What Price Warmth

What Price Warmth

Postby wearnicehats » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:13 pm

What is the situation regarding planning with people sticking 100mm of gunk and plaster on the front of their gaffs in order to keep cosy?

Who regulates the installers?

Surely there's some planning issue here - I'm fearful that it's only a matter of time before someone does it on a nice brick terrace
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Re: What Price Warmth

Postby tommyt » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:24 pm

wearnicehats wrote:What is the situation regarding planning with people sticking 100mm of gunk and plaster on the front of their gaffs in order to keep cosy?

Who regulates the installers?

Surely there's some planning issue here - I'm fearful that it's only a matter of time before someone does it on a nice brick terrace


Definintely not exempt on a terrace. They won't mix and match for the insulatioon grants neither which is a pity. I could do my gable externally with no visual or resi amenity impact but it would be a huge, ugly job on the front and would be incongruous/downright silly looking in the context of the neighbours (and that's on a 1960s terrace of six pebble dash/brick houses nevermind something of heritage significance).

We're getting vera duckworth style stone cladding instead on the exterior and putting up leopardskin print wallpaper on the interior walls to simulate the effects of insulation;)
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Re: What Price Warmth

Postby henno » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:24 am

wearnicehats wrote:What is the situation regarding planning with people sticking 100mm of gunk and plaster on the front of their gaffs in order to keep cosy?


if you are referring to external wall insulation (EWI) then i sure hope your technical knowledge of this product extends way beyond "gunk and plaster".....

wearnicehats wrote:Who regulates the installers?


if applying for grants then the installers have to be SEI registered and trained by the product manufacturers.

If not applying for a grant then theres no onus on the client to engage trained professionals.

wearnicehats wrote:Surely there's some planning issue here - I'm fearful that it's only a matter of time before someone does it on a nice brick terrace


Planning issues are to be treated in the same way as they always are with a change of facade finish. Obviously if is a brick terrace then a rendered finish requires planning permission. Any doubt should be dealt with by means of a section 5 application.
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Re: What Price Warmth

Postby GrahamH » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:03 pm

This is an interesting topic given the implications for domestic architecture in Ireland. On About the House a couple of weeks ago, an 'architect-designed' house alteration, with all of the nauseating loading the term comes with, was showcased as an example of what can be achieved in bringing a standard Corporation house 'up to date'. Now, I like a crisp extension and clever reinterpretation of an older building as much as the next chap, but what was done to this house in the name of energy conservation just took the biscuit.

Probably the most attractively designed suburban houses ever built by Dublin Corporation, The Tenters scheme, incorporating the charmer of Oscar Square, in Dublin 8 comprises uniform short terraces of pretty, pebbledashed houses dressed in polychromatic brickwork, with alarmingly tall, picturesque chimneys. Not only is each house an attractive entity, as a purpose-designed collective the scheme exudes a pleasing sense of coherence and harmony, often featuring a central gabled house with terracotta date stamp and matching gabled end houses.

That was until this architect came along, promptly rendered over the entire building to 'envelope it in insulation', creating a crude, anodyne, achingly self-conscious, minimal bookend to this once coherent terrace, complete with utterly incongruous, ubiqutous box extension.

Image

You couldn't make this stuff up. The fact that the house was in immaculate original condition beforehand, with unpainted pebbledash and brick facings, and apparently original front door, makes the changes all the more unfortunate. How on earth was this given planning permission, and moreover, why would an architect even propose such a contexually unconscious scheme? Is this now considered best practice for the rest of The Tenters estate, or indeed houses of this typology anywhere? The amount of press attention this house has received is nearly more disturbing.
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Re: What Price Warmth

Postby spoil_sport » Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:09 pm

I normally find your posts very sensible and informative Graham, but I'm not sure if you're on the wrong high horse here, true the timber box thing is poor, but the render? Really? I'm not an eco warrior, but as a method of improving the u-value of an existing house, and as an alternative to disrupting the interiors and reducing room domensions, it seems perfectly valid.
How would you have done it?
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Re: What Price Warmth

Postby GrahamH » Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:33 pm

Well that's the question I'm asking really, spoil_sport (or rather, should have asked). This is an issue we have to face up to: how to retain the architectural integrity of buildings - and I mean of all good building stock - while improving their energy rating.

I don't think the impact of the above modification is discernable from the small photograph, but it is severe. It sounds like render is just being replaced by render, where in fact everything that was interesting about the building has been completely lost. These aren't typical smooth rendered Corpo houses; they have a distinctive textured material palette of stern pebbledash and polychromatic brick that is essential to their character. It's akin to pasting a Victorian railway station in a coat of render to 'freshen things up'.

