Recent feedback from the AECB conference in July was ‘best ever’ Was it quality of workshops, gathering of people, or the sunshine and tranquil green place? - probably all three. Practical workshop on airtightness was really appreciated as well as all the other varied sessions - I especially enjoyed hearing about growing timber to build with and the 'hutting' movement in NE Scotland, and as always, the talking! I can’t convey the noise level at dinner in this photo.
3 projects in Open House this year, 140 people came to visit Bateman Mews, the timber frame and shingle clad backwoods houses in Clapham. ATA and Metropolitan Housing Partnership (client) representatives didn’t pause all afternoon, and to the kind people at no 5 who welcomed visitors in, thank you!
At the Ecohub in Lordship park, the Hub was open as part of the community festival in Lordship Rec where well over 1,000 people came along: -
'On Saturday September 20th there was a lovely village atmosphere as crowds turned out to enjoy and join in a range of exciting, enthralling, informative, lively, fun and empowering community activities in various parts of the Rec. This year's event - on World Parks Day 2014 - was once again organised by and for local people. It showcased the talent in Tottenham, and the efforts and determination of so many groups to promote community spirit, initiative and empowerment’.
Many came to the Hub and everyone is so pleased it is finally open. The Friends of Lordship Rec have formed a co-op to manage the building, with cafe and community room in daily use. A mystery donor made the final donation which secured the building’s future. Drop in anytime Hub Cafe open daily 12 - 6pm. http://lordshiprec.org.uk/
At the straw house in Norfolk, local people came along to see what progress we had made since last summer’s buzz of strawbaling, and we were pleased they thought we’d done lots. Several people commented on the light and soft feel inside from the wood and clay and straw, but my best quote came from a 9 year old who wrote ‘amazing :) this is a house of marvles!!! I would definetly want to live in a house like this, who wouldn’t?
We’ve moved in although loads more to do, lots of people have joined in the building work inside, and special thanks to Kaspar for plumbing and solar thermal and to Akwele for all the painting. Hot baths and clean painted rooms make all the ongoing work enjoyable. A recent piece of work was the pergola for the solar panels, just ready now (at summer’s end) to be connected up. The timberwork also acts as gutter, with a triangular fillet and bitumen paint, although no down pipe yet.
Passivhaus Conference is on October 16th at Stevenage, with great speakers Sebastian Moreno-Vacca from Brussels and Jessica Grove-Smith from the Passivhaus Insitut in Germany, and what looks to be an excellent technical workshop on the 15th, hope to see you there!
Scaffolding finally came down 11th December revealing the duvet-like lime rendered straw bale walls, stainless steel cills span the depth of the bales and render, and straight lines of stainless steel cills contrast with wavy wall. Lots of pics below:
The 4th UK Passivhaus conference on tuesday at Milton Keynes, fantastic range of speakers and wonderfully knowledgable gathering of people in audience and up at the front! Nervous moments for me doing the welcome speech, but soon forgotten in the sheer pleasure of hearing about so much which has happened since last year. I loved hearing Dieter Hertz describing the full range of buildings they are working on, the beautiful museum in Ravensburg, the proposed lawcourts in Bavaria. I enjoyed Fionn Stevenson's reminder of the importance of robust design, and her focus on people as they are in all their complexity is dead right in my view (praps she'll come round to PH in the end...). It was also great to hear Justin Bere and Marion Baeli giving really detailed feedback on specific projects, and I was sorry to miss all the talks going on in the other room.
I was pleased that we asked the final panel what they had liked most, Thomas O'Leary had inspired all, and training must now be a big focus for PHT
Finally the most welcome visitor of all - Passivhaus baby Amy - when I looked up from my seat on the platform and saw her sitting in the front row I knew Passivhaus has a great future! Fran Bradshaw
Marion Baeli with Amy and Andy Simmonds AECB chief executive
the air test with Paul Jennings, on completion of external render with windows
and doors fitted and sealed. We were pleased/ relieved to get under 1 air
change an hour. We did some obvious leaks and got about 0.9, now only obvious
one is a door which needs adjusting, Paul thinks we must be looking at
disaggregated leakage through the straw and through the roof. So would expect
to improve as clay work and warmcell and finishing goes on.
explain, as people have asked me why we are going for airtight layer on the
outside, that using the inside plaster layer would have been really hard to
achieve, because of the primary frame, especially the long horizontal beams.
We're hoping to get the internal plaster down behind it to cover the straw, but
achieving a good airtight surface is unlikely. Also there would be a lot
of internal penetrations and with big timber sections with shakes, you can't
really guarantee an airtight seal. The problem with airtight layer outside is that moisture from inside could condense in the straw where the air leakage points are, like at eaves for instance. We think that because the whole construction, walls and roof, is moisture permeable all the way thru, this shouldn't be a problem, and the MVHR will also reduce moisture in the internal environment. But we have fitted the AECB Hygrotrac monitors in the straw so that we can properly observe the performance, and will be using an Intello membrane internally in the bathroom ceiling. Before that we were finishing the strawbale work. The compression of each section took the longest time, but it is so impressive how firm the straw walls are when compressed. Paul did an airtest for Strawworks, before the render started, to see how the straw was performing. It wasn't the figure results which told us anything, as the plastered tapes at eaves and around windows and doors were not in place, but following the smoke, showed how dense and airtight the straw is when it is well compacted.
getting clay plaster in under beams inside
rendering ready for metal cill
first floor strawbale work complete and windows in
compact foam ready to be placed below cill of door
compression tape after it has expanded
The windows are from Optiwin, which is a German group of small window manufacturers, this one in Bavaria, they were certified at the 2013 International Passivhaus conference, and are very deep timber sections of 150mm, 5 layers but all timber, with larch to outside face. They are installed with 100mm illmod compression tape, which provides some insulation value to the tolerance gap. Then woodfibre board is fitted externally over the frame before rendering with Contega tape to window frame.
Contega tape to reveal
contega tape to base of straw - joint with foamglas
sedge for the ridge
finishing the straw
first coat render
The render is now finished and we will be able to take the scaffolding down soon - the building has looked like a wrapped up Christo sculpture for long enough!
afternoon in the village brought about 50 visitors at the end of September, an
AECB east anglia group visit brought our most well informed visitors of course!
and last weekend the local history group visited, now we are looking forward to