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Green Deal slow beginnings?

Category: News September 20th, 2013 by mbc

Oh dear! The green deal hasn’t got off to a very auspicious start…

As reported in the Telegraph today since it was launched nearly a year ago just 12 homes have taken advantage of the Green Deal with a few hundred more in the pipeline.

71,210 households had been assessed for Green Deal measures such as solar panels and insulation at the end of August … But only 677 households have gone to the next stage and said they would like to proceed with the scheme. Of these, 12 houses have had measures installed, while 293 properties had quotes accepted on work and 372 properties had installations “pending”.

It was always easy to predict that it may well have been so.

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Energy policy, smoke screens, fracking, confusion and big bucks

Category: News December 14th, 2012 by mbc

There seems to be only one thing that is certain in the world of energy policy and that is that costs will rise annually above and beyond anything that inflation can currently throw at us. Beyond that, smoke screens & confusion seem to reign. Take the recent news for example…

It’s reported today that the governments current favoured gas powered path to the future will actually cost us more than greener alternatives. According to the Guardian reporting today on findings of the Committee on Climate Change (one of the governments own advisory bodies) “Household energy bills will be about £600 higher per year in the coming decades if the UK relies increasingly on gas“. This in comparison to “bills would only be £100 higher than today’s average dual fuel bill of about £1,300, if the country concentrated on renewable power generation, such as wind power.“. Hhmmmm, something doesn’t add up.

What makes us think that gas can sustain us into the future? Well that brings us to fracking. Fracking is currently an emotive subject, with a recent governmental green light to allow further exploration following a couple of earth-quakes caused by its exploratory application in the north of England, what exactly does it mean? Well it relates to the technique of liberating flammable gases from inshore rock using water pumped under high pressure. The Department for the Environment and Climate Change website has some interesting further reading for the interested. In short, we’re not sure how much gas fracking may yield, so to base an energy policy on it is somewhat hopeful.

Seems to me energy self-sufficiency is the only path we have to any kind of individual certainty.

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What is SAP?

Category: Useful Information July 9th, 2012 by mbc

What is SAP and what are SAP calculations?

SAP 2005 (Standard Assessment Procedure for The Energy Rating of Dwellings) is the approved tool for the calculation of the energy performance of buildings.

SAP is the Government’s Standard Assessment Procedure for Energy Rating of Dwellings. SAP 2005 is adopted by government as part of the UK national methodology for calculation of the energy performance of buildings. It is used to demonstrate compliance with building regulations for dwellings – Part L (England and Wales), Section 6 (Scotland) and Part F (Northern Ireland) – and to provide energy ratings for dwellings.

from http://projects.bre.co.uk/sap2005/

It is important to note the link to Part L (Conservation of fuel and power) of building regulations. The SAP rating of a building is an indication of its compliance with building reg’s & its performance in relation to conserving fuel and power. You’ll require a SAP rating as a one of the inputs to the Energy Performance Certificate that you’ll need as a part of the completion sign-off of your building before you can sell or let the property.

A SAP rating is a number between 1 to 100 and the higher the score, the more energy efficient the property. The rating gives an indication of the likely running costs for space and water heating and the environmental impact of the property. The rating is adjusted by the size of the property to allow comparison of buildings with dissimilar floor areas.

Formulation of the rating is based on assessment of relevant criteria such as insulation, heating systems, ventilation, solar gain and the fuel used for space and water heating.

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Progress

Autumn 2013

Right that’s the summer over with, now I can get on with some real work without the distractions of other things (like holidays and playing with children, all that enjoyable stuff that gets in the way of progress)… With few major jobs (painting, boxing in – nasty stuff!) left inside, mainly fiddly things that need […]

I’m having a moan on twitter… https://twitter.com/barnconversion/status/368427314868396032

A lovely Flemish barn conversion

I love the interior of this conversion and the great use of horizontal slats on this conversion. I retains the essential ‘barnyness’ of the building… flemish-barn-by-arend-groenewegen-architect

Coming soon, my barn conversion guide… Interesting earthship greenhouse project on Kickstarter

I really like this Kickstarter project >> The Farm of the Future: Earthship-Inspired Greenhouse This project is “Prototyping the First 100% Off-The-Grid, Affordable, Low-Maintenance Greenhouse using Earthship Principles and Aquaponics“. If any of those words meaning anything to you you’ll be interested in the project if not, pass it by… It’s already funded so I […]

Barns

Barns Gallery on Remodelista

There is a lovely gallery of barn related inspirational photographs available on Remodelista.

Barns – the Long House

Situated on the North Norfolk coast, this is a building to admire…

Barns – the Balancing Barn

A stunning piece of architecture, although not entirely to my taste…

New fast-track planning permission for the development of barns proposed

The Daily Mail reports on a new fast-track route through planning controls for the conversion of barns…

De-assembled, re-assembled, re-cycled barns

“A bit like a private sector, modernising, repurposing St Fagan’s…”

Design

What is a shadow gap?

A shadow gap – a mysterious dark place between two plains…

Your barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Thoughts on making YOUR barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Building Regulations, Approved Documents Part D – Toxic substances

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents Part D – Toxic substances

Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture

Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part B Fire safety

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part B Fire safety

Architecture

Your barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Thoughts on making YOUR barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

The Stirling prize 2012 winner – the Sainsbury Laboratory

The 2012 Stirling prize was won by a outsider, the Sainsbury Laboratory…

The Stirling prize 2012

I think that this years Stirling prize has some exciting projects on the shortlist…

Our engineers … our architects – Le Corbusier

The efficient, shiny world of construction in 1923…

Design in Storage

When designing a layout it’s easy to forget to plan for storage…

News

Green Deal slow beginnings?

Oh dear! The green deal hasn’t got off to a very auspicious start… As reported in the Telegraph today since it was launched nearly a year ago just 12 homes have taken advantage of the Green Deal with a few hundred more in the pipeline. 71,210 households had been assessed for Green Deal measures such […]

The property roller coaster – planning reform to be rethought

Eric Pickles vague compromise on planning reform keeps the house happy (for now).

Energy policy, smoke screens, fracking, confusion and big bucks

There seems to be only one thing that is certain in the world of energy policy and that is that costs will rise annually above and beyond anything that inflation can currently throw at us. Beyond that, smoke screens & confusion seem to reign. Take the recent news for example… It’s reported today that the […]

Flanking manoeuvres and good design…

It seems that the government are undertaking flanking manoeuvres on the green belt…

Green Deal Launch

The Green deal launched in the UK on Monday of this week. Fanfares? fireworks? a deluge of marketing? … read more …

Plaid Cymru’s Green New Deal promise

The leader of Plaid Cymru has promised a “Green New Deal” to rejuvenate the Welsh economy and help maintain Wales’ position at the forefront of Green policies.

Permitted development extension limits to be doubled

The government is due to announce a temporary increase in the maximum depth of extensions that can be built under permitted development rules.

Lloyd Khan, making shelter simple.

I wanted to share an interview with Lloyd Khan that I recently found…

Just what is ‘sustainable development’?

Sustainable development – with the term now enshrined in planning law, what does it mean?

Sir Patrick Abercrombie – “It is a matter for serious thought…”

While reading up on the response of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) I came across this quote from Sir Patrick Abercrombie…