As a result, the coloured brick pilasters are gone, the unifying platband is gone, the distinctive depth of the eaves is gone, and the matching pebbledash finish is gone. For a singularly designed terrace, this is a simply unacceptable level of disregard for context in my view. Again, we must come back to the wider principle here - is this now the precedent with which the entire housing scheme is to be 'upgraded' in time? If so, we simply say goodbye to the original design concept.

This isn't so much a heritage issue as a design issue. The same can be applied to countless other scenarios. Certainly from what I'm hearing from the UK in terms of older buildings, much of what they have built up as best conservation practice over the past half century or so is now being reassessed to meet carbon reduction targets, with enormous contention as one might expect. Some engineers are already suggesting that Ireland is in a 'better position' to adapt to these 'requirements', as we never had standards in the first place.
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Re: What Price Warmth

Postby spoil_sport » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:31 am

No, I probably don't get the full picture from the image, and maybe I'm just not a fan of pebbledash, and I'm not familiar with the area, but I find it difficult to feel the same loss over these facades.
The original designs were (I'll take your word) well considered, and well constructed, but were constructed to the standards of the time, it is both valid and necessary that reasonable measures be taken to update these; all agreed. The designer of the alterations in this case, in applying this dumb, faux-minimalism - the lowest common denominator of the "contemporary" architect - has obviously not helped this case. I will venture, that perhaps the problem here is not in the method; the original houses were after all built with the same material and methods as any other, but the difference stood in the consideration given to the application of the method; similarly in the case of applying the new render the consideration with which it is applied is the crux of the issue. Would it be offending you sensibilities to suggest the solution is as simple as some though about the articulation of the render, appropriate to the context (though not replicating) and a more subtle choice of colour?
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Re: What Price Warmth

Postby wearnicehats » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:11 am

henno wrote:if you are referring to external wall insulation (EWI) then i sure hope your technical knowledge of this product extends way beyond "gunk and plaster".....
.


actually I have serious reservations about (GAP), not least on the older housing stock in the country. I remain to be convinced that the systems out there - and in particular the installers - are sufficiently aware of the potential effects it could have with regard to existing moisture content condensation across an unsulated non cavity facade - one that deals well with internal damp levels.

I live in a early 1900s brick terrace that has a well insulated roof but the walls don't have cavities, the timber floors are ventilated and windows have a passing relationship with their openings. It's cold but so be it.

One thing you notice with a house like this is that they deal very well with the atmospheric conditions and I personally would rather live in a ventilated space than somewhere so air tight that the doors don't close

Architecturally I agree with Graham. with regard to the above I hadn't seen that house since the extension was stalled for a while. Shows me how long it is since I visited Fallons. I think the point is that - ok it looks fine but any renovation must be viewed as a function of its benefit to the scheme that it supercedes
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Re: What Price Warmth

Postby henno » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:25 pm

wearnicehats wrote:actually I have serious reservations about (GAP), not least on the older housing stock in the country. I remain to be convinced that the systems out there - and in particular the installers - are sufficiently aware of the potential effects it could have with regard to existing moisture content condensation across an unsulated non cavity facade - one that deals well with internal damp levels.

I live in a early 1900s brick terrace that has a well insulated roof but the walls don't have cavities, the timber floors are ventilated and windows have a passing relationship with their openings. It's cold but so be it.

One thing you notice with a house like this is that they deal very well with the atmospheric conditions and I personally would rather live in a ventilated space than somewhere so air tight that the doors don't close

Architecturally I agree with Graham. with regard to the above I hadn't seen that house since the extension was stalled for a while. Shows me how long it is since I visited Fallons. I think the point is that - ok it looks fine but any renovation must be viewed as a function of its benefit to the scheme that it supercedes


read construct ireland, particularly Joe Littles articles entitled "breaking the mould" 1+ 2.... this will inform your fears and show you that the commonplace internal dry lining system is much much more detrimental to a buildings health....

EWI brings the dew point to the external, whereas drylining keeps it internal.
EWI has significantly less thermal bridges than drylining.
EWI allows summer interstitial condensation to exhaust to the internal, whereas drylining will trap it behind a vapour barrier.
EWI increases the buildings air tightness.
EWI allows the buildings thermal inertia to be used in its energy conservation whereas drylining doesnt.
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Re: What Price Warmth

Postby wearnicehats » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:13 am

henno wrote:read construct ireland, particularly Joe Littles articles entitled "breaking the mould" 1+ 2.... this will inform your fears and show you that the commonplace internal dry lining system is much much more detrimental to a buildings health....

