Greenconstructionuk's Blog


RIP Kim Waterhouse
16/02/2015, 3:05 pm
Filed under: Green Build

I met him during my MSc in Development Engineering and later with RedR. He was an inspiration.

Here is an EWB article on him.
http://www.ewb-uk.org/kimwaterhousememorandum

An engineer and later a director at Mott MacDonald, Kim became involved with RedR in the early 1980s and was instrumental in establishing their training scheme. Kim, together with his wife Beth, owned Clare Farm in Dullingham, outside Cambridge. They frequently put the farm at the disposal of RedR, and later EWB-UK, to run training in engineering in emergencies. Thousands of students and engineers have passed through this training, and have all been inspired by Kim’s incredible knowledge, ingenuity and ability.
Right at the inception of Engineers Without Borders UK, back in 2002, Kim and Beth, together with other volunteers from the RedR Cambridge branch, offered to run a course for EWB-UK. This course was the first of many, and they continued until the last course in 2013. It seemed every time we returned to Clare Farm, Kim had added another innovation or improvement to make the courses even better. On one course the classroom (otherwise known as the garage) was a little cold, so for the next one Kim added a brand new ceiling. Wonderful equipment and contraptions littered the farm, including a system of pipes, pulleys and ropes to demonstrate the workings of gravity fed water systems and a fully functioning slow sand filter. Kim taught essential basic skills and understanding to all those who took part in courses at Clare Farm, ranging from what the Smutzdecke layer is in a slow sand filter to how to build a shed in a few hours with sticks and ropes. Many of these were inspired to pursue a professional career in international development and relief, and are to this day applying what they learnt around the world.
Kim is fondly remembered by many from EWB-UK driving his 1930s tractor, which only he could operate, around the farm. We are deeply saddened that we won’t see him doing so again.



First Straw Bale House For Sale on the open market
09/02/2015, 7:35 am
Filed under: Green Build

Available in Bristol http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-31156579

IMG_4470



Check Your Roof Insulation
03/02/2015, 3:38 pm
Filed under: Green Build

IMG_4438When the snow settles we have a great chance to check how our roof insulation is doing.

In the picture taken this morning my house is the one on the left covered in snow. That means the insulation is doing at least as well as my neighbours. Some houses don’t have such good insulation and their snowless as the heat rises.



Safety Alert; don’t use socket covers
01/01/2015, 7:47 pm
Filed under: Green Build

The sockets are safe, covers make them less safe.

Some links below:
http://www.fatallyflawed.org.uk/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/5039454/Electrical-socket-safety-covers-are-absurd-and-dangerous-say-engineers.html

http://www.childalert.co.uk/article.php?articles_id=28

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a460/making-your-home-safe-for-your-baby



Multiplugs safety warning
24/12/2014, 6:58 pm
Filed under: Green Build

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/41f/6654861/files/2014/12/img_4062.pngthese old square plugs are no longer recommended. See http://docs.healthandsafetyhub.co.uk/GBM/Alerts/use-of-multi-plug-adaptors.pdf



Construction Workers Fear For Safety
23/12/2014, 5:55 pm
Filed under: Green Build

More than half of those polled by union UCATT were concerned that there had been no improvement in safety in the last year http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/builders-concerned-safety-many-believe-4868794#ICID=sharebar_twitter



A Cold Wall
17/12/2014, 11:02 am
Filed under: Green Build

I noticed it was quite cold sitting next to the window in the living room. Looking into it I noticed one part of the wall seemed much thinner than the rest, what a strange design. It’s a house built around 1963 as a council house, but the other walls seem fine.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/41f/6654861/files/2014/12/img_3982.jpg

As you can hopefully see in the picture I tried a 2mm roll of insulation that I happened to have around, just to see the difference. It’s not warmer than the other walls. Unbelievable how poorly built our houses are. And embarrassing it took a year to notice but who expects walls to be thin in places?

I noticed a neighbour putting a 75mm insulation board on his outside, he also had a thin wall. I may one day get around to doing that, but the main problem of a very cold wall seems solved, for very little cost or effort.




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