I want to build a new house – what are my options?

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    • #708516
      Prome
      Participant

      I hope to start building a new house late this year or early next year.

      Any suggestions on what options are best – timber frame, traditional, etc. And what heating options are best?

      I’m looking for the warmest, and most internally sound-proofed option, whilst still being reasonable priced construction wise.

      This may be a tall order, but I’m getting differing views. Any suggestions?

    • #775878
      a boyle
      Participant

      For your heating system underfloor heating as the best. you lay a bendy pipe back and forth across the entire area of the ground floor. It is great because , all the energy that goes into heating the water get released into heating your house as the entire floor is a radiator. Second the eveness of heat throughout the house is unbelievable , and as a result it is comfortable at lower temperatures. In my house we have to roast the sitting room in order for the hall to reach an ambient temperature.

      It’s not cheap at all , but in the running costs are a fraction of central heating and the like.

      If you are designing it from scratch , keep in mind that four rooms are cheaper to heat than 1 large open plan layout.

      Good luck , don’t skimp whatever you do.

    • #775879
      Prome
      Participant

      @a boyle wrote:

      don’t skimp whatever you do.

      Thanks. No, no intention of skimping – want to do it right, not regret not doing domething at the start when it should have been done.

      I’ve noticed plans for an Eco House on Century homes website. I like the suntrap idea at the back of the house, and the heating options. Not sure about the house itself though.

      The timber-frame / concrete arguement is an issue. I like the idea of reduced noise between rooms and floors with concrete, but have to admit that timberframe insulation is also attractive..

    • #775880
      maggie
      Participant

      Hi Prome,
      I had a quick look at the Century Homes website. Have you a site picked yet for your project? It would be importantant that any sun-room you’re proposing is south-facing for it to be efficient. Also the web-site mentions that the house is completely sealed and uses meachanical ventilation to vent the rooms. This would need to be checked out. The website seems vague on a number of points I’d would want to get a lot more information off them before deciding if it’s a good option.

    • #775881
      Bren88
      Participant

      @maggie wrote:

      Also the web-site mentions that the house is completely sealed and uses meachanical ventilation to vent the rooms. This would need to be checked out.

      I think I missed your point there Maggie. Why would that need checking. I see no problem with it.

      And Prome, the Eco house would be alot cheaper to run, but it will be more expensive. As regards timber vrs concrete, the same level of insulation can be achieved with either, it id just reached in different ways and amounts.

    • #775882
      Prome
      Participant

      @Bren88 wrote:

      And Prome, the Eco house would be alot cheaper to run, but it will be more expensive.

      E98k is the quote, plus E2k for the plans.

      I’m wondering will they alter the design or do you buy it as is, end of story – that I’ll check over the coming days.

      The sun is at what will be the rear of the house most of the day, so the daylight problem shouldn’t be an issue.

    • #775883
      Bren88
      Participant

      I well the plans for the house are only released a while, I was at a talk from the the heads of century homes a while ago and they were only finshing the testing of the mock up. But if they reach their expected energy output it would be well worth looking into it. Whats the floor area of the plans?

    • #775884
      Prome
      Participant

      @Bren88 wrote:

      Whats the floor area of the plans?

      House Name: Eco House High Spec
      House Reference: ECO01_H
      Floor Area Metric: 282m2
      Floor Area Imperial: 3133ft2
      Supply Only Cost: Euro 79346
      Shell Erection Cost: Euro 15185
      Total Supply and Erect Cost: Euro 94531
      (all prices are exclusive of VAT. VAT will be charged at 21% for supply only and at 13.5% for supply and erect.)

