IN THIS ISSUE:
l SELF-BUILDS l RENOVATIONS l EXTENSIONS l CONVERSIONS August 17 Issue 37
Download the free app to your tablet or mobile. Search 'i-build'
WHICH TOOLS WILL YOU NEED TO COMPLETE YOUR SELF-BUILD?
mixed metallics to add a glimmering touch to your interior
INSURING A LISTED PROPERTY EXPLAINED
RENDER TIPS Self-build and renovation advice from industry professionals
TAKE IN THE VIEWS
A TOUCH OF CLASS
How one couple enhanced their view of the striking vistas surrounding their home
John Cullen Lighting sheds light on a funfilled lighting scheme for a London architect
Why opting for locallysourced stone will add character and charm to your self-build
l HEATING l HOME SPAS l LAWN CARE l TOOLS
Delivering British architecture with German technology Hanse Haus is a premium German supplier of turnkey, pre-manufactured ultra-high efficiency homes. Founded as a carpentry business in 1929, it now erects some 400 timber frame homes annually Europewide and has been active in the UK since 2006. To talk to us about your individual requirements, contact us using the details below. Hanse Haus Email firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone 0800 302 9220 www.hanse-haus.co.uk
Welcome to the August issue of i-build
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For many self-builders, plots of land are found
take in the surrounding scenic views on a daily
in the most unexpected of places; under an
basis without visual interruption. Surrounded
overgrown patch of wild brambles, in a family
by a one-acre garden, Lindsey and Greg opted
member’s back garden or, in the case of this
for an innovative balcony system that provides
month’s featured self-builder, in an overgrown
the couple with uninterrupted views of the
field housing three stone ruins amid untamed
landscape and their llama paddock.
undergrowth in the charming town of Penryn, Cornwall.
Elsewhere in this issue, John Cullen Lighting talks through a remarkable lighting project for an
Dating back to approximately 1841, these
architect’s fun-filled London-based home, Kensa
hidden gems were uncovered by Dan
demystifies ground source heat pumps and GRAF
Print Design Manager:
Thompson in a corner of his parents’ field, and
UK talks going off-mains.
he set his heart on living in the hillside expanse.
I hope you enjoy this issue. Don’t forget, if you’re coming to the end of your self-build and would like us to feature your home as inspiration for other budding house-builders, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. Alternatively, if you’re about to embark on your self-build journey and would be keen for us to document your progress, do get in contact.
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Longing for an organic palette of materials, Dan – who previously worked for the public body, English Heritage – turned to Truro-based architectural consultancy, Laurence Associates, to assist him with the design, build and planning of a sympathetic conversion to unite these three distinctive remains. To find out how Laurence Associates and Dan achieved
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firstname.lastname@example.org Pear Platt, Woodfalls Farm, Gravelly Way Laddingford, Kent, ME18 6DA T: 01622 873229 F: 01622 320020
a seamless link between these historic shells, turn to page 24.
Meanwhile, on page 18, Lindsey Russel talks i-build through her grand self-build project that
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enabled her and her husband, Greg Freiberg, to
Editor’s picks www.mixedmediainfo.com
ESSE unveils its stylish new flueless gas fire: See page 57, Wooden Windows talks through opting for wooden frames for your self-build: See page 54, 'what makes an eco-home?', Oliver Grimshaw of Hanse Haus elaborates: See page 50.
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Contributions are invited and when not accepted will be returned only if accompanied by a fully stamped and return addressed envelope. No responsibility will be taken for drawings, photographs or literary contributions during transmission or in the editors hands. In the absence of an agreement the copyright of all contributions, literary, photographics or artistic belongs to Mixed Media Information Ltd. The Publisher accepts no responsibility in respect of advertisements appearing in the magazine and the opinions expressed in editorial material or otherwise do not necessarily represent the view of the publisher. The Publisher does not accept any liability of any loss arising from the late appearance or non publication of any advertisement.
Cover story: Why choose render for your self-build? Turn to page 42 to find out more.
Build your energy efcient healthy home
6th - 8th October 2017 Fri & Sat: 9am - 5pm, Sun: 9am - 4pm Free Parking. Swindon M4 Junction 16
The Big Green Home Show “If you are considering a new build, renovation or an extension, the Big Green Home Show is the place to start. It’s all about gaining inspiration and knowledge” MORE INFO & FREE TICKETS AT
OR £12 PER PERSON ON THE DAY OF EVENT AND USE PROMO CODE: I-BUILD MAGAZINE NSBRC_BGHS_IBuild_221x279_FP_Advert.indd 1
Test the latest eco technologies Heating & Renewables advice Guided educational tours Live demonstrations Real life case studies 220 exhibitors & experts Meet architects & designers The home of Self Build Custom Build & Renovation
National Self Build & Renovation Centre
In this issue: 12 14 16 18 24 30
ON THE COVER
A look at the latest innovative products and styles for your new home.
ON THE COVER
Makita explains why self-builders should avoid making compromises when it comes to highquality power tools.
According to the Self & Custom Build Market Report, the self- and custom-build market is estimated to reach 16,500 completions by 2020.
Contracts & Legalities Rural Retreat
Three stone ruins dating back to 1841 have been employed to create a sympathetic conversion for one self-builder in Cornwall.
ON THE COVER
Ground source heat pumps remain a mystery for many a self-builder. Here, Kensa offers its advice on specifying this solution.
l SELF-BUILDS l RENOVATIONS l EXTENSIONS l CONVERSIONS
Download the free app to your tablet or mobile. Search 'i-build'
WHICH TOOLS WILL YOU NEED TO COMPLETE YOUR SELF-BUILD?
mixed metallics to add a glimmering touch to your interior
INSURING A LISTED PROPERTY EXPLAINED
ON THE COVER
When John Cullen Lighting was approached to devise a lighting scheme for an architect’s London-based home, the results were bound to be remarkable.
IN THIS ISSUE:
Craig Morrell, Manager of Mone Brothers’ Blackhill quarry, discusses the aesthetic and functional benefits of opting for natural stone as a building material.
ON THE COVER
Lindsey Russel and Greg Freiberg have made the most of their one-acre garden with a self-build that enhances their view of the surrounding landscape.
ON THE COVER
ON THE COVER
The Listed Property Owners’ Club offers its advice on insurance for listed properties.
Bricks & Blocks
August 17 Issue 37
Matthew Rolph, Managing Director at GRAF UK, talks going off-mains. ON THE COVER
In this issue, i-build delves into the minds of some of the best names in the render industry.
RENDER TIPS Self-build and renovation advice from industry professionals
TAKE IN THE VIEWS
A TOUCH OF CLASS
How one couple enhanced their view of the striking vistas surrounding their home
John Cullen Lighting sheds light on a funfilled lighting scheme for a London architect
Why opting for locallysourced stone will add character and charm to your self-build
l HEATING l HOME SPAS l LAWN CARE l TOOLS
Subscriptions: You can subscribe to receive i-build each month free of charge at i-buildmagazine.com/subscribe
ON THE COVER
From ambience to materials, i-build covers all you need to know to create your very own home spa.
ON THE COVER
Make the most of your self-build’s garden with a luscious lawn. Here, i-build investigates the best ways to care for your lawn.
i-build rounds up the latest innovative products in the marketplace, designed with your self-build in mind.
Sub-brow DesiredEyebrow Designs
3 4 5
6 Image ©Koket
Make it mixed metallics Looking to make your decor shine? Expertly combining a mixture of metallics throughout your self-build is the answer.
ust a touch of glimmering metal in an interior can make a space instantly more glamorous and stylish. The good news is you no longer need to choose your metallic preference because mixing metallics in an interior is no longer a design no-no. Mixing your metallics is an easy way to add a visual interest and depth to a space. When well executed, incorporating a mixture of metallic finishes is guaranteed to give a sophisticated finish to any room. Cool metallic tones such as silver and steel bring a sleek modern aesthetic to a room and tend to work best with blues, greens and violet whilst warmer tones like gold, rose gold, bronze, copper and brass add a subtle glint of glamour and a rich pop of colour when used against warm hues like reds, browns and yellows. Given all of the metal accessory options that are now available, there’s no need be afraid to add a mixture to any room.
1. Axor LampShower, £2415, Hansgrohe
2. Upcycled metallic gold Dinosaur Planter, €24.99, DaWanda
3. Bolsius rustic metallic candle in
copper, £3.49, Bolsius
4. Dime Industrial gold lacquered bar stool, £100, Alexander & Pearl
5. Round container,
6. Copper cutlery set,
£23, April and the Bear
7. Kartell Masters chair copper, £357, Decorelo
8. Hepburn large Twister chair, £599, ScS
9. Louis D’argent wardrobe, £749.25, Newtons Furniture
10. Sylvia silver luxury bed,
£1299, The French Bedroom Co
1. Coppa table lamp, £69
2. Misto set of 2 hexagonal side tables, £359
3. Misto set of 3 irregular side tables, £304
4. Fulcro table lamp in bronze, £89
4 2 3
Distinctify Distinctify believes in not compromising. After becoming tired of looking around for design-inspired furniture at affordable prices, Disntinctify took a chance and designed some products of its own. Challenging the perception that high-quality and innovative design has to correlate with a high price, Distinctify is ensuring its beautiful hand-made pieces are accessible to everyone.
Charming chandeliers Image ©Luxxu
It’s true that lighting is one of the key elements in any well-designed space. But lighting is more than just a functional requirement of a room; it can also be a strong design statement. Chandeliers are a great addition to just about any area in a home and choosing a metallic one is sure to steal the show.
1. Clark Suspension, POA, DelightFULL 2. GIA chandelier, POA, Koket 3. Scala chandelier, POA, Luxxu 4. CHLOE Sconce, POA, Koket
Six-sided style Originally a 70s style-icon, the hexagon has been given a fresh and modern update meaning this elegant and versatile shape promises to bring class and intrigue into any self-build’s room it’s added to. 1
Image ©Original Style
This hexagon-shaped wooden shelf is both stylish and functional. Use it as an individual shelf on a wall or stack a few together to make a quirky and distinctive shelving unit. Every one is handmade meaning each one is completely unique.
Hexagonal tiles are becoming an increasingly popular choice in bathroom interiors because of how beautiful they look when used in a feature wall. The intricate patterns on these glass Savoy tiles from the Mosaics range by Original Style create a chic patchwork-effect splashback.
This one of a kind hexagon pendant light by Gantlights merges dark grey concrete with brass, gold or copper plating, resulting in a timeless and elegant light. Due to its minimalistic design and the contrasting materials this pendant can be combined with any style.
This marble wall clock is ultra-quiet and has no distracting ticking sound, which makes it ideal for any room in your self-build. The unusual hexagonal shape paired with the marble finish and shiny gold hands makes this clock a simply stunning accessory.
Add an artistic and unique edge into your home with the Archi black Geometric mirror – the perfect graphic feature for any wall. The colour of this mirror means it will enhance any interior and any room. Hang this mirror in your entrance hall for an eye-catching focal point with the wow factor.
Inject some style into your self-build’s kitchen or bathroom with these Affaire hexagon tiles. The contemporary mosaic tiles are a fun way to add a splash of pattern into your interior and are suitable for both walls and floors. Why not add these tiles to a tabletop for a quirky kitchen accessory.
