Got a conversion to do? Building project? Got questions? Need Answers? Offering a product or service? Visit our forum...

My Barn Conversion

Login

canadian pharmacy
About | Shop | Privacy | Forum | Gallery | Contact Us

Logs

Category: Books October 8th, 2009 by mbc

I’ve really enjoyed Roger Deakin’s ‘Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees’, the book takes you on a gentle journey, part biography, part manifesto, part travelogue.

As I expect to be spending substantial amounts of time sourcing, collecting, cutting, splitting and stacking logs to keep us warm over the winter, one particular quote struck me as good advice – advice that I’ll try to apply whenever I get around to building that wood store …

…a mosaic of cut log ends that wall the whole of the south-facing end. The summer sun will dry out the end grain, drawing out the sap until the wood is pure energy for the fire.

Anthony Watts’ recent comment on external insulation on my Insulation post (damn, I’ve still not finished that series of posts!) also reminded me of other passages in the same book, where when travelling through eastern Europe, Roger saw houses with great stacks of logs against the house walls, drying whilst improving insulation. Perhaps not a whole solution but potentially a partial, practical, low cost (assuming Anthony burns wood) one.

Posted in Books | No Comments » « Leave Yours
Tags: , , , ,

No Batteries Required…

Category: News August 17th, 2008 by mbc

In one hour, enough sunlight strikes the Earth to provide the entire planet’s energy needs for one year.

One of the major challenges in micro-electricity generation, especially off-grid, is the need for a storage medium to provide electricity when demand is greater than supply or when supply of the generating medium (sunlight, wind, water etc.) is limited (such as overnight, on calm days or during dry periods). The traditional solution, is storage in batteries – an expensive, bulky and potentially polluting solution. However, this could all be a thing of the past as researchers, Daniel Nocera and Matthew Kanan working at MIT have developed a new method for storing energy that requires only commonly found, non-toxic natural materials.

Inspired by the photosynthesis performed by plants … [the researchers] have developed an unprecedented process that will allow the sun’s energy to be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases. Later, the oxygen and hydrogen may be recombined inside a fuel cell, creating carbon-free electricity to power your house or your electric car, day or night.

More engineering work needs to be done to integrate the new scientific discovery into existing photovoltaic systems … such systems will become a reality.

Exciting stuff … I’d love to see practical and affordable home electricity generation options on the market so will watch this one with interest.

All quotations from:

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/oxygen-0731.html

Posted in News | No Comments » « Leave Yours
Tags:

Green = Mean ?

Category: Barn Conversion Journal November 12th, 2007 by mbc

I’ve spent the day practicing my version of precision carpentry cladding openings of my big metal shed. My approach to carpentry is based on one of the many mantra’s of someone of great wisdom who used to work with my father and brother:
wood cladding

Measure twice, cut once.

I have finely tuned this to:

Measure once, cut once. (It’ll be OK)

Thus saving a third of the time that would otherwise be spent ;)

Whilst hacking away roughly at the wood I’ve reused from the animal stalls in the barn I got to thinking about the wisdom of what I was doing. Rather than buying new wood I’ve reused some old hardwood and in so doing perhaps doubled the amount of work I need to do. I have to select the sound planks, ensure they still have tongue and groove intact then remove the old rusty nails. Once prepared I can cut to size and nail in place. So I’ve saved money and done my green duty both of which I’ve paid for with time. In these time poor days I have to ask myself is that a cost in time that I can afford to pay?

But, thinking further on this green duty (this was pretty dull work) it became clear to me that one of the major influences on me when I take green action is my innate meanness (some may call it thrift). So yes, to me:

Green = Mean

Posted in Barn Conversion Journal | No Comments » « Leave Yours
Tags: ,

The Great Outdoors

Category: Barn Conversion Journal March 21st, 2007 by mbc

That’s what’s great about the outdoors you know, it’s like one giant toilet.

Jeff Goldblum, The Big Chill, 1983.

…dedicated to Cheryl, she knows why.

Posted in Barn Conversion Journal | No Comments » « Leave Yours
Tags:

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…