Thursday, 30 September 2010

Plastering Started

The front windows were installed.
These were sliding sashes in accordance with the design; assuming the property was in the conservation area.
The MVHR ducting was completed with all vents to each room going back to the MVHR unit.
Dot and dab plaster boards were applied to the walls in readiness for skimming.
Rockwool was filled inbetween studs prior to fixing the plaster board.
A reciprocal site visit was arranged at Newcastle and North Shields.
This allowed us to compare technical details and look at alternative solutions that were being carried out on different Retrofit for the Future competition properties.

Friday, 24 September 2010

First Fix Electrics

First fix electrics commenced.
As well as the electric cable, data cable was fed to the various locations within the property. This cable was necessary for monitoring purposes which will be done via the Wattbox controller.
Furthermore cables for telephone, cable television, and satellite were fed to all the rooms. This was to eliminate the risk of the new tenant calling in media companies and creating holes through their installation.
Most cables were drawn through existing first floor joists and through the new timber studding on the external walls. The cables were protected by metal plates to eliminate damage in the timber stud.
The draw cables within the pod structure conduit appeared to be jammed.
Boards were exposed within the pod structure to gain access. This revealed some poor jointing of the airtightness membrane within the pod structure.
We tried to address these in situ and refitted the boards after drawing the cables.
Down lighters within the pod structure ceiling were deeper than the insulated plaster board and as a result the specified down lighters could not be fitted. Another solution would need to be sought.
The MVHR ducting runs were installed as specified.
The ducting did need to run through the airtightness membrane. Great attention was paid to ensure a good airtight seal at these points. Some adaptation had to be made to the ducting runs in order to ensure a good flow and continuity to the various rooms in the property.
The utility meter cupboard doors had been manufactured incorporating insulation and twin seals to maintain airtightness.
It was assumed that the interior of the meter cupboard was not airtight because of existing gas and electricity meters etc.

Friday, 17 September 2010


The under pod sealing to the rest of the property has taken a considerable amount of time.
It is not certain that this will be 100% airtight because of the omission of the skirt to the pod underside.
The solar collectors were installed onto the pre-fitted brackets on the roof in readiness for the pipework connection.
The existing joists which continue over the passageway have been filled with insulation in order to eliminate any cold bridging from the passageway ceiling.
The membrane was jointed and continued up the wall and over the joists in the new first floor living space as described before.
The MVHR was mounted on brackets within the pod.
This was mounted higher than anticipated because of the need of a condensate trap on the underside of the unit. This in turn had an impact on the connections to the external exhaust and intake vents which were previously fitted within the pod roof structure.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Commenced air tight membrane installation in utility area.

Attached membrane to dpm using bitumen tap. The membrane then folded down and first layer of 100mm pir insulation board put up against wall, hence further trapping the insulation at floor.

The fabric then was lifted up to the insulation board.

Membrane jointed as per manufacturer recommendation.

Internal corners neatly folded.

Second layer of 50mm insulation stood up in front of membrane. The membrane had to continue through ceiling and around joists into bathroom to maintain continuity. Membrane is neatly cut around individual joist ends and the sealing method used was similar to the sealing method used on the party wall.

Timber stud, constructed from 50mm x 50mm timber, is erected and installed in front of insulation and secured to floor and timber joists.
The skirt from the windows is jointed to the wall membrane using metallic tape.
The reveals were then sealed with flexi wrap tape to ensure 100% air-tight seal.

Because the reveals were very deep we decided to splay the reveals in order for more light to be allowed in. The timber stud will be made up to allow for this splay on the reveals.

We identified that an error had been made in not incorporating a continuity skirt from the pod to the rest of the house.

We attached ribbons of membrane to the best possible locations on the underside of the pod to the structure of the house. We had to accept that this would not be a perfect seal because we could not guarantee how well the metal structure was sealed on other metal sections.

This was further exacerbated by the fact that some services had to come through the air-tight membrane. Bitumen tape was used to seal as best we could.
Insulation was stuffed between the pod sides and gable end brickwork.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Window Fitting - Air Tightness

Rear elevation windows installed.
Metal straps used to secure windows to openings.
Attached air tightness membrane ‘skirt’ to outside of frame allowing 300mm excess.

Membrane attached using agreed method of timber strip in mortar groove and double sided tape. This proved finicky and the strip split and not big enough section to take screws. Adapted method and eliminated use of timber strips.

Used double sided bitumen tape to attach to frame then additional layer of metallic tape to close off open edge. Pleats incorporated, two at each corner, to allow manipulation of membrane around corner reveals of openings in order to attach to wall membrane.

All rear windows fitted.
Some windows very tight for the actual openings. Some are little more generous. Would have preferred a more experienced person to measure up rather than a building surveyor.
Heads of windows will need to be foamed, insulated and cloaked off at soldier arches.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Roof complete

Roof covering work is complete!!!

Vents for MVHR exhaust and intake from outside appear to be too close together.

Confirmed with suppler of the solution to have top vent as the exhaust. This solution should be adequate.

Brackets supplied for solar hot water panels are for a tiled roof not a slated.

Contacted supplier unfortunately cannot get the correct brackets to us soon enough. Requested manufacturer drawings for the brackets. Steel fabricators asked to make up brackets over night.

The roof recovering works have take longer than desired. With hindsight we would have requested a gang to carry out works over a week rather than one operative taking three weeks. Nevertheless finished product is good.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The start of air tight work

Adjustments are made to the second staircase to incorporate additional kite winder giving the extra required clearance. This is verified with the architect, and staircase to the pod is successfully installed.
Inter-joist plastering takes place on party wall to eliminate air loss potential between joists bearing onto party wall.
These areas would never have been plastered and it is apparent that voids exist. Plastering between joists should be sufficient to seal up holes and minimise paths of airloss. Decision taken to do a belts and braces approach to the joist ends. The joist ends are wrapped and sealed with flexi wrap tape having tested and developed a method on site.