      Supplied (and fitted where required) by Century Homes

      External wall panels engineered I Beams (190mm wide) with factory fitted breather paper.
      Internal wall panels (89mm wide).
      Factory prefabricated first (and second where applicable) floor panels to
      1+1/2, 2 & 3 storey houses, factory fitted with plywood.
      Prefabricated roof trusses (attic type to dormer houses).
      Prefabricated engineered I Beam for first floor (18mm plywood flooring)

      Supply only by Century Homes (fitted by client / builder)

      Prehung regency 6 panel doors in a softwood frame.
      Staircase (if applicable) comprising hardwood strings, whitewood treads, M.D.F
      risers with hardwood turned balustrading and newels.
      Ex. 150 x 25mm softwood skirting.
      Ex. 75 x 25mm softwood architrave.
      Linen cupboard shelving.
      Plasterboard to all timber frame walls and ceilings.
      Engineered Vapour control layer/air leakage barrier with butyl tape to seal joints.
      200mm Sheep wool insulation to external wall panels, sheep wool insulation to front face of joists at external walls,
      100mm (12kg/m3) fiberglass insulation to internal bathroom partitions & 160mm Kingspan Rigid Thermapitch to roofspace.
      Roofing felt and tiling battens.
      Storage tank supports.
      Access hatch to roofspace.

    • #775885
      DJM
      Participant

      Hi Prome.

      One option for walls could be Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF), whereby a polystyrene Lego-like cavity structure is constructed. Steel reinforcement is placed within the cavity between the two leafs and concrete is poured in. Once set, you’ve got a structural wall, insulated on both sides, onto which render/cladding can be directly applied.

      It’s a quick form of construction, but I don’t think it’s commonly used?? and is most definitely not the Greenest!

      Now, to send you in a completely different direction… http://www.sei.ie is a very good source of info for sustainable design. A lot of these systems will have a high initial cost (although this will probably be reduced if going for a new-build) but will eventually pay for themselves. Any savings made on such systems during the build will most likely turn out to be a false economy.

      Underfloor heating, like a boyle said, is a very efficient means of heating a house.

      Best of luck with the project! 🙂

    • #775886
      Prome
      Participant

      @DJM wrote:

      One option for walls could be Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF), whereby a polystyrene Lego-like cavity structure is constructed. Steel reinforcement is placed within the cavity between the two leafs and concrete is poured in. Once set, you’ve got a structural wall, insulated on both sides, onto which render/cladding can be directly applied.

      Thanks DJM – much appreciated.

      Just wondering about this – would it allow concrete floors upstairs to reduce noise reduction, and would could it be insulated to be a heat efficient/heat retentive as timber frame?

    • #775887
      LittleLamb
      Participant

      Very interesting topic:) I am wondering the Eco-House that Century Homes are selling, is it a passive house? I believe the Scandinavians do passive housing extremely well.

    • #775888
      LittleLamb
      Participant

      Here’s a link to an example in Galway

      http://www.scanhome.ie/passive/pressrelease1.php

    • #775889
      Bren88
      Participant

      @LittleLamb wrote:

      Very interesting topic:) I am wondering the Eco-House that Century Homes are selling, is it a passive house? I believe the Scandinavians do passive housing extremely well.

      It is the closest to passive that we have here. It contains many of the elements that are in passive houses such as the removal of permanant vents and a mechanical heat recovery system and the sun space.

      I haven’t had time to check but did century homes publish heat energy rating figures for their eco house yet. Woiuld be interesting to see how low they have gone.

    • #775890
      Prome
      Participant

      I haven’t checked the spec since deciding we against it. I’ll check it..

      Meanwhile this has been happening:

      Article – Millions pumped into ‘greener’ homes
      Alison Healy, Irish Times, 28th March 06

      Applications opened yesterday for a new €27 million grants scheme to encourage householders to install renewable heating systems in new or existing homes.

      The Greener Homes Scheme provides grant-aid of between €1,100 and €6,500 to people installing wood pellet stoves and boilers, solar panels and geothermal heat pumps in their homes. This is the first time the Government has provided grants for such energy heating systems.

      The installation of heat pumps will attract grant-aid of €4,000 to €6,500. Solar panels will be grant-aided at €300 per metre squared, while wood chip or pellet stoves and boilers will attract grant-aid of between €1,100 and €4,200. However, the grant must be fully approved before any work is done.

