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re: building an eco house in the uk?
1 sep 2000
news  wrote:

>some advise on building in the uk...
>1)  superinsulate the house.  this will save a ton of heating money and
>energy with the house looking like any other...

it might be smaller, with fewer windows. arithmetic indicates that if
it's only heated by a few people and their compact fluorescent lights,
it will be more like a sleeping bag than a house. 

>superinsulated houses cost little, or nothing, over non-superinsulated
>to build. 

especially if they are a lot smaller, with fewer windows.

>it eliminates a heating system, with only a backup required.

what's the difference between a heating system and "a backup"?

>2)  make the house timber framed (can be clad in brick), using 300mm tji "i"
>beams as studs and as floor joists and roof rafters.  these can reach spans
>of near 40 foot, so only the outer walls need expensive deep foundations...

i wonder if any uk houses have "frost protected warm foundations," a newish
technique that puts the foundations over (vs in) ground that never freezes
because it is horizontally insulated from the outdoors... 

>the deep 300mm void can be packed with insulation (breathing wall)...

this sounds different from scandinavian "breathing walls" and ceilings
with slowly-moving wavefronts of air flowing into the house to make the
r-values infinite. any of those in the uk?

>8)  use air-locks (porches) on all external doors.

not worth the energy saved, unless you live in a department store.

>the above points are the "basics".  if you follow them you will construct
>a cost effective house to build and virtually nothing to run...

ah, "virtually nothing." the hand-waving begins...

>here is the section from the web site on a superinsulated house in
>lower watts house - a 'super-insulated' house in traditional masonry
>construction has demonstrated scandinavian insulation and airtightness
>levels, but using conventional uk building methods... [with] efficient
>lighting and appliances, total energy use is reduced to just 22 per cent
>of normal, and energy costs to 35 per cent of normal...

"virtually nothing"?

>also in scotland:
>architect builds affordable zero heating house
>architect gokay deveci has build an affordable rural home in scotland that
>needs no heating.  the building, near aberdeen, was designed to be heated
>solely by the occupants' body heat and electrical equipment.

"pay no attention to the lead smelter in the basement."

>they have used a small wood burner occasionally, but only for a maximum of
>half-an-hour on any day, he said...

uh huh...


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