Saturday, 20 August 2011

End of week twenty-eight (eight weeks till moving)

All week the insulation bricks having been going on the walls and it looks like there's at least another week to go. I know I'll be grateful when they're finished but I have to warn anyone thinking of using them that they are pretty disgusting when cut and you really do need to keep all your windows closed because, being polystyrene, it blows everywhere. It's been very dry for the past couple of weeks and standing in the garden on Friday was reminiscent of Pompeii on the morning of August 24th "iam cinis, adhuc tamen rarus" to quote Pliny the Younger.**

The porch is almost complete now and look at the size of the glass. Recently we found some stickers of bird silhouettes at the RSPB shop in Minsmere so we'll be adding those once the build is over in an attempt to stop too many birds crashing into the glass. The pigeons here are so obese they can hardly get off the ground so anything that deflects them has got to help our eco-ness. I can't find these sort of stickers anywhere online but they are made by River Deben Crafts in Woodbridge on 01473 736751 or email at: according to the packaging.

Inside, the ducting and pipes for the ventilation are taking on the look of a zone on the Crystal Maze. This picture shows the top floor and there's another load of ducting on the opposite wall and floors below. Believe it or not the cylinders you can see are silencers.

My great-grandfather was an engine room artificer in the Royal Navy so I'm hoping I've got enough genetic memory to drive the system when the builders leave.
On the ground floor another control panel has been installed next to the heat exchanger. This is for the rainwater harvester and if you look closely you can see gauge on the left showing the amount of water in the tank. I do sometimes wonder how much of this house was inspired by avid watching of things like Thunderbirds. I fully expect the lights will change  to ever more alarming colours as the tank empties and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it sounds an alarm to tell me when there's only two loo flushes left before the next rainy day. 

In a cupboard downstairs the water tank is also being installed. Unlike most of the eco products in this house, which are made in Germany, this has been manufactured by OSO, a Norwegian company.

The water will be heated by the solar thermal pipes on the roof and is supposed to be sufficient for a family. If it's up to the job I will let you know as my daughters  are committed to testing it rigorously, in the interests  of science.
And the last of the deliveries this week has been the kitchen, which is currently sitting in boxes until the floors have been done. All the white goods are as energy efficient as possible and we'll be using an induction hob, which will entail changing all our cookware to pieces made of cast iron or steel.

Apparently the best way to ensure that the pans are suitable for an induction hob is to take a magnet with you to the shop, so if you see an idiot in IKEA tapping saucepans with a Klimt fridge magnet in the next couple of weeks that'll be me.

** Latin - too good to restrict it to the private schools

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