Traditional and modern gutters, pipes and hoppers come in a comprehensive range of aesthetic styles, materials and colours to suit all buildings and budgets.
We have a style to match yours
For more information please call 0113 279 5854 or email email@example.com
Copper, Zinc & Stainless Steel
w w w. r a i n g u a r d . c o . u k 9
Impressing dressing tables Perfect for primping and preening, these pretty dressing tables will be the flawless finishing touch that your self-build bedroom needs.
Image © Essential Home
Sleek and modern
The Ashes of Roses gold French dressing table is the epitome of Romantic style and flirty femininity and promises to create a glamorous and opulent ambience in your self-build's bedroom. The triple mirror is the perfect addition for assessing your makeup from all angles.
Radiating sophistication, this modern dressing table will instantly transform your vanity area. Boasting a chic ivory high-gloss finish, this piece is sure to bring a touch of Hollywood glamour into your life. The crystal-effect knob provides alluring detail. This elegant dressing table is the focal point you’ve been looking for.
Cool and contemporary
A silver statement
This unique contemporary dressing table is made using reclaimed wood salvaged from old buildings, giving the table an urban and edgy feel that would complement any industrial-themed bedroom. The harsh material used for a piece of furniture often associated with feminine beauty, will ensure that this is a real talking point.
The Sylvia Silver Grande dressing table features four useful drawers, an adjustable bevelled mirror, elegant cabriole legs and amazing hand-carved detailing, all in a metallic silver leaf finish, equating to a seriously glamorous piece of French bedroom furniture. (www.frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk)
The black lacquered Piano dressing table is a true statement piece. Adorned by a brass structure and warm golden accents, this masterpiece is inspired by the last queen of Portugal. The Piano dressing table epitomises the modern concept of glamour and extravagance and the high-gloss black paint accompanied by the gold leaf trim exudes opulence.
This solid weathered oak dressing table will make a stylish and functional addition to any self-build boudoir. Recognised by many as essential bedroom furniture, this classic oak dressing table’s muted colour and modest shape ensures that it is the perfect fit regardless of your bedroom’s interior.
Don’t take shortcuts with power tools – a guaranteed return on your tool investment ‘You pays your money and you takes your choice,’ an age-old adage, but never more true than today. Although it may be tempting to take shortcuts when having to buy a new piece of equipment, quality does cost money and we all know that.
DIY-quality drill is perfectly fine for those occasional maintenance jobs around the house. At the other end of the price and performance table are the tools chosen by tradesmen to earn their living and those are the tools that need to be used on your self-build so you can avoid delays and can get your dream home built on time. Your ‘must-have’ tools that are not worth compromising on include a good combi drill and impact driver that you can rely on to perform again and again. A sound specification for your combi would drive a maximum of 16mm into masonry and up to 76mm into timber. This will be a twospeed drill running up to 2100 revs per minute and 31,500 impacts per minute with 21 torque settings to maximise the 115Nm of torque available. A typically useful impact driver generates a mighty 175Nm of torque and will easily drive those big M8 timber screws home and even an M14 high tensile bolt. With up to 3800 impacts per minute
available, these impact drivers weigh just 1.5kg and are really compact if you have to get between joists and studs. As well as not taking shortcuts with power tools it is equally important not to take shortcuts with health and safety. As far as power tool operations are concerned it is imperative to use dust extraction vacuum equipment. This might seem like a frivolous spend but not only should you follow this safety code by coupling your power tools to the extractor, but you will always have a powerful house-keeping assistant long after the build project is completed. Technically, if you are working with brick, masonry, gypsum, tile, wood, plastic and anything containing silica sand, you should be using an M-class extractor which will remove 99.9% of the harmful elements. To get the perfect finish you’ll need a good sander. Whilst a cordless orbital sander with three speeds will run up to 22,000 strokes per minute and carry the hook-and-loop, Velcro-type fitting of
abrasive material, the long run times may steer you towards a corded sander and probably a half-sheet finishing sander, giving the greatest capacity as you prepare surfaces for decoration. You’ll be sawing material in this build for sure. A cordless jigsaw is invaluable and a circular saw with 165mm diameter blade will be all you need. The jigsaw, with a maximum cut of 135mm in timber, will be used to install sinks and boxing around waste pipes whilst the circular saw, with 57mm maximum cut, will size panels and structural timber easily. The best jigsaw has a tool-less blade change so there’s no fiddly screws to drop – which also comes with a dust extraction connection. Some major tasks are likely to require sophisticated bits of kit that are probably best sourced from the hire centre. The hire cost versus the purchase price means this is the best solution especially as you may only need it once in a lifetime. There’s also the question of corded or cordless. To move freely around site, Makita has an extensive range of battery-powered tools. No fuel, noise or cables to worry about, plus many tools are available as ‘body-only’ to allow you to utilise a single battery platform which can adapt to many products in the range, therefore your investment in a single battery platform and charger will pay dividends. The message here is to invest in tools that will serve multiple purposes and will do multiple jobs over its lifetime. Bear in mind too that when you invest in a professional power tool the same policy must be applied to the accessories; you need quality throughout.
Top: Your ‘must-have’ tools that are not worth compromising on include a good combi drill and impact driver that you can rely on to perform again and again Above: To get the perfect finish you’ll need a good sander
The self-build boom A new market report, that is the largest of its kind, has revealed that the self- and custom-build industry is growing at a rate of 6.25% year on year, marking its third consecutive annual spike. At its current pace, the sector is estimated to reach 16,500 housing completions by 2020.
ccording to the Self & Custom Build Market Report, commissioned and generated by Homebuilding & Renovating, this threeyear forecast implies an industry growth of 41% and an average industry value of £6bn, which reinforces the sector’s strategic role as a contributor to the Government’s house-building targets, by offering choice and quality for the wider public. The release of these figures marks the most comprehensive analysis of the current and potential industry ever produced from associated publicly-available data. Supported by the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA), the report forms a go-to reference for the market. It offers insightful reading for policymakers at national and local level and marketers and companies either already in the sector or looking to expand their activity. Jason Orme, one of its contributors, alongside Michael Holmes and Brian Greene, says: “As a result of the market increase and other factors – not least the
reluctance of speculative house-builders to differ their standard offerings – suppliers of products and services are increasingly finding the self- and custom-build market an interesting opportunity. Without discerning information, both of these stakeholders are likely to miss their key goals in the years to come. We compiled this report to facilitate access to the heart of the industry and contribute to them reaching a new milestone in their growth.” Michael Holmes adds: “The analysis in this report contains details including how, where and why people build their own homes and what they put in them; and, with the maximum possible authority, establishes the shape of the market in the coming years. We believe that this is the best attempt yet at providing a single reference for information on the custom- and self-build market. It will allow us and other members of the industry to better understand the motivations, hurdles and aspirations of self-builders themselves and to understand activity in the market, down to a level previously undiscovered in terms of product choices and spend.”
Above: At its current pace, the self- and custom-build market is estimated to reach 16,500 housing completions by 2020 Top right: The analysis in this report contains details including how, where and why people build their own homes Centre right: Michael is Chair of NaCSBA, where he advises Government and other public bodies on self-build and custombuild policymaking Bottom right: Jason Orme has built and renovated several houses and is the Author of The Self-Build Dream
Viewpoint The report, comprising 112 pages, can be purchased online via: www.homebuilding.co.uk/market-report or at the publishing company’s stand at the London Homebuilding & Renovating Show (22nd to 24th September at ExCeL, London). The main source of data that this report is based on is an entirely new comprehensive consumer survey of 500 selfbuilders who had either recently completed or are about to complete their project. This research was conducted via an online survey in 2017. The overall analysis was compiled based on statistics from HMRC, DCLG and more.
About the contributors Brian Green is one of the UK’s leading housing analysts. Formerly Managing Editor of Construction News, he works for a broad range of clients, including Barbour ABI, Rider Levett Bucknall and EC Harris. He also edits the annual Housing Market Intelligence report. He sits on the Business Department’s Consultative Committee on Construction Industry Statistics and the Construction Products
Association’s Economics Research Group. He runs the popular Twitter feed, Brickonomics. Jason Orme is the Editorial Director of Centaur Media’s Homes Division, including Homebuilding & Renovating. One of the UK’s leading self-build experts, he has built and renovated several houses and is the Author of The Self-Build Dream. He gives advice on building homes to thousands of people each year through live seminar events and broadcast media. Michael Holmes is the Director of Content & New Product Development at Centaur Media’s Homes Division, including Homebuilding & Renovating. Michael is Chair of NaCSBA, where he advises Government and other public bodies on self-build and custom-build policymaking. He is also a leading self-build expert and has built many homes both privately and commercially.
Contracts & Legalities
With a non-listed building in the eventuality of say, a fire, there will be an insurance claim which would involve the owner and the insurer, probably a loss adjuster, who between them will agree how the building will be reinstated
The Listed Property Owners’ Club’s guide to insuring a listed property Did you know it is vital that appropriate cover is obtained for listed homes as general insurance providers may only provide enough cover for a minimal ‘standard’ rebuild, leaving you to finance the shortfall should the worst happen?
ith a non-listed building in the eventuality of say, a fire, there will be an insurance claim which would involve the owner and the insurer, probably a loss adjuster, who between them will agree how the building will be reinstated, how much it will cost etc. With a listed building, it will be an entirely different scenario. It is the local council’s conservation officer (or in the case of Grade I or Grade II*, Historic England) who will decide if it is to be rebuilt, how it is to be rebuilt, which materials and which methods are used. They have no interest in how much it is going to cost or who pays, but they have the backing of law to ensure the building is reinstated to its previous condition. Things to look out for when choosing your listed building insurance policy: Unapproved changes: if a previous owner made alterations to the building without consent, the local planning authority may require you to reverse those alterations at your own cost. When you are buying a listed building you should always ensure you make suitable searches regarding alterations. Providing you were not already aware of them, look for policies that include cover for unauthorised alterations to listed buildings by previous owners.
Expert staff: the staff you deal with should have a proper understanding of listed buildings and the requirements and responsibilities of owners. Plus, most intermediaries nowadays do not offer ‘advice’ as such, and will just put forward a policy – this is not ideal. Look to use brokers who understand how their insurers think and have in-depth knowledge of their policies to ensure they are well-positioned to offer the most appropriate advice. Additional allowances to sums insured: if disaster strikes, unforeseen costs to repair or rebuild your listed property can continue to climb as the job progresses. If you have an acceptable rebuild valuation, look for policies where an uplift in the buildings sum insured (BSI) is provided to cover additional expenses that may be incurred in the event of a claim. Tracing and accessing a leak: water leaks are one of the highest causes of insurance claim. In a ‘standard’ property it can be a fairly ‘standard’ process to repair any damage caused when trying to locate a leak. When that property is listed, it becomes far more complicated and costly to repair the damage. Policies should be designed to cover the cost of the materials and trade skills needed when tracing and accessing a leak in a listed property.
