Eco Houses

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Mactech

Mactech

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We have most of what you have there except the hot water tap and have an air source heat pump instead of the oil boiler.
Rainwater harvesting is great for car washing. We also use it to flush toilets but have disconnected the washing machine from the system as it tended to sludge up. Filter in the tank needs a regular clean due to pigeon poo & dust from the roof. We have also had a pump fail after about 6 or 7 years. Manufacturer discounted a replacement.
Heat recovery ventilation is also great as you have a ventilated house even through winter without opening windows & no condensation - change or clean the filters monthly.
We are all electric and annual electric bill is around £1,150.
Cash back from solar panels & RHI is around £2,750 so we are pocketing £1,600 a year to live in a snug house.
Yes, our rainwater supplies the toilet flush and all exterior taps and plant watering. The washing machine is on the mains, but it still means the water bill is halved.
Being new to eco houses, I had to look up RHI....but given the system was built into the house from new by the previous owners we would not qualify.
However, the FIT (Feed in Tarif) has been paying an average of £1k a year to the previous owners. I had to look that up too!.
Just 2 months into ownership and the projections look promising. Time will tell.
Thanks for your input and experience.
 
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Mactech

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Thanks - the incidental mention of XJ220s reminds me ...

... I saw one once. :)

You sound to have had a real petrol head's career ..... I am very, very envious!
I'm very lucky to have spent over 40 years being paid to enjoy my hobby!
I have spent considerable time in the south of France, but in the Bandol area whilst testing at the Paul Ricard circuit, but I don't live there.
I'm very envious....:)
 
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Mactech

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Firstly; this Le Mans thing. Obviously, I knew about your XJ220 shenanigans from here. But, randomly, I was showing my son one of my favourite bits of motorsport footage the other day - Tom Walkinshaw nailing Bathurst in his XJS - when YouTube served up a Jag owners club video of you and the team recalling the Jaguar Le Mans victories of 88 and 90. I had no idea, but it all makes sense now.
I wrote a few articles here:
Formula 1 2020 (Will Contain Race Day Spoilers) | General Discussion
They reference Walkinshaw, Le Mans and even Mercedes and should raise a smile :)
I think there are 5 in total on the pages following....


We could learn a lot from our Nordic & German cousins.
Yes!
 

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SPX

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Being new to eco houses, I had to look up RHI....but given the system was built into the house from new by the previous owners we would not qualify.
From the list of systems you have installed, I don't see anything that qualifies for the Renewable Heat Incentive, @Piff receives the payments due to having an air source heat pump installed.

If the previous owner had installed something that would have qualified for the RHI, being a selfbiuld, it would have qualified and the payments should be passed to you but what some people do is sign it over to theirselves as an "Assignment of Rights" just before they sell their house...
Just 2 months into ownership and the projections look promising. Time will tell.
Just shows the results that can be achieved when a "whole house view" approach is adopted, yes there is a relatively high capex involved but for anyone planning on staying in their house for 10 years or more then I'd definitely say it's worth looking at.
 

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We have most of what you have there except the hot water tap and have an air source heat pump instead of the oil boiler.
Out of interest, what's the sqm of the property and which manufacturer and what size pump did you go with?
We are all electric and annual electric bill is around £1,150.
Cash back from solar panels & RHI is around £2,750 so we are pocketing £1,600 a year to live in a snug house.
As I've just said in my previous post, it makes such a massive difference when a whole house view is taken; insulation + free heating + free electricity = perfection!
 
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Mactech

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Cool, I'll have a read - didn't know that that content was there.

This is what I was watching. Fascinating and funny in equal measure.

I didn't know that existed! How embarrassing.....but I hope it will make a few people smile :)
 

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Cool, I'll have a read - didn't know that that content was there.

This is what I was watching. Fascinating and funny in equal measure.

Thanks for posting that video, it was indeed fascinating and funny. I love hearing stories from the people who were right there in the heart of it all, no matter what the subject.

Excuse my ignorance of the personalities there, which one is @Mactech and who is the driver at the far end of the group? In fact, who are they all?
 
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Mactech

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Thanks for posting that video, it was indeed fascinating and funny. I love hearing stories from the people who were right there in the heart of it all, no matter what the subject.

