In the Beginning there was a view and an old croft
Let me set the scene - Caithness is notoriously windy and this house is supposed to be extremely energy efficient
(thanks to Ian MacAskill for the wind sock image)
So, as we loved the view, we bought the croft, scraped the land and started to prepare the foundations. Actually that lot took over 16 months (if you say it quickly it doesn't seem so long) but at last things have started to move.
The house is to be built out of BECO wallform (polystyrene) bricks and insulated to almost a 'passive' energy standard with a minimal underfloor heating system. Suffice to say that this has become an 'assisted' self-build and that there have been some bumpy bits in the design process because so few people/firms are geared up to design/build to these standards.
A similar house with lossy ventilation and double glazed windows requires 1200W plus 2 humanoids and a freezer to maintain an inside/outside differential temperature of over 23 degrees. East Murkle Croft will use heat recovery ventilation and have triple glazed windows with a U value of approximately 0.8W/degree m2. If the reference house requires 4 watts per m2 why did all the underfloor heating companies I approached who actually bothered to quote try to sell me a system delivering 100 watts per m2?
At May 07 the croft roof has gone and the walls have been reduced to produce what will be a walled garden and the house looks a bit like this.
This saga is getting quite long so, to save you wading through the whole lot please choose from the following.
If you don't know where Murkle is try this link
Snail mail to East Murkle Croft Murkle, Thurso, Caithness, KW14 8SR t01847 821098
dg 'at' aquantic.com to reduce unwanted emails! Humanoids will know how to translate.
Duncan Gray. Final update on September 13th 2009