The Leading Edge

The Leading Edge

Some people dream of building a ‘Grand Design’ using ‘Leading Edge Eco materials’, but what they forget is that just beyond the leading edge lies a vast abyss of ignorance. The day you find yourself staring into it, you might just have to hope that an unexpected hero will suddenly emerge to save the day. Luckily for us, Chris Brookman and his products from Back to Earth appeared just in time.    More

Now where have we got to…

Now where have we got to…

We’ve had a long, self-indulgent period where we were hardly ‘self’ building. The amazing Mike Roberts with his able Whiteway Carpenters  has been the real project manager (not me!) – every so often saying – ‘Time to order your insulation’ or ‘Better get the plumber in now’. He will still be coming in to help us with the ‘design and build’ – where he teaches us how to build something, then leaves us to get on with it. But Monday marked the end of an era.

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Winter Sun

Winter Sun

Our Solar PV is angled to optimise winter sun. It is fascinating to see how it performs, now that our daily cycle of sunlight is so short. Today was a great example. First day of sunlight, after 3 days of murky grey.

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So nice to be here

Before… and during.  Leftmost photo – the cabin before the house was started. Rightmost photo (and below), look closely, the single storey bit- away from the scaffolding to the left in the photo, that’s the Cabin that we are living in. I really want to share what an amazing experience it is to live in a micro version of the house you are building, while you are building it, but I’m struggling to explain.

BeforeAndDuring More

Very Special Deliveries

Very Special Deliveries

 

This week was always going to be tough because we are now on the first floor and need to move the blocks one by one onto the slab and then up onto the first floor. Yesterday we threw Manpower at it – Mike Roberts + 2 of his guys + me and it took us an hour and a half to get two pallets of blocks unloaded onto the first floor.

I had mentioned to the Wrights (who are helping me with the sheep and sheep milking), and this morning: More

Next Generation

Next Generation

We have had generator problems for the last few months. The Hyundai generator died and I lost faith in the brand. Not in the people – Genpower and Just Generators have acted honourably and fairly – but I suspect I will never buy anything with a Chinese motor ever again. So skip forward to the next generation,  our new generator looks very promising. More

What I most feared

What I most feared

Roderick James Architects wanted us to build with Clay Blocks. An environmentally friendly material (clay), cleverly engineered with natural insulation and thermal mass, but very expensive. Mike Hope said that we could afford this system because it is so simple that we could lay the blocks ourselves. I could imagine that indeed, we could lay the blocks, but knowing when and how to stop seemed to be an entirely different and much more difficult problem. How to know when you’ve reached a door or a window and what you do when you get there, REALLY worried me. More

Can it get busier?

Can it get busier?

No days off for us, unlike our neighbours with the steam engine!

I keep asking myself the above question. Trying not to stumble under massive irony – We have phone and internet at Easterdown, but at the cottage where we are staying someone accidentally put a chainsaw through the telephone line, so no internet/email/voip in the evenings. Tough to arrange stuff, but we’re still progressing –

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Esse Arrives

Esse Arrives

The ever resourceful Ben Bowman of Ben Bowman limited, himself arrived with colleague James to deliver the Esse Plus 1 which will provide heat, hot water and cooking.  All in one very pretty package. Comments on the cabin from James “What an amazing place! Fantastic wood frame” (pointing to the Belfast Truss) to which Ben answered ” I only take you to the best places”. Everyone who sees the Cabin, loves it.

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Did this really take 3 days?

Did this really take 3 days?

Yes, it did. Well, two and a half, actually. This has to be the future. Self builders living in micro cabins, well insulated, beautiful, sustainable construction, and this becomes part of the final house. Plus we get to try out lighting, heating, electricity and cooking off grid and see what works and what doesn’t before we commit to the whole house. A microcosm of our future lifestyle. More

Why would you want to do that?

When we embarked on this project, to replace a house that is off grid and remain off grid, people close to us said, “Why would you want to do that?”  They’ve been asking whether we will be living in a Victorian past. But we think that living “off grid”, or at least with some system of electricity generation and storage, is the future. More

Got the Get Go

We have dates for the cabin!

Start date is 28th October and week commencing 11th November it will arrive on site to be assembled.

Busy weekend ahead, we have some catching up to do. Now, where are those wrecking bars?