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

5th July 2010

Having screeded the floor in the main shower room to a nice smooth fall, John is applying a waterproof coating prior to starting the mosaic tiling.

13th July 2010

A very exciting day, with the arrival of the Sto acoustic panels, which are set to change the space quite dramatically.

We have a very talented group of young men to install them, all under the watchful eye of Russell...

And not long after they begun, the first panels are up and looking great over the dining table (or at least the place where it will be). These panels work both as acoustic baffles (replacing all the rugs and curtains we won’t be having), and aesthetically to define different areas within the large open plan space.

Meanwhile, with the area to be paved all prepared, we take the last opportunity to dig the water feature out in front of the study and master bedroom, before topsoil is spread on the slope.

15th July 2010

Hurrah! Said topsoil is now finally being spread (seen here through the scaffold which has gone up for the rendering to finish)

19th July 2010

Another big exciting day, as the site caravan is finally towed away

the soil is being raked

gabions have been finished

door frames are being installed

the sides of the barn have been backfilled

and a nice “goat track” has been dug into the slope. Phew – what a day!

20th July 2010

Next day is just as full-on. Grass seed has been sown and is being watered (rain had been promised, but has not transpired – still, it is water from our borehole...)

brackets are being installed for the photovoltaic panels

and the balustrade to the “gin and tonic terrace” is delivered

and lifted into position...

21st July 2010

More exciting happenings… painting the library shelves

installing the first balustrade section

raking some more soil

finishing our “mantelpiece” shelves

and starting work on some more groovy shelves

22nd July 2010

Thrilled to see the first paving slab being laid

The slabs are Bradstone “Panache”, which are made from the by-product of the china clay industry.

the balustrade to the “gin & tonic terrace” is all in now, and looking very splendid, if I may say so myself

and to the front of the house, the landscaping is starting to come together too.

the mirror strip to the back of the kitchen makes an enormous difference to the feeling of space and light. And with all the activity (and mess!) elsewhere, it’s refreshing to have a view of a part of the house that looks relatively finished (apart from light fittings)

23rd July 2010

Jim cracking on with the next joinery project – cupboards for the den / snug / media room

while outside is a flurry of activity too, with paving continuing, final touches to the balustrade, and the chaps from NB Renders back to apply the top coat of Sto render…

24th July 2010

the render is progressing nicely (whilst keeping a wary eye on those grey clouds). This top coat is called Lotusan, which somehow manages to mimic the self-cleaning properties of a lotus leaf …

more excitement internally as doors have arrived

and are even being fitted – with particularly splendid stainless steel hinges

26th July 2010

Yay!  First (very subtle) signs of the transformation of our mud patch into beautiful grassy meadow…

and with the renderers finished, we finally get to see the lovely crisp line where render meets window frame.

The entrance area joinery is all finished and being prepped for painting,

and we’ve added the first splash of colour to the book shelves – very satisfying indeed!

28th July 2010

paving progressing very nicely, grass a little less so…

31st July 2010

Andy’s doing a splendid job of our very awkward-shaped-but-groovy shelves – including lovely mitred joints

and Mariusz is likewise doing a splendid job in the “master” bathroom

while Barry and Mark are back to finish the plasterboard bits – notice the light fittings in this picture?...

very exciting indeed to finally have lots of those – although they’re mostly all over the floor to start with. Something about breaking eggs to make omelettes comes to mind…