Alternative accommodation: repairing or rebuilding a listed building tends to take longer due to the consents that need to be put in place, the time needed to source skilled craftsmen and because specialist trades can be time-consuming. Ideally, you should be looking for policies that provide extensive alternative accommodation cover for a few years or more, in case you have to move out in the course of a claim. Works cover: listed homes can often be in need of restoration, conversion and conservation. The vast majority of home insurance companies are unwilling to insure homes that are undergoing a building works project – this is where a specialist broker comes in and will be able to arrange it for you. Your responsibility to conserve the building: in the event of damage to your property, your conservation officer will specify that all repairs or rebuilding must be carried out to their exact specifications using the appropriate traditional methods and materials. Your insurance policy must be designed to cover the use of such skills and period materials.
Lighting | Heating | Security | Energy | More
Build your dream smart home. Discover great tips for your self build at loxone.com/tips
Uninterrupted views The idea of self-building one’s very own home is highly admired within the UK; with the idea of a dwelling suited to homeowners’ needs, inclusive of all amenities that have been tailored to personal specifications, gaining traction across the nation. The notion is so widespread that many self-builders are undertaking not one, but two or more projects during their lifetime. Above: The plot proved perfect for the couple’s needs, providing them with both privacy and seclusion in a countryside location, as well as a paddock for the couple’s llamas Above right: Situated in rural Soulbury, a village within the Aylesbury Vale district of Buckinghamshire, Lindsey and Greg’s new home has proved perfect for their needs Below right: The choice in Balconette’s Hybrid glass balustrade system has provided Lindsey and Greg with uninterrupted sights out onto their llama paddock Far right: Installed by Surrey-based Balcony Systems Solutions of Blindley Heath, the main exterior solutions comprise Balconette’s 29m by 1.10m-high glass balustrade Hybrid Aerofoil system accompanied by an Aerofoil shaped handrail
his trend of recreating yet another self-build may arise from inadequate planning, building envelope materials that have proven insufficient or just through a pure desire to recreate an entirely new scheme from scratch. Whatever the reason, more and more self-builders are in search of their next big project and Buckinghamshire-based couple, Lindsey Russel and Greg Freiberg, are no exception. With a wealth of experience in the construction industry, both Lindsey and her husband, Greg, were well aware of the process of building their own home when they decided to embark on another self-build project.
Having designed and built their previous home, the couple knew precisely what they wanted to achieve from the design and layout of this new two-storey home – and used the subsequent opportunity to amend any features they wished to change within their first project.
Location is key Situated in rural Soulbury, a village within the Aylesbury Vale district of Buckinghamshire, Lindsey and Greg’s new home has perfectly met their needs, as Lindsey explains: “Being our last and final build, this site was perfect. I fell in love with the garden and the small village location Soulbury gave us.”
EXTERNAL Glass balustrade: Hybrid Aerofoil system (Aerofoil shaped handrail) 29m (1.10m height) Colour finish: bronze anodised Glass: 10mm bronze tint toughened Glass Juliet balcony: Hybrid Aerofoil system (Aerofoil shaped handrail) 3m (1.10m height) Colour finish: bronze anodised Glass: 10mm bronze tint toughened Glass balustrade: Hybrid Aerofoil system (Aerofoil shaped handrail) 19.35m (1.10m height) Colour finish: bronze anodised Glass: 10mm bronze tint toughened
INTERNAL Balustrade for stairs: Hybrid Aerofoil system (Aerofoil shaped handrail) 18.7m (4.3m x 4 + 1.5m) (900mm height) Colour finish: bronze anodised Glass: 10mm clear toughened Balustrade for landing: Hybrid Aerofoil system (Aerofoil shaped handrail) 9.5m (900mm height) Colour finish: bronze anodised Glass: 10mm clear toughened one curved patio door.
Lindsey came across the site via online real estate company, Rightmove, and the plot proved perfect for the couple’s needs, providing them with both privacy and seclusion in a countryside location away from the diluted hustle-and-bustle of the neighbouring village, inclusive of spectacular, relaxing vistas as well as a paddock for the couple’s llamas to inhabit. Lindsey commented: “As we are situated down a private lane, we don’t often come across any by-passers.” With the pair’s land for their self-build in clear sight, next on the agenda was the design of the house itself. For many creating their
own home, whether a highly experienced or intermediate self-builder, design is often no objective. Influences from travels, friend’s homes and magazines have an enormous impact on a self-builder’s decision-making. This may be taken from small, delicate details or on a greater scale; perhaps from the way a home has been fabricated. For Lindsey, her inspiration came from magazine cuttings and a selection of photographs that she had collected over the years. “When it came to the design of our new home, I sat down with a folder of photographs that I had personally taken, and magazine clippings that I had collected throughout the years and designed
the whole house around these.” Once the design was finalised, Lindsey and Greg appointed a planning consultant to assist with their planning application for their Soulbury home. Julie explains: “We hired a planning consultant due to the fact that the planners made it extremely clear that they weren’t keen on new and different balconies and modern glass!”. It took Lindsey and Greg three years to gain the required approval to start their build. “Unbelievably, when we finished, the planners asked us if they could put our house up for an award – we declined as they hadn’t made it easy for us!”.
Far left bottom: The pair hired and architect to draw up the plans, however, Lindsey and Greg project managed the build themselves Left: Lindsey and Greg’s home is as equally impressive internally as it is externally
Far left top: The couple opted for an upside-down-style house so they could fully appreciate the panoramas offered by the Buckinghamshire countryside
Below: The kitchen-cum-diner is one of Lindsey’s favourite rooms Bottom: Three years on from laying the foundations for their temporary garage accommodation, Lindsey and Greg moved into their Buckinghamshire-based new home
The pair hired and architect to draw up the plans, however – a regular trend within the self-build world – Lindsey and Greg project managed the build themselves and hired a quantity surveyor. “We didn’t require any ‘special’ requirements,” explains Lindsey, “we just wanted something a little different and special to achieve that ‘wow’ factor.”
Comfortable accommodation After a difficult planning process, the couple’s next stage was the build. The first port of call for Lindsey and Greg was the garage block. An innovative consideration, the garage block being built as a priority provided Lindsey and Greg with comfortable accommodation whilst the main build commenced.
Three years on from laying the foundations for their temporary garage accommodation, Lindsey and Greg moved into their Buckinghamshire new home. Today, their home sits seamlessly within the immediate landscape, complementing the green, luscious countryside panoramas. The couple opted for an upsidedown-style house so they could fully appreciate the panoramas offered by the Aylesbury countryside. Upside-down homes are a growing trend within the self-build market. The theory involves designing in all living spaces to sit at the top of a house, where the homeowners will spend the majority of their time. This is proving popular amongst self-builders within the UK, particularly, as in the case of Lindsey and Greg’s rural retreat, when the built property will offer the owners enviable views. The main focus for Lindsey and Greg was their self-build’s exterior areas, as Lindsey explains: “The house was all about the outside and I hope we have achieved this; we have one-acre of beautiful garden full of stunning trees and bushes. We have designed our home on an open-plan basis to fully appreciate our surroundings.”
Left: Inside, completing their impressive double staircase, Balconette’s Hybrid Aerofoil balustrade has been installed on the stairs and the landing area Below: As well as utilising Balconette’s products externally, Lindsey and Greg opted for the company’s solutions for the interior of their property
Home sweet home Lindsey continues: “I have many favourite aspects of my house, from the glass balconies for the views, the kitchen-cum-diner for family get-togethers and, of course, our gorgeous bedroom – it’s very difficult to choose a particular preference and there’s nothing that I would have done differently. “When it came to the garden, we continued the existing theme that was already present, acting as the caretaker for the doctor who planted the trees. We also built a large pond and waterfall with a bridge supported over it – our drive also accommodates steps guiding you down to the pond area.” When asked if she would do it all over again, Lindsey replied: “No, I don’t think I would do it all over again, that’s only because I don’t want to move! It was also extremely hard work and takes up 100% of both your time and money. My advice for other self-builders would be to prepare for a self-build to control your life for the length of the build.”
Take in the view Further enhancing the couple’s views of the adjacent scenery is the choice of Balconette’s glass balcony solutions. Situated on the upper floor, extending off the roof of the kitchen, the choice in Balconette’s Hybrid glass balustrade system has provided Lindsey and Greg with uninterrupted sights out onto their llama paddock and act as the main feature of the house. Hybrid’s combination of lightness and strength lies in the design of its aluminium profiles, which make use of a hidden cantilever construction within the handrail, enabling long runs of glass without interruption – offering Lindsey and Greg the continual views they sought. Installed by Surrey-based Balcony Systems Solutions of Blindley Heath, the main exterior solutions comprise Balconette’s 29m by 1.10m-high glass balustrade Hybrid Aerofoil system accompanied by an Aerofoil shaped handrail. The finish Lindsey and Greg opted for – a bronze anodised finish with 10mm bronze-tinted toughened glass – complements the main build seamlessly. To further complement the installation, Balconette’s 3m by 1.10m-high Hybrid Aerofoil glass Juliet balcony was appointed in the same bronze anodised finish as Lindsey and Greg’s balustrade – as
well as a 19.35m by 1.10m-high additional balustrade for the extension of the couple’s balcony. As well as utilising Balconette’s products externally, Lindsey and Greg opted for the company’s solutions for the interior of their property. Inside, completing their impressive double staircase, Balconette’s Hybrid Aerofoil balustrade has been installed on the stairs and the landing area in, again, the same bronze anodised finish as Balconette’s exterior solutions to keep a continuous feel throughout the entire establishment. Lindsey and Greg’s home is equally impressive internally as it is externally. While the exterior walls have been treated to monocouche render, Lindsey and Greg have opted for plaster and paint within, complemented by stone walls within the kitchencum-dining area. Commenting on the final build, Lindsey enlightened: “The house is absolutely everything that I had hoped it would be and, as time has passed since our first move-in, we’re contemplating adding an all-glass wall into the kitchen to make it even better.” The couple did run slightly over budget for their home, however, as Lindsey explained: “This was with the internal aspects rather than the externals.”
A hidden gem Three stone ruins standing strong on a hillside located on the northern edge of Penryn, Cornwall, was all the inspiration that Dan Thompson required for the design and build of a sympathetic barn conversion.
y parents discovered some ruined stone buildings in a patch of wooded scrub in a corner of a field they had bought near Mylor in Cornwall,” explained Dan. “When I first saw them, there was a tree growing in what is now the kitchen.” After clearing the undergrowth, Dan could see there was a range of three buildings of different ages and uses nestled beneath. Some research at the Cornwall History Centre in Redruth revealed there had been buildings on this site since at least 1841. “It was hard to imagine that the buildings had ever been inhabited,” Dan explains, “but, there was a large stone hearth and domestic doors and windows on one of the barns. Whoever decided to build here all those years ago found a magical place on the edge of the granite moor and I set my heart on living here. The hill is called Gonorman, which means ‘nine-stone hill’, and I am sure this place has been special to people for generations.”
Vision and inspiration Wishing to respect the spirit of the environment and ensure the building sat peacefully on the hillside, the three buildings are arranged linearly, so all the new elements had to be used to join the buildings together. The challenge was to connect the buildings in a way that meant you could still see what was original and what was new, but also to be respectful to the surroundings. The architects achieved this using oak frame, oak boarding and glazing on the new additions, which have weathered to a silver-grey, and simply restoring the stone walls of the original buildings.
