the first Certified Passivhaus in England, by Seymour-Smith Architectsthe AI PassivHaus

4th August 2009

Robin & Co from B A Hull are able to dig the soakaway from our sewage treatment unit, now that the field has been harvested.

Perforated pipe is surrounded by washed stone, and a layer of polythene will be laid over the top before it is backfilled.

Meanwhile, Wesley and his team are cracking on with building our kitchen garden walls, doing so on a layer of extra strong Dow Styrofoam insulation, to eliminate the cold bridge there would have been at this junction.  This will be continuous with the extremely thick insulation that will cover the whole of the roof terrace once it has been waterproofed.

7th August 2009

Still getting used to (and thoroughly excited by) finally seeing in the flesh this thing we have been designing for so long...

10th August 2009

The Kitchen Garden walls that are being built from our splendid recycled blockwork will be faced in the stone that formed the original walls, and are built to match the walls that were originally there.

Waterproofing of the walls to the main part of the house has finally been allowed to progress with the dry weather, and the base has been insulated ready for the drainage layer.

This self-adhesive layer is doing the main waterproofing job, but is actually only one of many layers of waterproofing defence.

13th August 2009

The enormous mound of stone that we excavated to make the hole to put our house in is being crushed into uniform sizes - some to backfill around the house, and some to fill our gabion retaining walls.

And the re-building of the Kitchen Garden walls continues apace...  Lots of NCP jokes coming our way at the moment, but...

... once it's faced in the original stone, that Wesley & co are busy sorting into bags, it'll be fabulous...

17th August 2009

A drainage layer (Fosroc's Proofex Sheetdrain 8) has been added to the waterproofing, followed by two thick layers of Styrofoam insulation, and a layer of Dow Perimate insulation, incorporating vertical grooves and another geotextile layer.  These will all serve to keep us very warm and very dry.

18th August 2009

By the following day, it's finished and ready for backfilling.

19th August 2009

It's great to have a brief bit of summer at last...

Backfilling with the stone we've crushed is a very quick job...


... and makes a big difference to the feel of the house, being partially buried.

20th August 2009

The area under the barn is given the same treatment, albeit in a much more confined space.

whilst Wesley & co get going on the internal blockwork, carving the cavernous interior into smaller rooms.

22nd August 2009

Pockets of the slab that were left out originally to allow the columns to be installed have now been fully waterproofed and insulated, and are ready to be filled with concrete.

This system is a great idea - cement, aggregate and water are separately contained, and are then mixed on site, so that only the exact amount of concrete needed is produced, meaning no waste.

Not so sure about the t-shirts though...

24th August 2009

More scaffolding, and the facing of the kitchen garden walls in the original stone gets well underway.  And from this view, the house looks satisfyingly buried...

The stone is all carefully sorted, and bedded and pointed in lime mortar.  Quite a contrast to the modern methods of construction below...

27th August 2009

Whilst the kitchen garden walls help to stabilise the existing barn walls, we really need to get the roof on the barn / office to tie it all together before we can remove the steel frame.  This steel ridge beam is an important first step.

... and this changes the feel of the building by a surprising amount.

From South in the field, it is good to see how the building sits in the landscape.  The only new part visible, the concrete upstand that will eventually be insulated and rendered, will only be able to be seen from this field.