Front Door

I built my own door, oak frame 32 x 95 round solid fire door blank with two sheets of pir, inside 10mm and outside 25mm, clad inside with oak faced 9mm MDF rebated into frame, outside with left over engineered oak flooring onto the frame, in a door frame with good draught seals

 Part built front door, note no letterbox,

 

Air sealing windows and doors

  1. Ensure that all the cavity insulation is in place
  2. Fit cavity closer insulation to mitigate thermal bridging
  3. Seal the edges of the insulation and fit the next layer immediately behind the cavity lining.
  4. I used painters caulk to stop air ingress between the frame and the lining board.
  5. Seal any internal corners
  6. Finally fit the lining material, in my case plasterboard
  7. seal to frame with a neat bead of acrylic sealant, here brown is best and on wet plastering a hermetic seal is made between the plasterboard and the blockwork.

Ventilation

Ventilation is very important and most of the housing stock in the UK relies to a greater or lesser extent on incidental draughts for ventilation. We know that my house is very air tight so it will need ventilation. I designed in a passive house type ventilation system, a Genvex, one of the better systems. This is fully ducted using rigid ducting, 200, 150 and 125mm in diameter and each room has either an inlet or extract terminal or both.

Ventilation rates are still open to question and some claim that 25m3/person/hr is required. We find that as there is a fully mixed large volume of air in the house we can live with less than 40% of that between us with no perceivable loss in freshness. We can control the fan speeds in one percent increments from 10% to 100% generally we run at between 35% and 45% with higher rates immediately after showering or when family are visiting.

The higher the ventilation rate the bigger the heat losses are and ventilation heat losses are my biggest losses even though I have a very efficient heat recovery system.

Read more of my pre-build advice on ventilation Continue reading Ventilation

Philosophies

Design Concepts

These are the design concepts that I am considering:-

  • Very low energy use, lower than a Passive House or Code 6 CSH
  • Maximise solar contribution to water heating using the inevitable excess for heating by utilising an interseasonal thermal store
  • Build tight and ventilate right
  • Heavyweight construction – maximum ability to store solar gains and minimum temperature fluctuations
  • High comfort – very low energy demand
  • Triple glazed windows
  • Mitigation of thermal bridging by design
  • Nuts and bolts

 

Ideals

These are the ideals I hope to achieve for my house:-

  • No heating system
  • Comfortable to live in and low maintainence
  • Achieve very airtight construction
  • Use recycled agregrate blocks
  • Rain water recycling
  • Not to pay any fees or costs for certification
  • Monitor house energy use and temperatures
  • Not to have any polluting energy appliances in the house
  • To provide a life time quality home for myself and my wife
  • To involve myself fully in the project