Planning It took three years for Dan to gain planning permission, from the day he walked into the planning consultant’s office to the day he heard back from the planning inspector. “Laurence Associates gave me some straightforward advice based on the local plan and, after working out how much new build was required, we were happy that
there was enough original building remaining to gain planning permission. It was frustrating that the council refused permission twice, but the reasons for refusal gave us very clear grounds to take the case to appeal, which we were eventually allowed with costs. “One of the advantages of the three years in planning was it gave me plenty of time to finetune the layout. I think getting to know the site and being able to live with the designs for so long helped create a better building.”
The build “I think barn conversions are pretty challenging generally. We didn’t choose the dimensions of the buildings so had to be quite careful with the space we did have. It is probably responding to the challenges of the site that provided the opportunities for creativity and gave the house its own special character. There seemed to be almost no right angles in the original building, which made things a bit more complicated.” Dan appointed a main contractor who he worked alongside and he laboured on site. He employed the plumbers and electricians and various other sub-contractors directly. “Most of the trades worked on an hourly basis because of the complex nature of the work,” explains Dan. “There is normally a winner and loser when work is done on a price and, as I was on site every day, I
Impressive Innovation was comfortable that I was getting a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. The whole build came in at £1500/m2, which is not bad considering the quality of the work and the less-thanstraightforward build. “We utilised Laurence Associates’ in-house architects, who work with their planners to achieve a design which respects the context of the buildings. Over the three years it took to get planning permission, the architects continued to adapt the internal arrangement of rooms as our ideas evolved.”
Building materials Dan wanted to keep a simple palette of materials. The flooring is oak in the social rooms and slate in the bathrooms. The kitchen was built from solid pine by Pineland Furniture and hand-painted on site. The fullyinstalled kitchen with appliances, sourced online, and granite worktops came in at about £10k. “In general, when specifying materials and appliances, I tried to be objective about the quality that was required and then shop around for the best price,” enlightens Dan.
Above left: Wishing to respect the spirit of the environment and ensure the building sat peacefully on the hillside, the three buildings are arranged linearly Above: Dan appointed a main contractor who he worked alongside and he laboured on site Middle: After clearing the undergrowth, Dan could see there was a range of three buildings of different ages and uses Bottom right: Research at the Cornwall History Centre in Redruth revealed there had been buildings on this site since at least 1841
“Having worked for English Heritage, I was keen on using traditional materials and finishes. I had developed a mild obsession with slate roofs. Traditional slate roofs in west Cornwall are laid in diminishing courses with the shortest at the top; they are also often random widths. This gives them a much more organic look compared with the rigid geometry of a modern slate roof. However, being mostly single storey, the roof was a major element of the build and it would have been too expensive to go down this route. We used a natural slate with the same colouring as the local slate so it blends into the landscape well enough. “I was also keen to specify environmentallyfriendly products where I could, but this didn’t always lead to the solution you might expect. We needed to keep the stone showing on the external walls so all the insulation had to be added internally. I was also aware of the need to let the walls breathe so that any moisture which got into the wall could also escape. I found a lime render that was insulated with hemp which you might imagine would be the perfect solution. However, we couldn’t achieve the right thermal values using this product and had to fall back on rigid board insulation, which is made of a plastic foam. It seems that it’s the best product for reducing energy consumption, which is the priority of Building Control, but unfortunately, it will probably end up in landfill at the end of its useful life.
Far left: The flooring is oak in the social rooms and slate in the bathrooms Bottom left: The kitchen was built from solid pine by Pineland Furniture and hand-painted on site Opposite: Dan wanted to keep a simple palette of materials Bottom: Over the three years it took to get planning permission, the architects continued to adapt the internal arrangement of rooms as Dan's ideas evolved Below: Responding to the challenges of the site provided the opportunities for creativity and gave the house its own special character
“We have a ground source heat pump, which is brilliant. It was cheaper to pile vertical collectors, although we would have had space for horizontal, as we are on granite. Not being able to instantly turn up the heating does take a bit of getting used to, but we have a couple of wood-burning stoves to give us instant heat if we need it.”
The build took just over a year, which Dan feels was just about right, as he explains: “After moving in, we applied for permission for a garage, office and home studio, which is now complete. It was much easier to get permission for the garage once the residential use was established. With a bit of advice again from Laurence Associates, I did the drawings and put the planning application in myself through the Planning Portal.
domestic planting to a minimum with only a couple of beds around the slate patio and the front entrance. There is a little triangular garden almost totally concealed by hedges of local plum trees, which we let grow in the summer with the wild campion, primroses and buttercups. In total there are probably about three acres, so a lot of the work throughout the summer is just keeping it all at bay!
“This was never a high-status building,” confirms Dan. “It was built from stone from a tiny quarry in a neighbouring field. One of the buildings was meant for animals and was originally built into the hillside as they weren’t concerned about damp. We cleared the earth from behind this building rather than tanking as a more reliable solution. It does mean that the building sits down low in the landscape. It’s positioned on the northeast side of the hill, which protects it from the prevailing winds which make the hedgerow trees in this part of Cornwall seem to grow horizontally. “This is a rural area and, looking at the 1841 census, you can see that there are actually fewer people living in the countryside now than there were then. I suppose this must have
been because of the decline in agricultural employment. My father spent his summer holidays as a child working on the neighbouring farm and now lives just down the road. The main contractor also lives close by. I hope the local community is pleased to see the place given a new lease of life. “There are so many things I love about my new home, but there is something particularly special about how the building sits in the landscape and catches the light in the morning. “It’s a peaceful rural location and we are surrounded by gorse-filled hedges and blackthorn. A lot of trees had self-seeded when the property had been left to ruin and we’ve kept as many as we can, which hopefully maintains the wild character of the place. We have kept
“I used Douglas fir for the exposed trusses as I thought it was just as authentic and was a bit cheaper, but I probably should have used oak. I am not that keen on having two different types of wood on show and may end up painting them. Even though the oak flooring had a natural oil finish it does seem to have gone a bit orange over time. If there’s ever a ‘next time’, I will shop around for a different finish. “The conversion is probably the best thing I’ve ever done and would love to do it again, but have no reason to ever leave!”. When asked if he had any advice for other budding self-builders, Dan responded: “Live with the design as long as possible and try to walk around every room in your imagination. Really try to imagine what it would be like living in a place, even down to where you will put the hoover. It will make things easier in the long run.”
www.laurenceassociates.co.uk Top: There are so many things Dan loves about his new home, but he feels there is something particularly special about how the building sits in the landscape Above: A lot of trees had self-seeded when the property had been left to ruin and Dan's kept as many as he could
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Cracking the ground source code: the beginner’s guide to ground source heat pumps Everyone has to start somewhere. As a reader of i-build, you are clearly an ambassador for the self-build industry and innovative approaches to building, but for some self-builders renewable technology like ground source heat pumps remain an enigma. Here, Kensa talks through the ins and outs of ground source heat pumps.
ith ground source heat pumps attracting 19.64p/kWh under the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) (versus 7.63p/ kWh for air source and 4.28p/kWh for biomass), and innovative micro-district ground source heat networks attracting the non-domestic RHI in retrofit and new-build schemes, there is a huge financial carrot for the specification of ground source heat pumps. Add to this their carbon credentials, efficiency savings and the Committee for Climate Change’s Fourth Carbon Budget calling for four million heat pumps to be installed at residential properties by 2030, the market for ground source can only go one way. But to fulfil this ambition, self-builders need to be on board and share the vision. Of course, as Kensa is a dedicated manufacturer of ground source heat pumps, and one of the confirmed largest suppliers in the UK (source: BSRIA 2017), we are bound to say that. So the aim of this article
is to demystify and briefly explain, in simple terms, the typical process of installing a ground source heat pump, to demonstrate that ground source is a technology that can be easily integrated into your project to great reward.
Typically, an installer or experienced self-builder will either do this heat loss calculation work themselves, or subcontract it out to a qualified specialist. If the heat pump is also supplying domestic hot water, then this load also needs to be calculated and added to the numbers.
Know the load
Room by room
Arguably, the first part of planning a ground source heat pump (GSHP) installation is the most important – calculating the property’s heat load. Get this part wrong and everything that follows will be wrong. You can’t design a GSHP system without knowing two vital bits of information, the peak heating load in kW and the annual heating load in kWh. If the building is being upgraded in terms of insulation at the same time, it is perfectly fine to factor this upgrade work into the heat loss calculations, but it is equally important to ensure that the planned work actually gets done before the heating system is used in anger!
While the ground source heat pump itself will most likely be a single unit with a stated kW output, each room in the building is going to have a different heat demand, so needs its heat emitter (the term emitter covers radiators, underfloor heating [UFH] and other less common types) individually calculating to meet that heat demand. When using a heat pump instead of a boiler, the rule is always to size the emitter so that it is capable of heating the room using the lowest possible water temperature as this maximises energy efficiency. Practical limits for radiator sizes usually mean getting below 45°C flow temperature is rare, but UFH can sometimes work as low as 30°C. The usual practice is to work out which room needs the highest water temperature due to practical limits and then size all the other emitters to the same temperature.
In the ground
Once the peak heating load and heating flow temperatures are known, then a suitable heat pump model can be selected. By referencing the manufacturer’s data, the efficiency (also called Coefficient of Performance or CoP) of that heat pump at the heating water temperature can be determined. It is this efficiency rating combined with the annual kWh demand of the building that determines the size of the ground array.
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Far left: Filling and purging Left: More efficient ground source heat pumps, like the Kensa Evo, require more ground array
One of the ironies of using the newer generation ultra-efficient heat pumps, like the Kensa Evo, is that a higher percentage of the total heat output comes from the ground, not the electrical input, meaning that ground array sizing has to increase slightly. Ground arrays typically take one of two forms, either plastic pipe laid in horizontal trenches (pipe can be straight or looped, known as ‘Slinkies’) or long, vertical drilled boreholes containing a U tube of plastic pipe. Designing the ground array itself can be supported by your manufacturer or installer. The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) does provide design guidance or, again, specialist sub-contractors exist to do this work, especially for larger projects. What no ground array design can do though is cope with inaccurate load calculations, hence getting the initial heat losses right is vital.
Plumbing up Ground source heat pumps have two separate wet systems with no connection between them. Flow rates and hence the sizes of pipes used in the plumbing are very important, with low flow rates being one of the most common faults that crop up. Competent installers should know how to use a pipe sizing nomogram and calculate pressure drops in a system. Design of both the ground array manifolding and heating distribution system should aim for even distribution and high flow rates. Tichelmann, a.k.a ‘reverse return’ plumbing designs, should be used on both systems if practically possible. Pipe sizes will usually be one size larger than typically expected on a boiler system in a similar-sized property, apart from this, standard good practice in plumbing is all that should be required.
Ground arrays are invariably filled with an antifreeze and water mixture. Filling and purging requires a separate pump and container, this is just about the only special tool needed to install a ground source heat pump (Kensa has a video on this process). It is essential that this antifreeze mixture is circulated through the heat pump ground side before power is ever applied to it – it is just about impossible to damage a GSHP, except by running it without antifreeze!
