Friday, November 16, 2007

Open Door Weekend

From 9-11 November it was the Passive House Open Door weekend in Europe. Our architects put on presentations for the press and public, and about 250 people visited the house over three days, including a TV crew, lots of newspaper journalists and a bus tour!

Display of the clay that is going on the walls. We can choose from several different textures of clay.

Display of top coats of clay. Different coloured pigments can be mixed into the normal coloured clay to create a variety of natural colours. We will probably leave some walls the natural colour (see above photo) and then add one or two coloured walls to each room for a contrast. We will not paint the walls at all.

Hemp insulation being used in the roof and some interior walls.

"Wattle and daub". Reeds are put on top of the wooden interior walls and then a base coat of clay is put on top. The final layer of clay (see picture above of samples) goes on top of this.

Adam and Alex in the sandpit.

The outside of the house is almost finished, but they ran out of wood, so more is on order.
The ventilation system was installed in the week of 5 November. Some pipes will remain visible to prove that we have an alternative system. Fibre glass has been used as insulation in some interior walls.

The water pipes in the downstairs bathroom.

The electric wiring in the kitchen.

The ventilation pipes and the frame for the ceiling in one of the bedrooms. The box with the red stripe is to prevent noise travelling along the pipe.

The clay bricks have been laid inside all the exterior walls and on the floors for insulation. Several more layers of board and wood have gone on top of the floors, which are really sound proof (Alex tested them!).

Walls and Ceilings, Plumbing, Electrics

When you are having a house built, you don't have time to update a blog! A lot has happened in recent weeks: mainly to do with the interior fittings. Also, at the end of October we had to move out of our flat. The buyers had paid for it in August and agreed to let us stay on for a few months. As the house is behind schedule, we are now living with my amazing friend and her two children in her huge house in the village next to ours. 15 October 2007: Adam helps the plumber install the toilet.

Alex and Adam put all the pipes in order.

In mid October the electric wiring was also installed and clay bricks were laid as interior insulation. The bricks have not been fired, in order to help ensure optimum humidity in the house. They have been laid using a German technique that does not need mortar. Clay 'plaster' will go on top.

9 October 2007: Oak cladding goes up on the top half of house.

29 September 2007: The final downstairs ceiling.

Detail of mesh and plaster on bottom half of house outside (obviously not finished!).