Both master bedroom suite and guest bedroom have balconies


 Current annual electricity spend £1,500 (expected to fall as house dries out)

 Feed in tariff income pa £4,000 (first seven years, dropping to about £600 for 25 years)

 Internal floor area: 332 m2  Build cost: c. £450,000  Total cost: c. £800,000

Mark. “She made sure the builders and everyone else were working in concert regarding the plans. It helped that I made sure we had a big site kick-off meeting here in the freezing cold in December 2015.” He says that as a result of this joined-up approach, “everyone knew all aspects of the plan, down to where power sockets were going. They all took them away, thought about their requirements, and made sure they were dovetailed together.” He admits it helped that most of the sub-contractors knew each other – “they coped very well.” The level of co- operation was essential to a smooth construction process. Once building started on the main house in December (after the three-car garage – used by the grateful builders as a site hut), Mark says: “It rained for three months!” Mark and Melanie are full of praise for the standards of work and efficient organisation shown by builder Graham Brend, who was on his last major job before retiring. Melanie: “He’s well known and respected in the area, that was key.” Mark says: “If a supplier was a bit slow in getting something here, he’d be on the phone and they’d be here in a couple of hours.”

Mark put his own organisational skills to good use in project managing the scheme. He jokingly says, “The contractors really loved my critical path document,” explaining further: “Because we were project managing a number of disparate contractors and we were project

november/december 2017

The level of co-operation was essential to a smooth construction process

managing, I needed some sort of mechanism to keep them all in sync.”

Because the builder didn’t have plumbers or electricians, they decided to go with a single company to oversee the renewables installation. “There were a lot of pieces that needed integrating to a reasonably high degree,” says Mark. “I had heard horror stories about company A blaming company B, so I wanted one person to point at.” This house’s smooth passage to completion wasn’t only because of the planning department taking a favourable view due to its eco-credentials. It was also because the builder commanded a lot of respect for his 50 years of work. Mark concludes: “The Building Regs guys took one look at the spec and said ‘that’s fine’.”

Last but not least, they have one tip for anyone installing large sealed glass units for a project – to make sure you take all the labels off the glass first. As Mark says: “Trying to reach the labels on the inside on very high scaffold towers, once they were installed, took sheer guts and determination.”  23

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52