Hot water Hot water systems are usually very similar to a common Y-plan design with a separate hot water cylinder, although the three-port valve will not have a mid-position in operation. Getting good domestic hot water performance relies on having matched components. The internal diameter of the coil within a cylinder affects the flow rate; this is just as important as getting the surface area of the coil right. Thermal stores can be very difficult to set up and get working well with a heat pump, this is mostly due to the lower operating temperature compared to a boiler. The simple solution is to use a cylinder approved by the ground source heat pump manufacturer. Some systems will need a separate smaller storage tank known as a buffer tank, these can often be avoided by using a few open zones and ample pipe sizes, the heat pump manufacturer should again be able to provide guidance on the minimum flow rates and the minimum volume of water in the circuit, but don’t be tempted to try using a thermal store to provide buffering.
Control Heat pumps can be controlled by any means the end-user wants; at the end of the day it is just a box that makes hot water on demand. Unfortunately, some manufacturers like to complicate things and try to have the building controlled by the heating appliance; in Kensa’s opinion, it should always be set up the other way around! The current trend is for internet-connected heating controls, these are all well and good but quite how quickly they will go out of date and stop working is anyone’s guess; a ground source heat pump will operate trouble-free for 25 years, as will simple room thermostats.
Commissioning If good plumbing practice has been followed, all the air bled out, systems carefully filled and valves opened, then the heat pump should start right away and be giving full heat output within a couple of minutes. Building warm-up will usually take longer than with a boiler, but only because most boilers are grossly oversized compared to the true heat load, not because heat pumps take time to settle in or any other urban myths.
MCS To claim Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), all installations need to be MCS accredited, but for a new or infrequent installer becoming MCS registered can be prohibitive, both in terms of cost and time commitment for training. Some manufacturers offer ‘umbrella’ schemes where, for a fee, they will do all the installation calculations, design and MCS paperwork submissions for the self-builder or their preferred non-MCS installer.
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Bricks & Blocks
Sourcing natural stone locally There’s a lot to be said for using locally-sourced natural stone when it comes to adding a touch of authentic class to a self-build project.
or Craig Morrell, Manager of Mone Brothers’ Blackhill quarry just north of Leeds, there’s a myriad reasons to utilise resources that have, after all, stood the test of time. Mone Brothers quarries one of the most distinctive, practical and widely used types of millstone grit in its own Bramley Fall stone quarried in Bramhope from a seam that stretches north, close to the centre of Leeds. A Namurian sandstone, Bramley Fall is a moderately coarse-grained stone of the millstone grit formation. It is found in large blocks and has become a perfect fit for large-scale civil engineering projects as well as new house-building developments and self-build projects across the Yorkshire region and beyond.
Kirkstall Abbey, one of the first known landmark buildings constructed from Bramley Fall stone in the 12th century, lies just a mile or so away from the original, but now disused, quarry hidden away in the woods within Bramley Fall Park. Craig commented: “Natural stone such as Bramley Fall will always add a touch of style to any project. Delivering a high-level of consistency in terms of performance, natural stone can fit in perfectly with both the built and natural environment. “Aside from creating a sympathetic aesthetic appearance, there is also the issue of value that natural stone can bring to a particular project. Every self-build project is unique and an investment of sorts. By pushing the boat out just a little bit more in terms of what you’re prepared to pay for quality natural resources there’s a likely pay back further down the line.
Bricks & Blocks
“There’s a host of finishes as well that increase the options for homeowners. With regards to Bramley Fall stone, we can supply pitched, sawn, punched, coarsed, splitface and herringbone-style finishes. “We are also able to create an aged and weathered look through the blackening of the stone at the quarry prior to delivery. This, in turn, blends in naturally and won’t give away the age of a new-build property,” added Craig – who deals with many self-builders on a daily basis looking for bespoke ways to accentuate their projects. “A display garden at the Mone Brothers’ Blackhill quarry provides a showcase of the potential of natural stones and gravels within a garden landscaping context, however, it is the supply of natural stone construction materials that accounts for a large part of Craig’s business at the quarry. “There are many applications for natural stone within the build process. From external walls to internal decoration, Bramley Fall stone can also be crafted into corbels, heads, sills, copings etc. – and many more bespoke features as required by the customer. “Bramley Fall is a very flexible, easily malleable yet strong material and our on-site stonemasons are able to create features to order. “The vast majority of projects are bespoke so it’s critical to have the right knowledge and skills on site in order to provide our customers with products that exactly fit their needs.
“When it comes to cost you’ll inevitably pay a little bit more, but it will deliver unrivalled longevity. After all if it’s good enough for the 800-year-old Kirkstall Abbey, it will fit the bill for self-build projects! “It’s all about personal preference, but I’m definitely witnessing an increasing trend to use natural stone as awareness grows. There was a sharp fall in demand at the height of the recession but interest has grown steadily in recent years as more and more customers recognise the value and benefits. “By choosing the right resources and incorporating locally-sourced stone you’re helping your project to deal with everything the British weather can throw at it as well as creating a construction that blends in. “Architects are increasingly seeing natural stone as a great way to help projects stand out as well as blend in. We sit down occasionally with customers and architects to go carefully through their plans and see how we can best achieve their required look and finish. “There’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Every project is unique and if, as a supplier of natural stone, you can be flexible enough to work closely with your customers throughout the process then the rewards are there for all to see. “It will certainly pay off in the medium to long term. Locally-sourced stone has a lot to offer!” concluded Craig.
www.monebrosdiy.co.uk Above left: Delivering a highlevel of consistency in terms of performance, natural stone can fit in perfectly with both the built and natural environment Bottom left: Aside from creating a sympathetic aesthetic appearance, there is also the issue of value that natural stone can bring to a particular project Above: By choosing the right resources and incorporating locally-sourced stone you’re helping your project to deal with everything the British weather can throw at it Left: The vast majority of projects are bespoke so it’s critical to have the right knowledge and skills on site
Shining a light on a remarkable home When Hazel Park, Lighting Designer at John Cullen Lighting, was approached to explore a lighting scheme for an architectâ€™s London home, she knew the result would be extraordinary. Here, Hazel talks i-build through the outstanding project.
hen Sally and I met with Founding Partner of Michaelis Boyd Associates, Alex Michaelis, to discuss the lighting for his London home, we could instantly see that it was going to be an exceptional project. The architectural design was formed by two separate curved buildings connected by sculpted staircases and included plenty of fun features, such as a firemanâ€™s pole into the kitchen and a slide into the entrance hall. It was important to ensure that we imitated these playful elements within the lighting design scheme to stay in keeping with the style of the house.
Challenges During the daytime, there is plenty of natural light which flooded through the large skylights in the kitchen, vast spherical windows on the upper floors and multiple Crittall doors surrounding the entrance hall and open-plan living area. In the evenings it was important that we applied clever
lighting solutions to prevent the space from feeling cold and dark when all this glass would reflect the interior light and act as a mirror at night. One way we achieved this was by adding light to the upstands of the skylights. We routed into the plaster itself to conceal our ContourHD24 LED strips which created a warm band of light that wrapped all the way around the skylights and added ambience and depth in the evenings. Furthermore, we also concealed LED strips in the living room skylights (down one side of the room) to connect the two rooms and create a soft, indirect high-level glow that imitates the light of a sunset pouring through the glass. To ensure that the space felt cosy and inviting, we only specified LEDs that had a warm colour temperature (mainly 2700 and 2400 kelvin), opposed to LEDs with a higher kelvin rating which often have colder underlying blue tones. We recessed miniature, low-glare luminaires, called Luccas, in the floor to uplight the large window and door reveals. These tiny one-watt
Above left: John Cullen routed into the plaster to conceal its ContourHD24 LED strips which created a warm band of light that wrapped all the way around the skylights Below left: With few places to hang paintings in narrow areas, the lighting was so important and really acted as artwork itself to make the corridors come alive Above: As you continue your journey down the corridor, you are led up the winding spiral staircase lit by miniature Luccinis that graze every step Left: Recessed miniature, low-glare luminaires have been used to highlight the texture of the brickwork beautifully and frame the glass panels to lead your eye out into the external pool area
fittings have a very low energy consumption and last 50,000 hours, which is fantastic in this lighting scheme as the lamps will rarely need to be changed. These fittings have been used to highlight the texture of the brickwork beautifully and frame the glass panels to lead your eye out into the external pool area.
Contour LED strip grazes the wall behind the banquette for a warm wash of light, a glow underneath the kitchen island creates a floating effect and we backlit a marble sculpture to make it a focal point.
Ground floor control
We wanted to make the external space on the ground floor feel like an extra room adding grandeur to the space, so we added feature uplighting around the pool to illuminate the stunning volcanic tiles to draw your eye out. We also carefully arranged spiked spotlights, a mixture of Hamptons and Kews, in the planters to accentuate the trailing wall plants making them appear like organic sculptures in the evenings. External, surface-mounted wall downlights were positioned at the end of the pool to act as a focal point and skim light down the grainy wooden panels. We specified these in copper which would oxidise in the weather over time to give a wonderful industrial feel.
In the open-plan area, a simple Lutron control system was used to allow the client to program individual scenes for different times of the day. In the day-time scene when there is a lot of natural light, our recessed downlights add a boost of illumination to the space and provide functional task lighting in the kitchen. We specified our Square Trimless downlights for a contemporary feel and tilted these to light artwork, kitchen units and worktop surfaces for a soft, reflected general light. In the evening scenes, we dimmed the downlights and introduced low-level lighting effects for ambience and atmosphere. A recessed
It was really important to us that we kept the transitions between areas fresh, interesting and fun, so we introduced colour onto the connecting staircase between the two buildings. Contour RGB LED strip boldly folds up the sides of the steps and the colour can be adjusted by the client via remote control for flexibility. For a busy, social household like Alex’s, colour-changing lighting is a very effective tool for creating different atmospheres and can also inject a bit of fun for party events.
Bathrooms Most of the bathrooms have curved walls, therefore good lighting is essential to make these spaces feel larger. We carefully positioned small, round lowglare downlights around the perimeter of the room and directed the light onto the tiles to push the walls out to make the space feel bright. Here we used the Aquabeam, with a high IP rating for wet areas like in the shower, and low-glare Polesprings everywhere else. All of the downlights chosen have a good Colour Rendition Index of 93 CRI, which ensures that the light source accurately renders the colours of the tiles so they are vivid and true to life. To provide effective task light to the mirrors, downlights are directed to highlight the basins and wall lights are set at eye level to give good illumination to the user’s face. In the master en-suite, we added a touch of glamour to mirrors by detailing a soft halo effect as a backlight. Low wattage floor washers and window uplights were put on motion sensors to act as nightlights.
Fun features One aspect of Alex’s house that we loved was the curved architecture and winding narrow hallways on the upper floors. With few places to hang paintings in these areas, the lighting was so important and really acted as artwork itself to make the corridors come alive. We scattered Manhattan floor washers along the walls for regimented horizontal forms of light to guide you down the passageway. As you continue your journey down the corridor, you are led up the winding spiral staircase lit by miniature Luccinis that graze every step. For additional drama in the passageways, in contrast to the horizontal direction of the floor lights, Luccas, recessed into the window sills, throw light vertically up onto the ceiling and accentuate the architectural curves. Above: Feature uplighting around the pool was added to illuminate the stunning volcanic tiles to draw your eye out Below: Carefully arranged spiked spotlights, a mixture of Hamptons and Kews, in the planters accentuate the trailing wall plants, making them appear like organic sculptures in the evenings
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Going off-mains: a self-builder’s guide to wastewater treatment A rise in self-build projects in rural parts of the UK has made finding the right wastewater treatment option for individual projects more important than ever before. Here Matthew Rolph, Managing Director at GRAF UK, takes a look at the viable options for homes disconnected from the mains sewage network.
ith urban areas reaching saturation, the number of selfbuilders choosing to venture further afield and live off-mains is increasing rapidly. This growing trend is forcing us to seek out safe and reliable off-grid methods of managing and treating wastewater – ones that also comply with stringent official regulations on public health and environmental protection. If you’re building outside the mains sewage network, you can still rest assured: there is an array of different options available that do the job. From simple storage solutions to more
modern, super-efficient wastewater treatment systems – what are the key options available, and what guidelines should you be familiar with when embarking on your self-build journey?
