Number 41 takes shape

Andy and Sarah Ball have made great strides on their sustainable Derby build since they last reported in Selfbuilder + Homemaker. Sarah updates on the recent progress.

been lowered into position to hold up the first floor of the master bedroom at the back of the house and to create the lintel for the oversized glass doors on the ground floor. Three months later, and Andy and I are pleased to report that the house is almost watertight. The superstructure is complete, the glazing is ordered and due in the next 10 days, the roof is on, and the rendering booked in. We’re continuing with our theme of building an energy efficient home, but using low-cost, traditional construction methods. The walls, now completed, are double skin breeze block with an overall span of 400 mm. Packed with insulation and drylined, they have a U-value 0.12


hen you left Number 41 the last time round, the one tonne steel reinforcement had just

W/m2 K, which is pretty good. Because

there’s so much glass – to create a light and airy living space – we are going triple glazed. This is designed to keep the tem- perature as even as possible. On the south facing side there’s a large triple track aluminium sliding door, spanning almost eight metres. Split into three equal sections, this also determines the layout of the open plan room by dividing it into the living, dining and kitchen areas. It’s one of the most impor- tant decisions we’ve made, especially as it’s on show both inside and out. The criteria for the decision was that it had to be able to divide into three, so we could open two thirds of the door. When shut, we wanted the thinnest frames possible, so the view out isn’t obstructed. We have plumped for AluK’s Infinium glazing, manufactured by AluFoldDirect,

with black frames on the inside and out, it will give the illusion that they almost disappear. We’re getting all the alu- minium windows from them as well. The design at the front includes two very tall, thin windows, we have switched these to a curtain walling system to maintain this striking design feature. What’s really im- pressive is that now the roof is on and ceilings are in place, we can see that even on the north facing side how much natural light will come in through the floor to ceiling glazing.

The weight of the glass is a big

concern during the installation. Because it’s a very tight site, there’s no room for cranes, so most of the glass will have to be lifted by hand. We have been calculating the weights of the triple glazed units and working out how many extra bodies we will need on site when the glass gets delivered! We won’t be able to do this with the very largest units, so we are looking at a glass lifting robot for the side glazing and rear doors. The roof is fitted. It’s a flat roof

surrounded by a tall parapet, and it’s big. The total area is almost 120 m2

. After

much discussion we went for a ‘cut to falls’ insulation to give us the best combination of insulation and drainage. The insulation fits together like a jigsaw, with all the pieces numbered, creating the perfect run off for rain. The water- proofing layer is PVC single ply and is welded together. The roofing team from Proactive Flat Roofing picked some excellent weather to start the job, but the following day it was howling a gale on the roof as the effects of Storm Callum took hold. As you can imagine, this held them up, but it’s all finished now. It’s a very neat way of creating a flat

roof and has a 20-year warranty. It was important to us to have a flat roof, as we want to make the most of our solar PV. To start with, we will fit just enough to get the feed in tariff before it ends next March. Then we will wait until after we’ve moved in and installed battery storage before increasing the number of panels. The final thing to complete to make the house watertight is the render. We are going for a stark white, in contrast to the black brick detailing, as a design feature. The black bricks look amazing already, and they should look even more striking when the render is complete. This is booked in for the end of November, so we will be watertight well before the winter.

But even without the render, Number 41 looks great. It’s a proper house. It has walls, a roof and holes where the

16 november/december 2018

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