Excuse my ignorance of the personalities there, which one is @Mactech and who is the driver at the far end of the group? In fact, who are they all?
The driver on the far right is 88 Le Mans winner Andy Wallace and I'm sitting next to him.
He is also the one who set top speed records in the XJ220, the McLaren GTR and just last year at over 300mph in the Bugatti Chiron. BDA535CD-1D65-4C14-9052-E85FA04EA2BA.jpeg
 
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knighterrant

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The driver on the far right is 88 Le Mans winner Andy Wallace and I'm sitting next to him.
He is also the one who set top speed records in the XJ220, the McLaren GTR and just last year at over 300mph in the Bugatti Chiron. View attachment 107143
Thanks Alistair. I’ve always enjoyed your contributions here on the forum. What a great bunch of guys to have worked with.
 

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Sorry for drifting away from the eco theme off this thread. I've just watched the TWR video all the way through and it was amazing. Everyone had great stories to tell, but none better than Andy's driving experiences. How the fcuk he managed to check the three temperatures on each of the four tyres when coming to the end of the Mulsanne Straight at 240mph I have no idea. I've driven a Ferrari and an Aston Martin around Silverstone at a maximum that was a mere fraction of those speeds yet unable to take my eyes off the road for a split second. Alan's account of zipping through a chicane that was moving at 'just' 170mph, so around 70mph slower than him, nearly had me pooing in my pants! If you haven't watched the video, do so. A fabulous way to spend 90 minutes.
 
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Mactech

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Thanks Alistair. I’ve always enjoyed your contributions here on the forum. What a great bunch of guys to have worked with.
Yes, I hope it comes across on the video that we enjoyed working together. It is the first time I've seen it today.
I've got to work with both Andy and Tony on other projects since Jaguar 30 years ago, but it's still just like a bunch of old mates getting together;)
 

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Yes, I hope it comes across on the video that we enjoyed working together. It is the first time I've seen it today.
I've got to work with both Andy and Tony on other projects since Jaguar 30 years ago, but it's still just like a bunch of old mates getting together;)

Yeah the camaraderie really came across. It's a great bit of footage.
 

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Out of interest, what's the sqm of the property and which manufacturer and what size pump did you go with?

As I've just said in my previous post, it makes such a massive difference when a whole house view is taken; insulation + free heating + free electricity = perfection!
Originally the property was a hipped roof bungalow built by SWMBO's grandad in 1937. Apparently he bought the land & built it for £700. He was offered land for another 7 (I believe) houses for a total of £200 but couldn't afford it at the time! The bungalow he built was 72 sq.m.
When he died he left it to mother in law, in trust for the 3 grandchildren. As not much had been done to it since he built it, it was in poor condition. The family were able to have the will modified to allow mother in law to sell the bungalow & split the proceeds then. We didn't really want it as we were happy where we were. SWMBO's 2 brothers were then "fighting" for it before they both dropped out, one to keep the peace then the other realised that he couldn't afford to do it up.
Mother in law asked me to take it on to do up & sell but I could see that I would end up doing all the work and having to share the profits with the 2 brothers. Tried to convince mother & father in law that using the equity in their own bungalow we could do it up for mother & father in law to move in. Father in law refused to move as "he had his garden just how he wanted it" (couldn't accept that he could have a new garden just how he wanted it!) and "didn't want to move away from his neighbours" (this place is all of about 250m away!)
So SWMBO & I bought it off the family to do up & move in ourselves.
Planners were decidedly awkward so we were restricted at the time as to what we could add. I did get a basement included in the approval but never went ahead with the construction of that.
We took the roof off and took down the entire rear wall. Took out all the floors to allow for new concrete, insulation & liquid screed. Remodelled the rear rooms and insulated the remaining external walls. We added a rear extension - 42 sq.m with vaulted ceilings and we put a new roof on with rooms in the roof - 57 sq.m
So a total of 171 sq.m, insulated in excess of the Building Regulations which were in place in 2011/2012. I doubt that we meet or exceed current standards though.

Heating system was designed by Nu-Heat and at the time they were pushing Hitachi ASHP's It is a 7kw with a 100 litre buffer tank. Buffer tank has a 3kw immersion heater in it in case the ASHP can't cope in extremely cold weather. I'm not aware if the immersion heater has been used yet as the operation is all controlled by the brains of the system.

The system designed by Nu-Heat was over engineered. On the 1st day of operation it was switched on to achieve16 degrees C and we were intending to increase the temperature gradually to dry the property out. When I returned the next morning the temperature in the house was 27 degrees C!
A engineer was dispatched to alter settings in the brain. It had apparently been set up for a "new build" property, not taking into account the levels of insulation we had installed.