EWI brings the dew point to the external, whereas drylining keeps it internal.
EWI has significantly less thermal bridges than drylining.
EWI allows summer interstitial condensation to exhaust to the internal, whereas drylining will trap it behind a vapour barrier.
EWI increases the buildings air tightness.
EWI allows the buildings thermal inertia to be used in its energy conservation whereas drylining doesnt.


well aware of the problems with drylining

I've read Little's articles from time to time and he tends to be convincing. where that article fails, however, is that it does not show evidence of having considered GAP in a terraced situation where the wall will leach moisture from it's adjoining unclad neighbours. quite apart from the architectural horror of it. more jumpers perhaps?
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Re: What Price Warmth

Postby henno » Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:50 pm

wearnicehats wrote:, however, is that it does not show evidence of having considered GAP in a terraced situation where the wall will leach moisture from it's adjoining unclad neighbours. quite apart from the architectural horror of it. more jumpers perhaps?


lol.... youre really stretching at that one....;)

if you read the articles you will be familiar with the theory of energy flux and how moisture will act in a situations or differential pressure...

are you an advocate against pumped cavity fill because of the same reason??
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Re: What Price Warmth

Postby wearnicehats » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:33 am

henno wrote:lol.... youre really stretching at that one....;)

if you read the articles you will be familiar with the theory of energy flux and how moisture will act in a situations or differential pressure...

are you an advocate against pumped cavity fill because of the same reason??


I'm talking about buildings without cavities - or were you too busy laughing to notice? how do you deal with the inherent cold bridge, for example?
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Re: What Price Warmth

Postby henno » Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:32 pm

wearnicehats wrote:I'm talking about buildings without cavities - or were you too busy laughing to notice? how do you deal with the inherent cold bridge, for example?


your purported theory would also apply to cavity walls, hense my post...

if you have two terraced units, one is EWI and the other not, both units obviously assumed occupied, then both units can be assumed to be the same temperature... its just that the uninsulated unit needs to burn a lot more flue to get that temperature constant.

the theory of energy flux would state that as the internal of both units is under high pressure the energy is flux towards teh internal and not internal, moisture will be naturally repelled by this pressure differential. As the uninsulated dwelling will suffer significantly more temperature rises and falls, the moisture, whether interstitial or weather driven, will be directed towards the uninsulated unit, due to the EWI unit having a more constant temp and resultant constant pressure. If anything, the fact that the subject unit is insulated, the adjoining unit will actually suffer a greater moisture influx that would have existed prior to the insulating.
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Re: What Price Warmth

Postby wearnicehats » Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:22 am

henno wrote:your purported theory would also apply to cavity walls, hense my post...

if you have two terraced units, one is EWI and the other not, both units obviously assumed occupied, then both units can be assumed to be the same temperature... its just that the uninsulated unit needs to burn a lot more flue to get that temperature constant.

the theory of energy flux would state that as the internal of both units is under high pressure the energy is flux towards teh internal and not internal, moisture will be naturally repelled by this pressure differential. As the uninsulated dwelling will suffer significantly more temperature rises and falls, the moisture, whether interstitial or weather driven, will be directed towards the uninsulated unit, due to the EWI unit having a more constant temp and resultant constant pressure. If anything, the fact that the subject unit is insulated, the adjoining unit will actually suffer a greater moisture influx that would have existed prior to the insulating.


all the more reason to object to your neighbour doing it then so

Anyway - now that science has stamped tradition into the dust we can all look forward to a flowing tide of mundaneness engulfing the city. Now, where did I put that 1958article "Asbestos - Miracle Product!"
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Re: What Price Warmth

Postby henno » Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:07 pm

wearnicehats wrote:all the more reason to object to your neighbour doing it then so

Anyway - now that science has stamped tradition into the dust we can all look forward to a flowing tide of mundaneness engulfing the city. Now, where did I put that 1958article "Asbestos - Miracle Product!"


do you think polystyrene is a NEW product?
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Re: What Price Warmth

Postby wearnicehats » Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:42 pm

henno wrote:do you think polystyrene is a NEW product?


sure - sure I do:rolleyes:
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Re: What Price Warmth

Postby KeepAnEyeOnBob » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:39 am

tommyt wrote:Definintely not exempt on a terrace. They won't mix and match for the insulatioon grants neither which is a pity. I could do my gable externally with no visual or resi amenity impact but it would be a huge, ugly job on the front and would be incongruous/downright silly looking in the context of the neighbours (and that's on a 1960s terrace of six pebble dash/brick houses nevermind something of heritage significance).


I've seen exactly that - insulation of gable only on an end of terrace. Presumably goes some bit to making it more similar to a mid terrace in terms of warmth? Of course maybe it's just a job being done in parts and they'll come back to massacre the front of the house later. Also I couldn't see, but it's entirely possible the back was insulated too.
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