Weighing up your options Historically, septic tanks and cesspools have been the most familiar off-mains drainage solution. Whilst they are both relatively simple solutions, they are not always suitable (or indeed legal) for a given property or its local environment. Septic
tanks and cesspools can often be very high maintenance, and require regular servicing to prevent overflowing. What’s more, further treatment is typically needed to ensure waste meets quality requirements. Cesspools do not treat or discharge the sewage at all: they are essentially a holding tank, with no outlet. Septic tanks are similar in construction, but feature compartments that separate solid and liquid waste. The latter is discharged through a soakaway, and cleaned by percolation – but this is only effective in parts of the country with the correct type of soil (i.e. porous).
for its Klaro E Professional and One2Clean ranges Left: Sequenced batched reactor (SBR) systems have gained popularity as a third, more technologicallyadvanced type of package sewage treatment system for self-build homes Below: Matthew Rolph is Managing Director at GRAF UK
Depending on the size of the project and proposed discharge method, you may also need to apply for permission under the Environmental Permitting Regulations (2014). Not all systems need to obtain consent, but we would always recommend checking. In rare circumstances where treated effluent is extremely pure, it can be released directly into the water courses (subject to prior approval from the Environment Agency). Choosing the right system is absolutely key here though, so ask your manufacturer if in any doubt. Last but not least, you will also need to think ahead and book in an annual maintenance visit to ensure there is no residual build-up. Some manufacturers offer maintenance contracts as well as installation services – so make sure you enquire to get the best deal possible. For an option which actually treats waste, selfbuilders need to look at package sewage treatment plants. These work by blowing compressed air into the bottom of a tank, which acts as a catalyst for microorganisms to break down the waste. The resulting liquid is relatively clean and can safely be released into the water courses via a soakaway. There are several types of package sewage treatment systems available, but the most popular are: Moving bed systems, where colonies of bacteria grow on the surface of plastic carriers (known as ‘media’), before mixing with raw sewage by way of aeration. Activated sludge systems, which continuously blow air into the base of the tank, using air bubbles to enable bacterial growth. Once the bacteria have digested the organic content and pollutants in the waste, what is left is discharged into a clarification chamber, where it settles at the bottom of the tank. The live bacteria then return to the first chamber where the process starts afresh. Whilst these are two viable options for offmains projects, they can be difficult and expensive to maintain (e.g. the plastic media need cleaning/ replacing regularly). Because waste is being treated continuously, these systems can also struggle to cope effectively when sewage flows through too
quickly during peak times – jeopardising the quality of the treated waste. This is why, more recently, sequenced batched reactor (SBR) systems have gained popularity as a third, more technologically-advanced type of package sewage treatment system for self-build homes. At GRAF UK, we are seeing a particular spike in demand for our Klaro E Professional and One2Clean ranges, which use this technology. SBR systems work in the same way as activated sludge solutions (i.e. by mixing and circulating waste inside a main tank), except they treat sewage in batches instead of continuously. This means the incoming flow rate has no impact on the speed of the treatment process – allowing for more consistent, efficient performance, and resulting in a much higher quality discharge.
Opposite: GRAF UK is seeing a particular spike in demand
Knowledge is power If you’re going to be living off the mains sewage network, the question of how to deal with wastewater should be front of mind – and with good reason. However, only an overall understanding of the rules and regulations surrounding wastewater treatment, and a sound knowledge of the different options available, will ensure you are equipped to choose the system that’s right for your self-build project.
All things considered Whichever wastewater treatment solution you opt for, there are a number of rules and regulations in place to ensure the quality of the treated waste meets public health and environmental standards. Installing the wrong type of system can have unpleasant or even disastrous consequences, such as bad odours and overflowing. It’s worth remembering that in the event of a pollution incident, both the installer and the property owner are at risk of prosecution under Environment Agency regulations – and both can potentially face heavy fines as well as large clean-up bills.
Enhancing your render’s lifespan Whether you’re using render to revitalise tired walls, or to encapsulate that fresh finish – it needs to be cared for. Here, Dr Ross Savage, Head of R&D at K Rend, talks i-build through a few simple steps you can take to enhance your render’s lifespan.
Wash your render like you wash your windows Windows don’t need to be cleaned every single week but, like render, windows are exposed to airborne contamination and they still need to be cleaned regularly. Savage explains: “A gentle wash once or twice a year is enough to keep your render clean and fresh. Render is durable, however high-pressure power washing can damage render – a gentle spray of water is adequate.”
Keep an eye on algae Render is not exempt from the elements; damp conditions and airborne contamination produce algae. Savage advises: “Keep an eye on the details of your house and external plumbing. Algae grows in warm, damp conditions. If present, algae needs treating first with a fungal wash, then rinsed off. Ensure the algae is properly washed away to guarantee the bacteria is killed off and removed from the site.”
Prevention is the best cure The key with render – it’s not zero maintenance, it’s a low-maintenance product. Washing walls once a year, keeping algae at bay; these are simple steps that will significantly enhance the lifespan of your render.
What are the benefits of using render for a self-build project? There can be nothing more advantageous for self-builders than choosing a material or system that not only saves time but will reduce project costs, is easy to apply and achieves the very highest standards of function and finish for smart new homes. Saint-Gobain Weber manufactures a wide range of renders, but for time and speed of application, the factory-produced weberpral M monocouche render is high on the list for self-builders. This is a cementitious through-coloured render suitable for onecoat application which can be applied to brick or blockwork substrates. Produced from carefully selected raw materials, weberpral M monocouche render is formulated for pump application which allows quick and efficient installation; it can also be applied by hand. This contributes significantly to shorter programme
periods, reducing associated scaffolding and site costs and permitting the completion of ground works at an earlier stage. Recent changes to the formulation of weberpral M have been designed to be fit for combat in the war against unsightly algae. Saint-Gobain Weber has worked closely with French microbiologists to understand the effect of the composition of the render and the effect that external factors have to play, such as surface condensation, temperature and rainfall.
Dual-purpose render supplies cosmetic and practical solution for facades Render offers a superb renovation option, with flexibility being one of its greatest assets, writes Ben Warren, Managing Director at Baumit UK. Whether it’s upholding a building’s tradition by repairing cracks and signs of ageing or giving a fresh, modern look to a dated facade, there are few surfaces this easily-applied plaster isn’t capable of improving.
For older-style buildings, sleek, smooth render covers pebbledash with ease and provides an excellent alternative for old, weathered cladding. As well as style, render offers building protection to help strengthen its overall performance envelope.
Baumit render is ready-mixed and tinted and available in an incredible 888 facade colours. It includes a wide range of high-quality acrylic and silicon facade renders as well as a proven selfcleaning option: Baumit NanoporTop. Containing stunning ‘photokat’ technology, the system uses natural daylight to maximise protection against pollution contamination to leave buildings looking clean and fresh. The improved consumption of Baumit’s products means there is less material waste than alternative or traditional external plasters which require mixing on site. Render has a cosmetic and practical role to play as part of a building’s facade. Its forms, textures, materials and colours give it a distinctive character, as well as year-round protection against the elements. A good render will look good for longer and negate the need for periodical and, potentially, costly maintenance or repair. With spray-applied options available, render is the easiest, most effective way of supplying a property with a smart, sustainable face. Baumit was created in 1988, following collaboration between two Austrian building materials companies. It is now one of Europe’s leading brands with a presence in more than 30 countries. Baumit’s vision is for people to live in ‘beautiful, energy-efficient and healthy homes’.
Render tips from Sika Design is key – make sure details, fixtures and fittings have been considered before the render is applied. It is much harder to retrofit. Continuity of waterproofing system – make sure you consider the whole system, i.e. walls, floor, joints etc. Substrate preparation is key – to the overall performance of any render system. Do not accept/use site batch systems – you cannot replicate factory quality on site. Sika has a pre-bagged render system with which it provides a guarantee for. Always use approved contractors – waterproofing is a specialty. Sika has a list of registered waterproofing contractors who are trained, assessed and experienced in correct application of the Sika Waterproofing product. Technical support – choose a manufacturer that can offer you support. Sika provides technical support with its Sika 1 Pre-Bagged Waterproofing Render system. No maintenance – one of the key benefits of the Sika 1 Pre-Bagged Waterproofing System is that it has no ongoing maintenance.
Relax and unwind Here Dan Cook, Designer at luxury bathroom company C.P. Hart, explains how to achieve that spa-like feel in your self-build’s bathroom.
ome spa elements are becoming much more accessible and fit for purpose in the modern home, going beyond the ever-popular hydrotherapy bath systems. Thanks to new innovations, people can now enjoy the luxury of steam integrated into their shower enclosure, eliminating the need for additional space. Similar developments have seen more affordable sauna offerings being introduced to the domestic market. As consumers become more aware of wellness technologies, including chromotherapy, they are being specified at the planning stage of a new bathroom. Music systems are also a popular choice, as people reassess how they interact with their bathroom, no longer seeing it as just a functional room. There are modest products on the market that may not be ‘all singing, all dancing’, but will still enhance your bathroom experience, such as colour-changing LEDs, a shower steam generator
or multi-function shower head. Most baths can be updated to incorporate whirlpool jets and lighting, which can be cost-effective if you do not wish to replace your whole bathtub. It also means you can experience hydrotherapy in a smaller space, simply by adapting your existing tub. Consumers are much more aware of the benefits of wellness products so are willing to introduce these elements into their homes. While, perhaps, three years ago a sauna was an extravagant product and unnecessary in the everyday bathroom, we are seeing a rising interest in sauna and steam. Home spas and wetrooms are expected to see a great deal of growth over the coming years – it is no longer a ‘specialist’ product and consumers are keen to embrace more technological possibilities in their homes, as well as viewing their bathroom areas as spaces to relax and unwind, as opposed to a solely utilitarian area.
ULTRA SLIM SLIDING PATIO DOORS, BIFOLDING DOORS AND CONTEMPORARY ROOF LANTERNS Allow natural light to flood into your home with our range of slim-line contemporary roof lanterns, aluminium sliding patio doors and bifold doors complete with solar control double glazing. High specification products designed to add the WOW factor to any home at affordable prices.
