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Build in Technology

Category: Conversion Design Advice August 23rd, 2010 by mbc

Whatever the original structure, a conversion means major building work.

Take the opportunity to build in major renewable technologies – PV, solar hot water, rain-water harvesting head my list. Invest now for sustainability and low bills.

Snippets on MBC

Rather than my usual wordy ramblings I thought I’d challenge myself to come up with some short gems of (throw-away) advice on how I think you should go about a conversion… Snippets …this is one!

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Rainwater Harvesting ~ ‘If Only…’

Category: Barn Conversion Journal August 29th, 2008 by mbc

I’m not in the habit of giving advice (well at least not until recently), but the one regret that I have (well in addition to forgetting to put solar panels on the original plans) was that we didn’t go ahead and install rainwater harvesting.

I had a quote for a large tank and a variety of pumps, pipes and valves that came out at around £2000 including VAT. This was way back when we were drawing up plans and rainwater harvesting got lost amongst them and never became a firm inclusion. It was a £2000 that was easier not to spend at the time. Now, that two thousand will soon flow away through the water meter when greener more sustainable ‘free’ water could have been used instead. Additionally, the barn would have had a rainwater infrastructure that would have lasted for a lot longer.

There is a lesson here – I didn’t ensure that my original design and budgets allowed for all the technologically and economically sound options that I should have. I was blinkered by the basic needs of walls, floors, roof, windows and doors and therefore my initial plan lacked in detail … this lack of detail has a financial impact, both short-term (I had to apply for planning permission for my solar panels) and medium to long term (we will need to pay for water we wouldn’t have had to and any attempt to retro-fit rainwater harvesting will be messy and costly).

As always, the devil is in the detail.

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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

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Barns – the Balancing Barn

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

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

Design

What is a shadow gap?

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Building Regulations, Approved Documents Part D – Toxic substances

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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"

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Our engineers … our architects – Le Corbusier

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News

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The property roller coaster – planning reform to be rethought

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Green Deal Launch

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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’?

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