Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ventilation and Heating System

The ventilation and heating system was installed from November 2007 to January 2008.

The heat pump and boiler.

Air is circulated around the house through pipes in the ceilings and walls.

Underfloor heating pipes in the main bathroom.

Silencers stop noise travelling from room to room.

Heating pipes in the walls. These are only necessary in a few places.

The Clay Walls

A very distinctive feature of our house is the clay walls. The clay helps to optimise the humidity
in the house, is a natural and safe material (thus adding to the healthy living environment), and looks gorgeous! However, applying it to the walls is a labour intensive and time consuming exercise. By the time it is finished, it will have taken three to four months of one to three people working on it most days, to complete it.

As this method is still quite experimental, some thin cracks unfortunately started to appear in some of the finished walls. The way to prevent this is to apply a layer of gauze to the base coat of clay (using clay) before adding the top coat (the suppliers of the clay had originally said that this wouldn't be necessary). Several of the walls have had to be redone, but at least the problem was spotted before most of the walls were finished.

5 January 2008. The master bedroom. The walls can be left in the basic clay colour, or different coloured sands can be used to make the top coat of clay.

19 January 2008. One corner of the living room.

21 December 2007. The living/dining rooms. The rounded edges look lovely!

December 2007. The base layer of clay in the living room and dining room.
Reeds were stapled to the wooden interior partition walls so that the clay would stick to them. Emma’s dad did most of the stapling when he was over in November. Emma’s parents had come over to help with the move, but found themselves doing building tasks instead!
As reported in previous blogs, unfired clay bricks were used to add insulation to the insides of the exterior walls. The base layer of clay could go straight onto these.

A thin wash of clay was painted over the reeds to make sure the thick clay would stick.

In November, Emma's parents went to the south of Slovakia near the Hungarian border to buy reeds from an old cooperative farm. It was a good challenge and cultural experience for them!