9 February 2014

Scaffolding finally down at Hickling straw-bale house

Scaffolding finally came down 11th December revealing the duvet-like lime rendered straw bale walls, stainless steel cills span the depth of the bales and render, and straight lines of stainless steel cills contrast with wavy wall. Lots of pics below:

The snakelike pipework is for solar thermal panels supported on not yet built pergola, and the timber cladding to dormers isn't fixed yet, but we can finally see the glorious reed thatch.

Warmcell - the recycled newspaper insulation - was pumped in between I joists in roof, between floor joists and in bathroom partitions.

MVHR ducting, the plan means it is a pretty simple layout, with Andrew Farr instructions it was assembled easily.

We've made a straw window - just to remind ourselves!

Solar thermal tank and pipework going in - Kaspar is working with Dominic at LondonSolar and they are doing the installation togethe

Stairs are made of more douglas fir, like the primary frame. The cut strings are recessed back from the edge, and the tread and risers biscuit jointed together. The whole structure seems to be really strong - and looks like a folded sheet of timber. It's a temporary post you can see.

The strawbales are now covered with a huge amount of lime, sand and clay, and while the lime was pretty dried out by end September, the internal clay then brought lots of moisture inside. We're watching the AECB supplied Hygrotrac moisture monitors in the straw and it's interesting to see how they respond to sunshine, de- humidifier, and then rain in the last weeks. The internal moisture is going down, but the monitor in the outer side of the bale in the east wall at the top of the gable showed 99% RH last week.

I haven't properly said all the people who have been working on the job,and materials so here goes;-

Insulation, raft and brickwork to storerooms on north side by Darren, Chris, Alex and Carl at Broadland Builders

Timber frame by Timber Frame Co and their two teams and design by Jim and Elizabeth, douglas fir from Forest of Dean or Somerset

Strawbaling by Strawworks Barbara, Ray, Emma and Eduardo, many friends and helpers - thank you all!

Straw by Longhay and the Thompson brothers

Thatching by Norfolk Thatchers, Richard, Leighton and Charlie and the reed cut in West Somerton by Richard Starling

Window installation by Darren's team and Georg, windows from Optiwin, a group organisation of window manufacturers, windows supplied by Gnan in Auerbach, Bavaria. Georg and Kaspar visited the factory in May 2013

Window cills, steelwork by local firm, Broadland Products

Plastering and rendering by Danny and Gary, materials supplied by Mark Wormesley

Warmcell by Payne Insulation Ltd, Norwich

Electrics by Sam, Sea Palling

Solar thermal and plumbing by Kaspar and Dominc, London Solar

Staircase built and installed by James and Georg


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