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

2nd March 2009

One week into the underpinning, and it seems to be going well.  Hats off to the BAHull guys - this is not easy stuff.  Underpinning nice coursed regular brickwork that triangulates to self-support would be a doddle in comparison.

9th March 2009 

And a further week later, the in-between bays are being prepared.  Reinforcing bars are now being drilled into adjacent bays to provide the important structural continuity to make this mad-cap scheme work...

11th March 2009

The underpinning is finally finished!  Although the bottoms look a bit wobbly, it's just where the concrete has seeped out at the formwork.  Structurally, they should be fairly level underneath.  Ply boards are sandwiched to the walls to aid safety and stability for the next stage.

Stone is patched back in above the underpinning, where a little more of it than expected fell out...  The lime mortar shown here has only just been applied, and will be cleaned up with a wire brush tomorrow.

13th March 2009

The position of the steel support frame is marked out on the ground, in advance of digging the four corner foundation pads to support it.

14th March 2009

Spring has finally sprung, making us realise just how dark and long this winter has been... So, full speed ahead on site now, hoping there will be no more snow halting progress.

A serious sized digger has turned up for the main excavation, which will start as soon as the steel support frame has been constructed around the barn.

View of the site from the Northern end of the field, showing just how invisible the new house will be, to the right of the barn. 

16th March 2009

Very large holes have been dug at the corners of the barn and are being filled with concrete to form the pad supports for the temporary steel frame.

The top of the concrete will be our lower terrace level

18th March 2009

Grand Designs come to film the begining of the steel frame construction...

Getting the first truss in is pretty hairy, especially as the concrete base here is narrower than the others, making this wall less stable.  Temporary props hold it in place until the rest of the frame is constructed.

The next piece of this giant 3d jigsaw being lifted into place...

and being very carefully lowered over the crubbly old barn wall...  I keep thinking Robin the digger driver might sneeze...

luckily he doesn't...  everything is done with brilliant precision.

Ed checks the bolts are being tightened enough...

and Mike sets up a time-lapse camera to follow the creation of the very large hole.

31st March 2009

The frame is complete, and the Big Dig well underway...  (just your average build really...)