• Design,  Floors,  Research & Resources

    Floor covering options for Limecrete

    Victorian terraced houses often have suspended wooden floors, sometimes with a solid floor in the rear scullery that later tends to have changed use to become the kitchen area. Replacing the floor in an older property should be done with care to avoid unintentional damage to the fabric of the property. Limecrete is a breathable, solid floor alternative to a poured concrete floor or a suspended wooden floor. But what exactly is it and what are your floor covering options to ensure the all-important vapour permeability is retained? How is a limecrete solid floor created? Limecrete is generally laid without a damp proof membrane, with foamed glass aggregate underneath which…

  • Design,  Hempcrete,  Research & Resources

    Hempcrete & Woodfibre – Looking at performance (including U-values)

    “For example 240mm thickness of hempcrete meets current UK building regulations for insulation (compared to around 80 mm of polyurethane insulation board). However because hempcrete is cheaper than synthetic insulation materials, and is used to form a monolithic wall, the usual thickness of hempcrete applied in a new building is 300-400mm for a wall. The typical thermal conductivity of hempcrete is typically 0.06 to 0.07 W/mK. U-values for hempcrete vary depending on the thickness, the type of binder used, the exact specification, application techniques and the skill of the contractor, however a typical u-value (for a 350mm thick hempcrete wall) is 0.17 W/m2K.” https://www.ukhempcrete.com/hempcrete-buildings-thermal-performance-and-costs/ Useful comparison of natural insulation materials.…

  • Research & Resources

    Genuinely useful and/or interesting resources…

    Paper from UWE detailing the evolution of building elements. This is of particular interest to me since some of the images of historic documents showing original plans for Victorian terraces are from the Bristol record office.   Article showing defects by decade over the last century. www.simonjameslewis.com Simon is a wonderfully dedicated expert in how buildings are constructed. He promotes practical, cost-effective and energy conscious solutions to common problems in houses, with a long-term vision. His approach is collaborative & involves empowering individuals to learn, explore new ways of thinking to achieve outcomes that help the occupants whilst also looking after the health of the building overall. With some fascinating…

  • Research & Resources,  Tips & HowTo,  Woodwork

    Old vs new methods

    The 120 year old fixing… The twisted wooden peg, a.k.a the ‘dochen’ made from temperate softwood is a wonderfully strong fixing point you will find throughout older houses if you have cause to peel back the layers. I never knew about them until learning about hempcrete insulation retrofit, and seeing photos was not enough to truly understand what beautifully simple yet ingenious marvels they are. Only after seeing them in person and putting all your weight into trying to pull them out, do you realise just how strong they are & grasp how useful they can be. They can compress and expand to some extent as needed, retaining a strong…