these industrial sheets of roof insulation in my loft. They were from an over order on a building site so are already reused .

I still have to get behind the strange side walls. I suspect there’s not much insulation. They are made of surprisingly thick sheets of wood.

New House In Woodley
05/01/2014, 7:07 pm
Filed under: Green Build

I moved house 3 weeks ago, so once again I’m busy making it greener. It’s an end of terrace in Woodley, Reading.

A bit smaller than the last house, but very near my children’s nursery and primary school, so that’s another challenge.

Starting at the loft, I put some insulated boards down on top of the normal fleece. This makes storage space and improves insulation. One odd feature, there are wooden walls on the sides of the loft, and I can’t see how much insulation is behind them. I need to drill some holes in this to find out. More on this in a future post.

The front door is in what seems an extension, in a small room. It’s always cold in there and I noticed the wall that has the door is very thin and cold. I didn’t want to put in big insulation boards in this small room so I experimented with a metallic looking sheet I found in a DIY shop (B&Q).

I had to cut holes in it for the post box, and used matching silver duct tape I happened to have handy. It seems to have worked perfectly so far.



Water Leak Shame
25/12/2013, 11:54 pm
Filed under: Green Build

With most bills I am used to checking that everything is ok, but I’m used to water being fairly stable. Recently becoming a family with 2 small children I did expect an increase in usage. I did not expect it to jump from £39 a month to £133 though.

The shame is this happened last year, it took that long for me to notice! Oops.

I called Thames Water and they said it was based on water meter readings. When I bought the house four years ago I had no idea there was a water meter. I had a look in the pavement and there it was, spinning away. I shut the stop cock and it was still going, so there was a leak outside the house.

Fortunately Thames Water said that even if it was on my property they would fix the leak. Eventually a team came and dug up the garden, and finally fixed it.

Initially they told me the would pay back the thousand pounds I have overpaid in the last year. Then they said they would not take any payments while it was being fixed. At the start of the month I got charged £133 as usual. I then got two letters in two days saying they would charge me £117 then £63 a month.

I had two months of paying £63 then they gave me back nearly £1800 ! Wow.

They said it had been leaking for years.


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