Friday, 29 October 2010

And so the work continues...

First fix heating and plumbing commenced.

Heating pipework is in micro-bore.

Solar collector pipework enters roof void between the pod an party walls via a proprietary flexible slate on roof. These fall outside of the airtightness membrane and enter on the first floor living space rear-elevation.

Care needed to be taken that the breach in the airtightness is controlled and carefully resealed.

Furthermore, pipework from the pod for the heating and the overflow for the MVHR also breached the airtightness membrane. The location is awkward and a lot of effort was taken to ensure that resealing was satisfactory. These pipes enter the bathroom services cupboard via a sealed duct.

The boiler flue was sleeved through a duct to outside.
This sleeve was sealed around the brickwork and the airtightness membrane. When the boiler flue is inserted the gap between the flue and the duct will be sealed internally and externally ensuring airtightness.

Second fix joinery commenced.
Fire doors within the property were cut from fire blanks to take into account non standard openings.

The kitchen was installed as per agreed layout.
The cooker-hood extractor which was integrated as part of the MVHR was installed and attached to the ducting.

A cupboard was formed in the front bedroom to allow for storage and an additional cupboard was formed around the MVHR unit.

Site visit takes place from Kingfisher Group to look at pod and retrofit works.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Pre-Completion Air Test

Some skimming work commences within the property.

The services cupboard is constructed in the bathroom.
It became apparent because of limited space that it would be very tight to incorporate all the necessary components, which included the boiler, twin-coil hot water cylinder, expansion vessels, and solar pump amongst other things.

An intermediate air tightness test was carried out;

The test indicated an air tightness reading of 3.4 m3/m2 at 50 pa.

This was quite a result, as the pre start reading was 15.1 m3/m2 at 50 pa. Areas were identified where some leakage was occurring, most of which could be addressed with some additional work and sealing up. However as previously suspected the metal to metal joints of the underside of the pod structure that were inaccessible will be impossible to fully address.

Once the property is fully plastered the test should improve. We will have to take a hit on this.

EMHA board members attend site for a visit of the retrofit property.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Are we there yet?

The timber stud around the windows to form the reveal were set approximately 20 degrees out of square to give us a splay detail as described previously.

Because of the limited timber section on the windows, fixing the plaster board proved difficult. The solution was to fit a 10mm timber bearer around the perimeter of the windows. Plaster board could be carefully fixed to this and the timber stud after insulation was stuffed behind the reveal board.

The MDF window boards were secured in a similar manner.

The same situation occurred on the front elevation windows where the timber section was exceptionally limited. The solution was to solvent fix white tile trim along the perimeter. This would allow plaster board to be trapped at this point and secured to the timber stud.

The sealing and air tightness work has taken a considerable amount of time, much more than anticipated. The manual labour element of ensuring air tightness continuity and sealing/patching can account for much of the time, as well as additions discovered when stripping out the property.

There has been a continuous learning process for the project team and operatives. They now have a greater appreciation of what and why it is being done, than they did before starting on site.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Boxed In

The front door and rear door were installed and a fabric skirt was attached to the frames as per the window details.
The continuous airtight membrane caused a problem in the bathroom.
The membrane was running up the walls and to the underside of the ceiling. The ceiling was then to be lathed and plaster boarded. The problem was the light fittings again were deeper than the lath and plaster board by a considerable amount. This would mean that the membrane would need to be cut out.
The solution was to create a plywood box that would be fixed in between the ceiling joists at the light fitting locations.
This box would be lined with a membrane and sealed.
The seal would continue into the ceiling membrane ensuring continuity and airtightness.
The boxes effectively created a hood for the lights. The lights and the transformer easily fitted within these boxes.