Tuesday 7th February 2012
One of the high points in any self build project is when the scaffolding comes down and this build is no exception. It’s great to see the outside of the barn revealed with all the Sunfold windows and doors in place and the external finishes complete.
The brickwork boasts detailing that would be typical of a barn style home. Traditionally, there are holes left in the walls of a barn to let air in to dry the grain and although there are no actual holes, Prior Construction has added detailing that echoes this beautifully.
On the garage, Worldheat has installed the Photovoltaic (PV) panels from Mitsubishi Electric. PV panels capture the sun’s energy and convert it into cheap, green electricity. They even work on cloudy days and can cut your carbon footprint, lower your electricity bills and help generate an income by allowing you to sell excess energy back to the grid through the Government's Feed in Tariff Scheme. Including these panels as part of the build will improve the performance of the building and therefore provide credits under the Energy and Carbon Dioxide category of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
The only thing left to complete externally is the landscaping, which is being carried out by Chris Ashworth, who is working on levelling the ground around the building so that it’s wheelchair accessible and therefore conforms to the requirements laid down in Lifetime Homes. At the front of the building they are laying some special permeable block paving which works as a sustainable drainage system and uses a product called Priora. This is a unique patented design supplied by Marshalls through Gibbs and Dandy; it allows surface water to pass between the blocks into a specially calculated sub-base without compromising the structural performance of the pavement. At the rear of the building, Kingspan Water have installed the rainwater harvesting unit that will catch the surface and rain water and store it in a large underground tank for future use.
Inside, the dry lining is complete and the high performance Kingspan insulation has been laid throughout the ground floor, prior to the installation of the Nuheat underfloor heating elements by Proheat. In a house the size of the Wickhambrook, this takes approximately 2-3 days.
The kitchen is an amazingly light and airy space thanks to Sunfold’s feature window and folding sliding doors which can be fully opened to allow access onto the paved terrace being laid outside. These doors are aluminium and virtually maintenance free, and have an anti-trap seal for safety.
The stainless steel flue liner has been installed in the lounge in preparation for the fitting of the stunning feature gas fire being supplied by Anglia Fireplaces.
Next month, all the underfloor heating will be covered up by Screedflo who will be laying screed on both the ground and first floors. As soon as that is dry, the second fix plumbing, electrics and carpentry will be under-way in preparation for the installation of all the fixtures and fittings.
Click here to see the video update from Brent Ackerman, our project manager.