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Building Progress ~ July 2012

Category: Barn Conversion Journal August 2nd, 2012 by mbc


Painting of the internal door frames is now complete. Undercoat plus three coats of eggshell and I’m happy with the finish. I’ve removed all the masking tape I used and sanded down the doors where a little wayward paint had landed, so job well and truly done and dusted.

The utility room, the last room to be decorated, has now overtaken most of the rest of the barn in its level of completeness. Having been painted last month, I then installed skirting boards and have started installing shelving, using wood reclaimed from the animal stalls that once occupied the part of the barn where the kitchen is now.

I started work on a large high-level shelf that will run at the same height as the top of the wall cupboards in the kitchen and help tidy up the slightly off centre vent pipe for the kitchen extractor fan and provide some more much needed storage.

I’ve managed to sort out my EPC for the barn and the ‘HETAS certificate of compliance‘ that is needed for the stove and flue installation, so it’s been a hot month for documentation!

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Getting an Energy Performance Certificate… #1

Category: Barn Conversion Journal May 29th, 2012 by mbc

Time to get my finger out and get an Energy Performance Certificate for the barn sorted out.

After some hunting, rechecking an old forum post that I made a while ago and an email to an assessor, I established that I need an “On Construction” EPC.

I refuse to use one of the national companies that come up on a Goggle search. I mean the ones that attempt to appear to be local – type ‘EPC <your town>’ into a Google search and you’ll see what I mean. Also, not all domestic energy assessors provide the “On Construction” version of the certificate as it requires the full version of the SAP software (thanks Clair A!). Therefore, I’m using the Landmark website, with a search for ‘SAP Energy Performance Certificate’ (which I’m guessing is correct) to find an assessor locally.

There seem to be several options, so, emails sent, let’s see how we get on…

[Updates]
30th May, Do I need a ‘air permeability test’ or not? The jury is still out…

1st June, the air permeability test can be a good way to boost and overall poor SAP score … so hopefully I don’t need one…

3rd July, Transitional arrangements
Gosh, I’m letting this drag on … I don’t need the permeability test as I should be able to conform to the previous reg’s rather than the current ones as “work on site commenced prior to 1 October 2010″ >> http://www.nhbc.co.uk/NHBCPublications/LiteratureLibrary/Technical/TechnicalExtra/filedownload,44601,en.pdf

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Energy Performance Certificate – EPC

Category: Essential information February 14th, 2011 by mbc

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a piece of certification that has come along since I’ve started this project and is now a compulsory piece of paper required by building control as a part of the completion process. The requirement for an EPC came into effect from the 6th of April 2008, with the implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2002.

Why do I need one?

From October 2008 EPCs will be required whenever a building is built, sold or rented out.

So what is an EPC?

The EPC is part of a series of measures being introduced across Europe to reflect legislation which will help cut buildings’ carbon emissions and tackle climate change.

The certificate provides ‘A’ to ‘G’ ratings for the building, with ‘A’ being the most energy efficient and ‘G’ being the least, with the average up to now being ‘D’.

Accredited energy assessors produce EPCs alongside an associated report which suggests improvements to make a building more energy efficient.

Note the final point from that quote – you’ll need a accredited energy assessor to produce your EPC for you. Depending on the type of EPC, they’ll carryout a survey of the building, need copies of your plans and then plug some statistics into some software and provide you with a certificate.

For a conversion or new build an On Construction SAP EPC is required and for existing dwellings a RdSAP (reduced data SAP) EPC is required when the dwelling is sold or rented out. Both utilise similar calculations with data for the RdSAP calculation being gathered during a short site visit, whilst the SAP EPC can be derived mainly from the plans.

Frustratingly, although the EPC is a kind of SAP-lite you may find, as I have, that whoever did the SAP calculations for your planning application won’t be able to provide your EPC as it’s not financially worth their while. To become an EPC accredited energy assessor and then remain one is an expensive exercise. Combining that with a relatively low charge for an EPC means that this is a high volume business – one that is not suited to many traditional planners, designers or technicians.

The resultant certificate will look something like this example from the communities.gov.uk website.

An EPC lasts for ten years before needing to be renewed.

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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…