Nu-Heat advised to have the heating on 24/7 and let the "brains" control the heating. Hot water was on a timer. But after a period of inadequate temperature water they advised us to let that run 24/7 also.

So we have more hot water than we need and the temperature in the hall is currently 23 degrees C with an outside temperature of 0 degrees C.

Nu-Heat no longer supply Hitachi ASHP's, now preferring NIBE. I wouldn't have another Hitachi out of choice as it is quite a noisy unit.
 

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Mactech - I noticed that from your original post that you are probably missing an essential bit of tech kit. This bit of tech kit is an easy after fit assuming you have a suitable location. It works in conjunction with your "whole house air vent heat recovery system" and needs to be installed in a room with an extraction vent. We have ours in our utility room.
Ours is 7 bar and 2.10m long - Kitchen Maid
Hang a load of washing straight out of the washing machine & about 12 hours later it is dry - tumble dryer is obsolete.
 
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Chrishazle

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We had one of those in my parent's first house that they bought in 1959, there was one in this house when we moved in 13 years ago. It's been dismantled and in the garage in bits for a long time now - wife prefers her tumble dryer that not only fluffs up our towels nicely but also as it's a condensing dryer she collects the outlet water for her steam iron - distilled water so iron does not scale up!!
 
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Mactech

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Mactech - I noticed that from your original post that you are probably missing an essential bit of tech kit. This bit of tech kit is an easy after fit assuming you have a suitable location. It works in conjunction with your "whole house air vent heat recovery system" and needs to be installed in a room with an extraction vent. We have ours in our utility room.
Ours is 7 bar and 2.10m long - Kitchen Maid
Hang a load of washing straight out of the washing machine & about 12 hours later it is dry - tumble dryer is obsolete.
Haha! I put it up about 3 weeks ago!
We had one above the Aga at our last Norfolk home, and put one in at our last house as we did the kitchen refurb, again, above the Aga. 25.jpg
We were very close to Cheshire with this former house, where it is apparently actually illegal to not have a rack above your Aga....:p

The real trick in this new eco house was how to hang it. The house is built with 'Posi Joists' ( google it!) and with no plan to reference where exactly they are I had to go for some DIY 'ultrasound' to find the position of them to hang the pulleys. I was very mindful that the ceiling not only contained lots of services, but also the underfloor heating for upstairs.
I was successful and neither fluid or electricity came out of the holes drilled for the pulleys.:oops:
 
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Piff

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Haha! I put it up about 3 weeks ago!
We had one above the Aga at our last Norfolk home, and put one in at our last house as we did the kitchen refurb, again, above the Aga. View attachment 107229
We were very close to Cheshire with this former house, where it is apparently actually illegal to not have a rack above your Aga....:p

The real trick in this new eco house was how to hang it. The house is built with 'Posi Joists' ( google it!) and with no plan to reference where exactly they are I had to go for some DIY 'ultrasound' to find the position of them to hang the pulleys. I was very mindful that the ceiling not only contained lots of services, but also the underfloor heating for upstairs.
I was successful and neither fluid or electricity came out of the holes drilled for the pulleys.:oops:
Familiar with posi joists having used them in the last 2 houses I built. In fact you have a wider joist profile at ceiling & floor level than standard joists.
Posi joists allow greater flexibility for routing of the ventilation ducts.
But, I know what you mean regarding the location of services. Much of my electric cables were routed over the area I needed to fix the pulleys.
 

Piff

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We had one of those in my parent's first house that they bought in 1959, there was one in this house when we moved in 13 years ago. It's been dismantled and in the garage in bits for a long time now - wife prefers her tumble dryer that not only fluffs up our towels nicely but also as it's a condensing dryer she collects the outlet water for her steam iron - distilled water so iron does not scale up!!
Agree with the use of tumble dryer for towels.
But, is the condensed water collected distilled or just the last rinse water from the washing machine?
 

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Lets put it this way - before the condensing tumble dryer I would have to clean and descale her steam iron monthly and replace it after about 3 years (in East Sussex/Kent a lot of our water comes from the chalk, so is hard). Since the condensing tumble dryer and using the condensed water I clean her steam iron about once pa and have not replaced it in about 15 years! I rest my case!!

If you'd like to collect the bits for the rack, you're welcome to them - 8 miles from J10 M20 towards Tenterden.
 

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