      Installation of the product is not covered by the scheme. While prices of products vary greatly, the grant typically covers between 20 and 33 per cent of the product’s cost.

      The scheme is being administered by Sustainable Energy Ireland and application forms are available online at http://www.sei.ie

      A helpline (1850 734734) has been set up to answer queries.

      SEI hopes to process applications within two weeks, depending on the level of applications received. Almost 1,200 queries had been received about the scheme before it was even launched.

      The scheme also includes funding for a wood chip or pellet boiler programme for small and medium-sized businesses and a combined heat and power and biofuels capital grants programme.


      ENERGY SAVERS: new grants

      The amounts of the grants and the technology it applies to.

      Wood chip/pellet stove – €1,100

      Wood chip/pellet boiler – €4,200

      Wood chip/pellet stove with back-boiler – €1,800

      Heat pump – horizontal ground collector – €4,300

      Heat pump – vertical collector – €6,500

      Heat pump – well to water – €4,300

      Heat pump – air source – €4,000

      Solar panels (per square metre, to max of 12 metres) – €300

    • #775891
      Bren88
      Participant
      Prome wrote:
      Wood chip/pellet stove – €1,100

      Wood chip/pellet boiler – €4,200

      Wood chip/pellet stove with back-boiler – €1,800
      QUOTE]

      Just out of interest I had a look at the wood pellet angle. I found one company so these prices are my no means the lowest but some costs i found were:

      Wood chip/pellet stove – €1,911

      Wood chip/pellet boiler – €4,360

      Wood chip/pellet stove with back-boiler – €3,733

      So a taking away the grant money a stove would cost the buyer €811, a boiler €160 and a stove with back boiler €1,933. Plus installation for all.
      Not too bad at all, esp for the boiler or regular stove.

    • #775892
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      Hello all (I’m new here),

      I am also interested in the Century Homes ECO house. This morning I had a meeting with one of their sales guys to go through the options. There is a standard and a high-spec version. The “standard” uses blocks of wood between the internal plaster board and the “high spec” uses an I beam, and the whole thing is sealed. It looks to me as if the standard is just as eco-house shaped regular timber frame. But perhaps that trivialises the solar gain aspects of the design. Neither the heating system (I’m interested in a aerothermal SWECO.IE jobby) or the ventilation heat-exchange system mentioned in the Century blurb come with it. The sales guy did give me some contact numbers of reputable suppliers. Also unlike some other energy efficient houses the windows don’t come with it either. The plans fo cost €2830 or so but that does form a deposit on the house frame as well.

      The internal layout for the couse is customizable to some extent though there might be additional costs depending on what you want to do.

      So far only one such exists (in Tallaght) and there are plans in train for a few more. So there is no show house to have a look at .

      As it happens I know the passive heating house (I pass it everyday.) It has hardly any windows at all, and looks very dull. It faces south west and is shaded somewhat by trees. Also it’s very small looking. I don’t like the look of it.

      I’m going to be talking tro other suppliers in the very near future, I’ll bring those discussions here if folk are interested

      I’m very intesested in your opinions in these issues.

    • #775893
      lignum
      Participant

      try http://www.riko-hise.si
      i’d like to know if there is a better built house around

    • #775894
      taizy8
      Participant

      The Eco houses on http://www.riko-hise.si look great …. but for scandinavia. I am wondering ..and I am only new here and not an architect , but what Ideas are going around for Irish solutions to house design that suit our landscape and climate and start to address all the issues of energy efficiency and are also cost efficient. Yes I know the one off house argument etc. We have to live somewhere. I love the modern modular houses here is a link that has some……http://mocoloco.com/archives/cat_architecture.php……some very funky stuff ……may have problems with planning . I like the idea of the “off the grid house”

      below is link to solar decathalon
      http://www.eere.energy.gov/solar_decathlon/homes_gallery.html

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