Steel enamel: the perfect material for creating a home spa feel Bathrooms must not only feature an attractive and timeless design, but must also be cost-effective. The quality of the material used thus becomes a competitive factor because it determines the length of use and lowers the costs for maintenance and replacement. Steel enamel is a quality material which, with its glass-hard surface, is both exceptionally high grade and robust. Some steel enamel manufacturers offer additional benefits, for example chipresistant, acid-resistant, heat-resistant, UVresistant and recyclable. Steel enamel is the perfect material for a bath because of its exceptionally high surface quality. Showing not even the tiniest of scratches despite
daily use, it is extremely hygienic and easy to clean as dirt and limescale have nowhere to settle so it is an eminently safe choice. It is a material that stays looking good for many, many years with a beautiful sheen. Kaldewei’s Skin Touch system is available with selected Kaldewei steel enamel baths and creates the perfect home spa experience. Skin Touch combines the ultimate relaxation bath with
Bette says: Sven Rensinghoff, Head of Marketing at Bette, comments: “Creating a spa-like bathroom is as much about the quality of the experience as it is about a more traditional view of what a spa should be. Spacious, freestanding baths and baths where two people can bathe together, even side by side, such as the BetteSpa, help to bring the feeling of
luxurious, deep-penetrating body care. Microfine air bubbles flow into the bath water and enrich it with natural oxygen, producing an instantly noticeable anti-ageing effect. Cell production and circulation are stimulated, skin is deeply cleansed, lines and wrinkles are smoothed – all entirely without bath additives. The tiny air bubbles disperse evenly through the tub like a delicate bath milk, softly caressing the body. The result is skin that feels velvety-smooth and silky from head to foot and stays that way long after a bath as well. Sound Wave is Kaldewei’s unique audio system for its baths which plays music from Bluetoothenabled devices. The steel enamel bath acts as the sound box, providing an audio experience with a difference, it can be played with or without water, allowing customers to immerse and unwind to their favourite sounds, creating the ultimate relaxation environment in the home.
the spa into a bathroom, as do large shower areas, especially those that are flush to the floor. “The way that baths are filled can add to the wellbeing feeling, even before the user steps into the bath. These include spring inlets, like BetteSpring, that allow the water to rise, quietly from the base of the bath, as if it is coming from a natural spring.”
Where to start? When looking to create a bathroom with a spa-like feel in the home you need to start with the mood you want to achieve. The combination of matts with high-gloss finishes is an effective option as it adds light and shadow to a room, giving it depth and interest. Duravitâ€™s Luv collection is a perfect example, the oval above-the-counter washbasins with their delicate appearance belies their robustness, made from DuraCeram â€“ an impact-resistant ceramic that does not absorb light or scents, ensuring it keeps its colour, and is resistant to high temperatures, making it an ideal material for use in a bathroom. The oval washbasins are available in three sizes, each with a generous inner basin in bold high-gloss white, whilst the exterior of the basin has a choice of colour options, satin matt white, grey or sand. They sit atop console tables, their quartz or solid American walnut wood tops harmoniously blending with the soft tones of the stand below. The Luv bathtub has been seamlessly manufactured from DuraSolid. With its slender edge and velvety matt finish, it follows the same soft curves and flowing lines as the washbasins. The Luv bath is available as a freestanding or corner bath, with left and right options, this Luv bath is designed to give the appearance of being freestanding, which adds to the spa-like feel of the room. Into all this, elegant symmetry technology also plays its part, with the introduction of intuitive electronic controls, state-of-the-art whirl air systems and the ultimate accessory, a Bluetooth module for listening to music above and below water, all combine to create the perfect atmosphere for the home spa bathroom.
The grass is greener When it comes to getting your outdoor spaces ready for the months ahead, whether you’ve got acres of lawn or just a small patch, there’s no excuse for not being well equipped.
ften our lawns can take a beating throughout the British seasons, so during the warmer months take note of these tips from gardening tool specialist, RYOBI, and you’ll be set for the year ahead. The first grass cut of the season is often the most important so, if you haven’t already, be sure to set your lawnmower’s cutting height to the highest setting, especially if your grass is long. If you cut it very short straight away, you run the risk of damaging your lawnmower blades as well as the grass itself. Mowing at the correct height encourages healthy growth and reduces the risk of weed problems.
Mow your garden on the higher level first, and then follow by lowering your mower to an appropriate height for subsequent cuts about a week later.
Tools for the job When choosing a lawnmower, bear in mind the size and shape of your garden as this will determine what type is best suited for you. RYOBI’s 36V Fusion Cordless Lawnmower is part of the ONE+ range of cordless tools, providing outstanding 36V performance powered by dual 18V Lithium+ batteries. EasyEdge technology allows you to mow right up to the grass edge or around flower beds. This, combined with its 40cm cutting path with metal blade and five-position
Using the mulch plug rather than collecting your grass into the grass catcher means that the grass is deposited onto your lawn, acting as an excellent fertiliser. Over time, your grass will become much greener and healthier!
(20-70mm) height adjustment, ensures excellent cutting and mulching. The ergonomic handles provide a comfortable mowing experience for users of all heights. Complementing your mowing with a grass trimmer will give you a bit more flexibility in how you care for your lawn and remove weeds. For best performance, RYOBI’s 18V Cordless Grass Trimmer provides fantastic runtime when paired with a 1.5Ah battery (or 2.5Ah if you have a particularly large garden). Adjust the width to 25 or 30cm for versatile cutting and transition between edging and trimming modes with ease thanks to EasyEdge technology.
Benefits of using lawn edging for your self-build’s garden There is still plenty of summertime left to get into your garden. Make the most of the warm weather by sprucing up your self-build’s outdoor space. Here, five-star plastic supplier, The Plastic People, explains how you can tidy up your garden with lawn edging. There’s so much choice available A way to separate grass from garden beds or layers of pebbles and stones, lawn edging can be made from brick, concrete, fencing, metal, plastic tubing, rubber, stone and tiles. No matter your garden’s design, there will be a material to suit.
It makes your garden smarter Once lawn edging is installed, you can enjoy defined beds and borders. What’s more, edging acts as a root barrier from lawn grass and weeds messing up space where plants are growing, as well as keeping soil and mulch away from grass.
Saving time Choosing lawn edging made from a material that can withstand lawn mower blades means you will have a clear border to go to when cutting your grass. The time saved by not needing to be as careful around the border of your garden can then be put to better use, such as planting a new batch of colourful flowers and topping up your bird feed.
It’s quick and easy to install Choose flexi-edge lawn edging like that available from The Plastic People and you can install the edging without any digging. Thanks to its straight and curved edges which can be bent up to 70°, this type of edging can be placed around trees and bushes as well as around a lawn.
What makes a home an eco-home? ‘Eco’ or ‘sustainable’ homes have become popular in recent years. As many have become increasingly environmentally-minded and health conscious, and the cost of fuel in various forms has skyrocketed, there has been a growing desire to look at alternative ways of building homes beyond traditional brick and mortar builds to those offering increased levels of efficiency, as well as benefits to health. Here, Oliver Grimshaw, Head of UK Sales at Hanse Haus, explains what it is that really defines an ‘eco-house’.
he term is cloaked with numerous connotations, from straw-bale self-builds to mud-wall Hobbit homes. The truth is they can come in all shapes and sizes and often exist as living, breathing architectural masterpieces that make a real difference to people’s lives and the environment. We’ve seen positive developments in selfbuild construction in the UK recently and building with sensitivities, not only to the environment, but also personal health has become a key priority for a growing number of self-builders. So what are the best ways to ‘go eco’? Here are a few to consider:
Think ‘fabric first’ Houses are like people as in order to stay warm in cold weather, they work best with an insulated and waterproof hat, boots and jacket to keep them dry and retain heat. Few people walk around in winter wearing a T-shirt, frantically eating food to metabolise in order to stay warm. But homes which don’t concentrate on ‘fabric first’ effectively function under this principle. A good eco-home works on commonsense, paying special attention to implementing a wellinsulated, airtight shell, roof and foundation that protects from inclement weather and retains heat within the envelope. Plus, glazed areas, when cleverly placed, can benefit a house with solar gain. Invest in fabric first and your house need not cost the earth (quite literally) to run!
Let technology add its magic These days, smart eco-technology doesn’t stop at energy-efficient appliances. A significant amount of research and development goes into creating next-generation wall construction methods, insulation materials and even the gas that fills the newest glazed windows. But although a wellinsulated building envelope needs less investment in renewable heating methods, this doesn’t mean that eco-heating and ventilation technology doesn’t play an important role. Such technology may capitalise on energy which is freely available, such as heat from the sun in the case of solar panels, or on heat in the air or soil, as in the case of a heat pump.
Heat from a heat pump can be used to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems, or warm air convectors and hot water in your home. Although the heat they extract is from the ground, air or water is constantly being renewed naturally, they may have some impact on the environment as they need electricity to run. So if investing in a heat pump, why not invest in solar PV too? Free sunlight being used to extract free heat from the air or soil; what’s not to like? Combining two or more eco-technology solutions, efficiently-constructed properties can easily match or exceed their own energy requirement. This can unshackle self-builders from the need to track the steady rise of energy prices, whilst also providing peace of mind that a new property has the lightest of environmental footprints.
email@example.com 0800 302 9220 www.hanse-haus.co.uk
Above: Combining two or more eco-tech solutions, efficiently-constructed properties can easily match or even exceed their own energy requirement Left: A good eco-home works on commonsense, paying special attention to implementing a well-insulated, airtight shell, roof and foundation that protects from inclement weather and retains heat within the envelope
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Q: Is there a British Standard covering these issues? A: The BS7533 Part 12 covers the technical performance of stone, for example, the British Standard for water absorbency is a maximum of 2.5%.
Q: So I’m assuming that all stone on the market meets these British Standards? A: You would be excused for thinking that’s the
How to avoid issues when using Indian sandstone Here Marshalls’ stone expert, Rebecca Hall, discusses the technical performance of Indian sandstone and how landscapers and installers can assess the quality of the stone they are installing in order to avoid issues further down the line.
similar-looking sandstones afford very different performance when installed as paving. It can be hard to spot the tell-tale signs, but laboratory testing gives you a full picture of the technical quality of a stone.
Q: Why do you think Indian sandstone has become increasingly popular over recent years? A: It’s because it can be an absolutely stunning
Q: Technically speaking, what makes good sandstone from bad? A: There is a raft of factors, but there are three
ndian sandstone continues to increase in popularity with British homeowners; however, issues can occur before, during and after installation.
product. People associate stone with a high-end, luxury look and put a great deal of perceived value or prestige in having a natural stone patio.
Q: How many different types of sandstone are there available on the market? Are they all the same? A: There are hundreds, if not thousands of different types of sandstone available in the UK and they all vary greatly in looks and performance. Many of the more commonly available varieties come from Rajasthan in India, or Shandong and Sichuan provinces in China.
Q: So is it easy to tell a good quality sandstone product from a bad one? A: It isn’t always easy to tell just by looking. Many sandstones appear the same when displayed at a merchant or in a brochure, but all sandstones are unique and often have widely differing properties. This can be why many
case, but it isn’t. We tested of a range of stones available on the market and only 50% of them met or exceeded the British Standard. We found that half of the stones available on the market are not technically up to scratch and could cause a wide range of issues in the future.
Q: How can people ensure that the stone they’re installing is technically up to standard? A: We advise choosing stone from a supplier that has tested their products and who can supply a relevant, in date test certificate or declaration of performance. At Marshalls, we have tested all our stone to be 100% sure that every single stone meets or exceeds the British Standard. This process of testing and ensuring that our stones are technically sound we have called ‘The Stone Standard’.
www.marshalls.co.uk email@example.com 0370 120 7474
key characteristics that must be considered when purchasing stone to be installed as paving in the UK – water absorbency, flexural strength and frost resistance.
