Wednesday 29 February 2012

The rest of the resilient bars

We though the hall was a good a place as any to start, the main runs were quick to put up.  We need to put resilient bar noggins where the ceiling boards will end.  We will come back and do this at the end.

Sunday 26 February 2012

Followed by the ceiling board

Followed by the ceiling board.

The first room to be done is the downstairs WC (it was the smallest room to try it out!).  It went well!  We now start putting up the resilient bars on the rest of the GF ceiling.

We also put up the concealed cistern while we were working in the WC and the plywood above, which we will fix the mirror to.

Saturday 25 February 2012

Starting to put up the resilient bars

We are installing resilient bars on the ground floor ceiling.  These will provide an acoustic break between the ground and first floor.  Essentially they will act as a spring and stop sound being transmitted through the floor.  We will combine this with some fibrous insulation within the floor joists.

The first bar being installed!

Thursday 23 February 2012

Starting work in the plant room

Starting the pipework from the 400m ground loop...

...into the heat pump.

And linking everything together.  It all looks very complicated!

The solar thermal installation.  This should give us lots of free hot water!

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Electrical first fix

The back boxes and cables are fitted, which means we will soon be able to cover in the walls and get some plaster up!

Sunday 19 February 2012

Insulating the internal walls

We want to insulate the internal studwork walls to stop sound from travelling between the rooms and we had bought some Isonat insulation to try out.  It is made of a mix of wood fibre and hemp and is very dense about 50kg/m3.  It comes in batts which are 1200 x 370mm so it is easy to install within studwork at 400centres.

We installed the small quantity we had ordered and then tried to order enough to finish, but were advised that the product is made in France and that they were pulling out of the UK market.  We have two alternative products that we are looking at.

One is a this new product from Black Mountain Insulation, called Black Mountain Flex.  It is also a mix of hemp and wood fibre and I believe has a density of about 40kg/m3.

The other is warmcel, recycled newspaper which is blown in once the plaster board or what ever plaster substrate is being used, is fitted to one side of the wall.  Open blown has a density of about 30-35kg/m3.  The advantage of blowing the warmcel is that where we have cables and pipes concealed within the wall the warmcel will surround them.  If we were to use an insulation batt like the hemp and wood fibre then we would need to cut the insulation around the cables which would be tricky in places.

Sunday 12 February 2012

Sockets in the straw walls

Where possible we have tried to keep the sockets and switches off the straw walls as these are easier to install in the internal studwork walls.  Some are unavoidable however, and we have run the cable down the straw wall in a conduit which will be covered with hessian / jute and plastered into the wall.  The ply patch to fix the back box onto has been secured in the wall using hazel stakes (as we did with the concealed cistern in the ensuite).

Sunday 5 February 2012

Snow arrives!

Straw house with the bungalow behind - this will be demolished once the new house is complete.

Friday 3 February 2012

Sealing around the chimney

Where the chimney passes through the roof, all combustible materials needs to be kept a minimum of 50mm away.  To create an airtight seal non combustible insulation was put around the chimney above the air barrier, then we scribed the shape of the chimney out of aluminium.  We sealed this to the airbarrier with airtightness tape.  We sealed between the aluminium and the chimney with intumescent mastic.

The twin walled chimney we are using is classified as being allowed to be fully insulated when passing through the floor/roof zone.  Some chimneys need to maintain a free airflow around them all the way along them including when passing through floor/roof, so we would not have been able to have insulated above it if this had been the case.  When we enclose the lower part of the chimney within the wardrobe space, we will need to ensure that we allow sufficient vents to allow air flow around the rest of the chimney to dissipate any heat.

Thursday 2 February 2012

First fix

Most of the pipework is now in for the hot and cold water supplies to the bathrooms, kitchen and utility room.  Only a few odds and ends to finish off before we can cover in the walls, floors and ceilings ready to plaster.