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Eco House essentials

I was recently asked a few questions about the eco house that we've nearly finished building in St Davids, and it made sense to post the answers for others to share ( thanks David for the Qs)

1 Who did supply your windows. WeRationel from Sweden for the majority  - they're argon filled double glazed units , with a  protective sheath of anodized alumuminum which means that they should never need painting. We'll see about that, but for now, they're very warm and strong.

2 Was there any particular type of insulating material and draught proofer, particularly at window reveals. We used a combination of standard Cellotex and Kingspan insulation, with an extra layer of Rockwool, though if we were doing it again, I think I'd use sheep's wool. We used a combination of mastic and foam to seal the windows

3 Your comment on the ground source heat pump has thrown me as we have only seen one in operation which was praised by the owners.  it threw me too. Wood peller seems a better bet as it uses less electricity - I think that we're going to try gravity feed for our system if we can, so that we can stay warm when the electricity is off...

4 You also referred to COP, this is an expression with which I am not familiar.  Coefficient of Performance - it describes the units of heat you get out for every one that you put in. Our engineer, Paul Bullock from Bullock Consulting, reckons that it's unusual get a COP of more than 2.5.

5 What sort of heating/cooling system did you incorporate. We haven't experienced a winter here yet, but on the cold days in March, an hour of wood burner seems to have done the trick for a whole evening of warmth, and the more friends around, the warmer it gets.

6 If you have any further practical advice notes? Ask people who have done it, and go beyond the usual suspects. Engineers, artists, wood workers all have some good ideas to offer. Keel an eye on Ty unnos from Wales for good ideas.

Reader Comments (1)

Sustainability may be defined as meeting the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Green building does not specifically address the issue of the retrofitting existing homes.

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterschool architects

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