The Water Tower

The Water Tower
The Water Tower at Dusk

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Set Square - Scotland on Sunday Article

Our new building featured in a recent Scotland on Sunday magazine. If you can open the link below it starts on pages 10/11.

The article shows the completed house and describes some of the challenges of the build along the way. Sitting in the house now and typing this entry for the blog, I am amazed at how warm this house is. The heating is restricted to underfloor electric in the bathrooms and a wood burning stove. In the morning the temperature is around 19 deg C. With the fire on in the evenings for some extra warmth it easily reaches 22 deg C. It's seems impossible to get the heat out of this house and, in Scotland, that's no bad thing. Even when we were away for a long weekend the temperature only dropped to around 16 deg C. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to walk into a warm house like this. Of course it is all down to the insulation which is the best on the market. Structurally Insulated Panels or SIPs as they are called in the trade are not a new thing but they are not that extensively used and personally, I think they should be. It is more expensive to build using SIPs but you get more space inside as well as the high level of insulation. More space because there is no need for roof trusses as the panels are "structural" and can support the weight of the roof. So the walls and the steel frame support the roof. It just makes so much sense to build this way.
Our build features on this web site under dometic builds.

The article mentions the help of friends during the construction. In particular one friend who owns Basically Tool Hire in Newbattle, Colin Cassidy, helped us on an almost daily basis for a while.

There were so many times when Colin came to the rescue, both with equipment and advice. Gerry now makes lunch for him whenever he can. It's the least we can do.

The other really clever feature of the house is the foundation pads. These are made by a company called Swift Foundations and Gerry and I first saw these at a home builders event in Glasgow. The technology came out of Stirling University if I remember correctly. It was what we had been looking for to be able to build in and around lots of tree roots without damaging the tree health. If you are interested in this foundation system you can read all about it here.

These pictures show the foundations in place on our site last summer. Note the obligatory fizzy juice bottles in the picture that come with every tradesperson on a building site.
Note the sitting out area that was kept over from the gazebo days. This was where all plans were discussed and copious amounts of tea supplied to the trades people. I should have taken out shares in tea and sugar last year!

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