7512572618_1713a1192d_Ecohouse

 

It’s exciting, right? I spent a couple of hours today with our architect. Apparently because our proposed kitchen and sitting room extension is more than 25% glass – what? I love glass – we have to have a SAP calculation done to assess the energy consumption and environmental impact of the proposed new building. Glass means more heat loss, you see, and the Building Control process has to take account of our energy efficiency.

The architect went around looking at the insulation in our walls; our windows and doors: how old they were, the thickness of glazing and frames; he looked at the composition of the floor and the efficiency of the current radiator and underfloor heating. He even went around counting all the lights in the house and what type they were. We have many, many halogens, a reflection of the ten year old disastrous building work on our first floor and loft conversion.

Some people might view this as intrusive red tape but I think it’s quite a valuable audit of our impact on the environment. I am not among those people who deny the opinions of 99% of the world’s climate scientists and I do not think that climate change is not my problem, Guv. I am keen to reduce my carbon footprint as I worry about the impact of my choices on any grandchildren with whom I might be presented in due course.

I’m pleased that houses for sale have to have this energy efficiency calculation done but I’m concerned that my house, built in 1928 with many draughts, would come out as very inefficient. So now is a chance to remedy that.

Apparently, the London Borough of Bromley has the second highest rate of recycling among the London boroughs. I think this is almost entirely due to me and the extra washing up of all our bottles and plastic cartons to put in our recycling every week. In fact, our new kitchen layout is being built around the recycling and composting bins, which will take discreet pride of place under our new long worktop. Not that we ever actually USE the compost, being only armchair gardeners, but that’s beside the point.

It turns out that OH’s proposed system for using grey (washing machine etc.) water to feed our loo cisterns is not going to be practical, and neither is the proposed grass roof of the new building, but we’re hoping to install a system to collect rainwater to use in the garden. I’d like to install solar panels but I’m put off by the initial outlay, Maybe one day.

How will we make our house more efficient? Well, we’ll probably have to include loads of insulation in the flooring and take the opportunity to reinsulate the old brick walls. The glass bifolds will probably have to be triple-glazed. And we’ll replace all our lights with leds once, that is, we have worked through our bulk-bought box of expensive halogen bulbs. Maybe we can have a new, non-draughty door. I do see this as a chance to correct the silliness of the past though, and I feel enthused about it.

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In other news, the Boywonder called me as I was with the architect this afternoon, wanting me to

and go and pick him up from work. He always walks home but it was sleeting. Maybe snowing:

Me: No. I’ve got someone with me at the moment and I’m waiting for Ocado to arrive. Can’t you get the bus?

BW: Well, I don’t have any money on my Oystercard…

Me: What? What’s the point of an Oystercard with no money on it?

BW: What’s the point of me calling if all you’re going to do is criticise?

 

Hm. I know one should not wish harm on one’s offspring but an epithet beginning with a T came to mind. Grr.

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