Q: Why are these three things so important? A: The absorbency of the stone is hugely important. A stone with high water absorbency will not only go green quickly, but may also be more susceptible to frost action which will degrade the stone. Flexural strength is also an important factor. Stone with poor strength means that the product could be easily damaged in transit, during the installation process or simply by everyday use. Finally, frost resistance is particularly important in the UK. A stone that loses strength when subjected to repeated frosts is far more likely to fail.
Top: Indian sandstone continues to increase in popularity with British homeowners Above: There are hundreds, if not thousands of different types of sandstone available in the UK and they all vary greatly in looks and performance
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The windows to your world Supremely versatile and eternally appealing, bespoke wooden window frames will add the wow factor to your new home.
electing the right windows for your property should be one of the most important aspects to your self-build or renovation project, with your final decision affecting the overall aesthetic of your home, both inside and out. Whether you are planning a contemporary build with minimalist styling or are looking for a sympathetic design to enhance a period property, windows are the standout item which will inevitably dictate the style and character of your home. Often seen as the traditionalist’s choice, wooden windows are an extremely popular option with many self-builders and renovators for a number of reasons:
Aesthetic appeal The natural beauty and distinctive appearance of wood has an enduring appeal, which, if preserved correctly with stain or paint, will last for many years. Wooden windows are available in untreated, primed or treated options in materials such as pine, oak and African hardwood sapele. Each timber has different shades, meaning your final choice can be tailored to suit your property. All of these materials provide strong and durable options which combine great aesthetics with good insulation.
Versatility Wooden windows are available in a large range of designs to suit both modern and traditional homes. Select dramatic full-height glazing for a
modern build’s open-plan scheme to create a high-impact look, allowing light to flood in. Alternatively, blend sliding sash windows with a characterful property to restore a period home to its former glory. Glazing options are all-important considerations. Choose carefully as your final selection will further enhance the look you want to achieve. For example, square or diamond leading could be perfect for a country cottage or barn conversion, whereas tinted glass could work well for a modern apartment or contemporary-styled town house.
Quality assured Rather than mass-produced, ‘off-the-peg’ alternatives, wooden windows are artisanmade, crafted by experienced joiners which will produce a design entirely bespoke to your project. All wooden windows are available in energy-efficient, double-glazed options with standard or toughened glass.
Green living An increasing amount of home-builders are recognising the benefits of natural materials over man-made. Windows with wooden frames are far more environmentally-friendly than PVCu and in fact come with a negative GWP (Global Warming Potential). This implies that over a period of service, wooden windows are capable of actually reducing CO2 levels from the atmosphere. In addition, environmentally-responsible suppliers will ensure that all wooden products come from legal and sustainable sources.
Energy efficient As a natural insulator, wood will retain heat in your house, lowering those carbon emissions and therefore reducing your electricity bill and keeping your home comfortable and warm. Your final choice of windows will affect the energy efficiency and comfort levels inside your home, so make sure to consider these sustainability requirements and opt for the most energyefficient units you can afford.
www.woodenwindows.com firstname.lastname@example.org 01782 644871 Top: Windows are the standout item which will inevitably dictate the style and character of your home Above: As a natural insulator, wood will retain heat in your house, lowering those carbon emissions and therefore reducing your electricity bill
Not all driveways are created equal. Marshalls uses the finest materials and accredited installers to create driveways that truly stand out from the crowd. That’s why 99%* of our customers would recommend our products and installers. Visit marshalls.co.uk/createdequal or search ‘created equal’ to take a step closer to your dream driveway. *Post-installation feedback from 2,070 respondents up to October 2016.
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The freedom of flueless ESSE has unveiled a stylish new flueless gas fire design called ‘the Oval’. This striking rounded design joins the more angular shapes that the company already offers, and ESSE believes it will be just as popular for discerning customers in contemporary settings.
Top right: ESSE is proud to offer retailers, engineers and homeowners the opportunity to learn more about the company’s flueless fires and more through regular open days Top: The ESSE team are keen to dispel any fears about safety issues with regards to modern flueless gas heating Above: ESSE has unveiled a stylish new flueless gas fire design called ‘the Oval’
s well as encouraging ‘fearlessness’ in design, the ESSE team are keen to dispel any fears about safety issues with regards to modern flueless gas heating. Sales Director, Mark Blewitt, explains: “We’ve heard reports over recent months that some installers across the industry, as well as a small number of homeowners, have expressed concerns over the safety of flueless gas appliances in the home. I believe this may be down to a lack of information about this innovative technology. “Here at ESSE, we’re keen to dispel these misconceptions by demonstrating that our flueless gas fires are entirely safe, having undergone rigorous testing. This technology is perfect for British homes without a chimney. These contemporary fires are easy to use, easy to install and extremely cost-effective to run. “All ESSE gas fires are hand-built in the UK and have been specified in living spaces worldwide. We’ve incorporated a number of advanced safety features, including flame failure and oxygen depletion devices. The innovative catalytic conversion technology of these stoves ‘cleans’ all products of combustion. “As an industry-leading master stove maker, established in 1854, our flueless gas range benefits from 163 years of stove-building heritage and experience. Retailers, engineers and homeowners
can rest assured that they receive the highest levels of quality from ESSE. “These slimline, contemporary wallmounted (or floor-mounted with new stand), flueless fires tick all the boxes for design, performance and safety. “Not only have we expanded the flueless gas fire collection to include the Oval, we have also made our new colours available across these models too. This is a particularly energyefficient stove collection as virtually 100% of the heat radiates into the room, without being lost up a chimney. These contemporary fires are beautiful from every angle, with ESSE-branded top covers for our floor-level mounted models. “They offer effortless control, especially with the optional remote control, and are very effective heaters – releasing warmth from top, sides and front.” ESSE is proud to offer retailers, engineers and homeowners the opportunity to learn more about the company’s flueless fires and more through regular open days, events and free technical training days for Gas Safe Registered engineers.
www.esse.com email@example.com 01282 813235
New light on ventilation
Have one of the UK’s leading architects help you perfect your grand design with Roof Maker A free design session with one of the UK’s leading architects is up for grabs as part of a new competition by rooflight expert, Roof Maker.
ne lucky entrant will win a free consultation with Nicolas Tye, Eastern Region Chairman of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and Owner of the nationally-renowned Nicolas Tye Architects practice. Anyone planning an ambitious home improvement project would benefit hugely from Nicolas’ extensive knowledge and expertise, which would normally cost thousands of pounds. Nicolas has recently endorsed Roof Maker’s industry-leading range of premium rooflights, as well as advising the firm’s design and marketing team to help them develop a new generation of cutting-edge products. “What I love about Roof Maker is that they share our commitment to extraordinary design,” said Nicolas. “Roof Maker products are sleek and minimalistic, but still manage to offer outstanding thermal efficiency and all-round performance. I can see a huge market for these sort of high-end rooflights among design-focused, aspirational homeowners. “I’m particularly looking forward to meeting with the winners of the upcoming competition, and doing what I can to help them realise their very own grand design!”. Roof Maker CEO, Paul Mildenstein, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking to transform their home with the help of one of the leading lights of British architecture. Visit the Roof Maker website today to register your interest.” To be in with a chance to win, simply register your details on Roof
New light is being shed on ventilation options for non-domestic buildings. Gilberts Blackpool, one of the UK’s leading air movement specialists, has continued its reputation for innovation by now combining a rooflight into its rooftop penthouse terminal. The option is available with Gilberts’ standard or bespoke designs, and encompasses glass or polycarbonate glazing to the roof top of the turret. It can be fitted in both new-build and refurbishment schemes. The development means build and operational costs, and potential weak points on the roof, are all reduced, whilst the internal environment below still benefits from natural daylight and natural ventilation – both key requirements for eco-friendly strategies.
www.gilbertsblackpool.com 01253 766911 firstname.lastname@example.org
New range taps into trend for textured woodgrain British kitchen manufacturer Mereway has extended its marketleading Town & Country collection with a new painted woodgrain kitchen, Bridgwater. This latest door builds on the popularity of the painted shaker door but has a modern twist with a simple joint-free frame. The textured woodgrain finish also updates the look, tapping into the trend for a natural theming. The look is still unmistakably British, offering a wealth of range content that provides the flexibility to create a classic country kitchen in a more relaxed style, that it is at home in both a modern and traditional setting.
www.merewaykitchens.co.uk 0800 028 4466 email@example.com
SuperQuilt multi-layer foil earns Agrément approval
The effectiveness of SuperQuilt, part of the YBS range, as a single-layer insulation solution for use beneath pitched roof rafters, in either newbuild or refurbishment situations, has been underlined by the award of a coveted BBA Certificate. Agrément Certificate 17/5388 explains in detail how the multi-layer foil insulation can be used to retain energy within attic or habitable loft spaces – cutting fuel bills, improving comfort levels for building occupants and adding value. It can be employed to address detail areas such as the cheeks of dormers, dwarf walls, bonnet hips and other features. The certification comes after prolonged evaluation by the British Board of Agrément.
www.roof-maker.co.uk 0116 214 7068 firstname.lastname@example.org
www.ybsinsulation.com 01909 721662 email@example.com
LEVATO MONO porcelain paver system Transform any outside space with LEVATO MONO Porcelain paver system from the Deck Tile Co. Ltd. The system offers flexibility and choice for even the most challenging of applications - from roof terraces and balconies with multiple falls to patios and restaurant piazza’s where wear resistance is key. With many finishes and formats available, the 20mm pavers combine incredible technical properties with uncompromising aesthetics and thanks to the intuitive height adjustable and slope correcting facility on the support system, it is possible to cover most waterproof membranes or uneven sub-surfaces.
20mm porcelain pavers 40x80 45x90 60x60 75x75 30x120 40x120 60x120 ‘Floating floor’ – installation over single ply membranes Eternal product - zero maintenance required – offering massive over-life savings
Highly abrasion and stain resistant Highly slip resistant ; R11 and achieved up to +65 wet in the BS pendulum test Lightweight – 45kgs per m2 High load bearing and impact resistance Timber & stone effects; 40+ finishes available
www.thedecktileco.co.uk t: 0118 391 4120
Completely non porous Ideal for balconies, roof terraces and piazzas, for both commercial and residential use Fire & frost proof Height-adjustable supports from 9mm up to 550mm
Quality Assured Energy Efficient Sustainably Sourced
Here at Wooden Windows, we use a wide range of timber to create stunning products. With sustainably sourced pine, oak and African sepele, we create beautiful uncoated windows, as well as our new brand range of finished windows in a selection of heritage colours. Quality is assured with our versatile, energy efficient windows.
Design your own windows today,
Enter or quote: IBUILDWW5 when ordering your windows to receive 5% off your order*
For advice, call our team on
01782 644871 Showroom: Gordon Banks Drive, Trentham Lakes Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 4TW *Offer ends 31/10/17
This month i-build delves into the minds of some of the best names in the render industry. Elsewhere in the issue Mone Brothers’ Blackhill q...
Published on Jul 31, 2017
This month i-build delves into the minds of some of the best names in the render industry. Elsewhere in the issue Mone Brothers’ Blackhill q...