Vict' /Edw' (1837-1910) Terrace,Montpelier
In the final stages of its transformation this home is bursting with unique features – heated limecrete floor with recycled glass gravel subfloor, hemp & lime insulation, tile-effect steel roofing & Shou Sugi Ban cladding on the new loft extension.
Adults: 2 Children: 3
Construction: Solid stone or brick
Age: Vict' /Edw' (1837-1910)
Consultant Ashleigh has used the renovation as an opportunity to use her knowledge of building science to resolve deep-rooted, severe damp problems, while ensuring the building is light in environmental impact.
Stripping back the plaster and floorboards revealed disintegrating brickwork and saturated floors, Ashleigh knew from experience that moisture management would need to be at the heart of their renovation, she quickly got to work sealing the house from the bottom up, outside in. The plan was to make the house air tight, and vapour open.
Over 15m3 of clay was removed from below the original flagstone and suspended timber floor, filled with a combination of recycled glass foamed hardcore, limecrete slab and infloor heating – and covered with reclaimed wood flooring. The remaining suspended timber floor is tied in with insulation and an intelligent membrane.
External walls have been insulated with hempcrete and lime plastered, an assembly chosen for its hygroscopic properties. It bonds directly to the original brick and avoids interstitial condensation.
The original roof was removed and the dormer extension that replaced it avoids the need for structural steel by using built-up timber beams set on top of the building’s 2 spine walls.
Passivhaus membranes, wood fibre insulation, automatic windows, shades and a cedar and larch rain barrier that have been installed in the loft extension provide insulation while maximising breathability, and now accommodates 3 light, airy bedrooms for the children.
The family have expanded their living space from a four bed 150m2 to an impressive seven bed, approx. 210m2 with stunning panoramic views.
This family started construction of their ‘little fixer upper’ in December 2017, and moved in 4 months later – unfinished. Ashleigh’s background is in architecture, working as a building science consultant, so she has managed the project from design to construction. Stephan is an economist trying to keep her budget in check.
The project has made clever use of reclaimed and recycled materials – the timber removed from the roof was reused as studwork and decking. Ashleigh was quick to recommend the Bristol Wood Project; “Make sure you visit regularly for the best finds”.
The family have also implemented behavioural changes to manage the moisture and energy – replacing the gas cooker with an electric one, closing doors, installing low flow fixtures and observing water management throughout the house.
A big challenge has been juggling living on site with the daily life of a young family. Rooms have been liveable at times, as new electrics, heating and plumbing was required throughout. While they’ve managed the process remarkably well, they’re looking forward to seeing the back of the dust.
Ashleigh is happy to share her wealth of knowledge with Bristol Green Doors visitors; this is a fantastic opportunity to experience real-world examples of building breathability best practice.
Behavioural changes can have big impacts; Closing your kitchen door while cooking is an effective moisture control strategy.Homeowner, 2015
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How this house performs
The chart for 2019 case studies shows the household’s annual energy consumption and generation data compared to Ofgem’s Typical Domestic Consumption Values - industry standard values for the annual gas and electricity usage of a typical domestic consumer. For more info click here.
The home is still in building stage and hasn’t had a year of energy stats yet, although a recent CHEESE survey indicated the insulation and airtightness measures have already significantly improved the heat loss performance of the home.
Ashleigh and Stephan expect work to be completed in Summer, 2019.