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Flue guard completed

Category: Barn Conversion Journal November 8th, 2012 by mbc

As I’ve previously mentioned, with the flue from the multi-fuel stove running through the second bedroom without being boxed in or otherwise closed off there was a need to provide a guard in order to conform with building regulations Document J section 1.45. The flue requires a long, tall, open-topped guard and with no suitable shop bought options and my internet searches yielding no made to measure options, do-it-yourself was the only option.


From Barn Conversion 2012

The guard is constructed from perforated steel sheets and aluminium bars, that have been cut to size with a combination of a hack saw and a disk cutter then stuck together with a resin ‘welding’ paste. It all sits on a wooden plinth.


From Barn Conversion 2012

One important addition was the sloping top that stops you from using the angles at the top of the guard as shelving or to hang discarded clothing from thereby introducing a fire risk (as was the tendency before the sloping top was added).

After hours of cutting, sticking, clamping and waiting – Done!

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Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part B Fire safety

Category: Essential information September 14th, 2012 by mbc

Part B is about ensuring that all new buildings are safe in the event of a fire.

As of the date of writing, Part B was last revised in 2010 as a result of the Building Regulations 2010.

Part B is split into two volumes. Volume 1 deals with dwelling houses and volume 2 with buildings other than dwelling houses.

The regulations provide guidance in areas such as fire safety in multi-storey buildings & domestic loft conversions, smoke and heat alarms, the use of door-closing devices and sprinklers, the materials used in the structure and the building methods employed.

Both volumes of the regulations contain the following requirements:

  • B1 Means of warning and escape
  • B2 Internal fire spread (linings)
  • B3 Internal fire spread (structure)
  • B4 External fire spread
  • B5 Access and facilities for the fire and rescue service

Pertinent to the barn are the requirements for escape from the upper storey. Specifically in the second bedroom, where I’ve had to change the window hinge (although I’m not sure where the need to open to 90 degrees comes from explicitly as I can’t find it in Part B) and install a radiator cover to provide a step-up to the window and a means of escape. For reference, a window suitable for egress from the building must be at least 0.33m2 and at least 450mm in height and width, the bottom of the openable area of the window must be not more than 1100mm above the floor.

Forthcoming Welsh sprinklers regulations
In Wales there is an additional future requirement in relation to fire safety just over the horizon. From September 2013, the Welsh Assembly government (WAG) intend to make the installation of water sprinkler systems compulsory in all new homes. They expect this to save 36 lives and prevent an estimated 800 injuries between 2013 and 2022.

The Assembly will proceed with the plans despite a report from the built environment research organisation BRE Global that estimated that the cost per life saved would be £6.7 million and concluded that “fitting sprinklers in all new residential buildings in Wales would not be cost effective“.

WAG Environment Minister John Griffiths said:

“We must seek to prevent avoidable death and injury from house fires and need to accept that there is a cost to introducing sprinklers into new properties.
These proposals are significant and important in taking forward fire safety.
Wales will be at the forefront of reducing fire risk and cutting the number of avoidable deaths and injuries caused by fires in residential premises.”

The Assembly is currently working on development of the new regulations that are necessary to introduce the new sprinkler law. These will be subject to public consultation.

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Flue Guard

Category: Barn Conversion Journal April 22nd, 2012 by mbc

As mentioned in previous progress reports, I’ve been working a fire-guard to go around the flue that runs through the second bedroom. The purpose of the guard is to stop anyone (small children) and anything (paper, clothing etc.) from accidentally coming into contact with the flue when a fire is burning and the flue is hot and thus getting burnt or setting alight. I couldn’t find an off-the-shelf (or hearth) solution that fit the bill so decided to make my own from perforated sheet metal, aluminium ‘L’ shaped strips and a wooden base. The parts are all attached together using a resin based ‘welding’ gel (two tubes of paste that you mix together, apply to the surfaces you want to join and allow to set) bought from eBay.

Hopefully it will also conform to building reg’s, the relevant regulation – Document J Building Regs 2010, section 1.45, (heavily edited) states:

‘where a chimney passes through a … storage space … providing a guard…’

From Barn Conversion 2012

It wasn’t a cheap solution, although I guess cheaper than the alternatives, each of the perforated sheets was over £40, but I think it does the job and looks acceptable.

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Internal flue

Category: Favourite Things February 16th, 2011 by mbc

Something I’m grateful to the planners for is the internal flue from the stove. If I’d had an option, without thinking, I’d probably have placed it outside running up the wall externally and in doing so lost an awful lot of heat. Instead, as required by the planners (my plans didn’t show where the flue ran and I was ‘informed’ that a reapplication for an external flue was likely to be rejected) it runs internally and keeps the bedroom (more of a store room at the moment) that it passes through lovely and warm with heat we’d otherwise have lost.

From Barn Conversion 2011

I was originally worried that it would be an eye-sore, but I quite like it – an industrial touch in a rural setting.

From Barn Conversion 2011

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the lost soul of the nation…

Category: Books January 19th, 2011 by mbc

In my slow, intermittent, literary stroll through Roger Deakin’s Notes from Walnut Tree Farm I stumbled across another quotation that I couldn’t help but agree with…

I really do want people to come home to a real fire. A nation without the flames of a fire in the hearth, and birds singing outside the open window, has lost its soul. To have an ancient carboniferous forest brought to life at the centre of your home, its flames budding and shooting up like young trees, is a work of magic.

Read more – Notes from Walnut Tree Farm on page 155.

While keeping a fire fuelled and clean can be time-consuming, dirty work (I would have said ‘expensive’ as well, but with energy costs as they currently are I’m not sure that applies any more) I think it’s worthwhile effort to bring some ‘soul’ into the home…

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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…