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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Eco Houses Under Construction - event 2 summary

On Saturday 30th July, over 35 people attended a very different event – to see a house that 2 weeks ago did not exist! Fortunately the weather was glorious so we could sit in the back garden, looking at the timber structure of the ground floor and first floor levels.

Architect Mike Siebert started by talking about the method used to insulate beneath the house before pouring the slab, using load-bearing insulation to form a “trough” around the perimeter of the house, and beneath the entire footprint of the house (onto which the slab was poured).
The central block-work pillar and the ground floor slab will provide thermal mass to absorb excess heat from the house in hot weather and release the warmth into the house when the temperature falls.

Mike went on to explain his innovative wall construction, the practicalities of working with timber in this way and the u-value of the walls (which will be 0.15W/mK once insulated). There was discussion over methods of achieving air tightness and avoiding cold bridging, particularly around the junction of the outer wall and the first floor – tapes, expanding foam, and insulation between the floor and ceiling will all play their part.

Kris Taylor of EcoFrames Ltd went into more detail about how to get the best value for money with highly insulated timber frames, and also answered questions on another important topic – the source and quality of the timber and distance travelled.

For more about this and other Eco House Group projects, go to To see what other projects Transition West Bridgford has to offer, go to

The Eco Houses Under Construction project is funded by Climate East Midlands, East Midlands Improvement and Efficiency Partnership and Communities and Local Government with a Growing Climate Friendly Communities grant. It is delivered by the charity Groundwork East Midlands.

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