Update from the 31st January:
No – we haven’t finished and no – we haven’t moved in!
Second fix electrics, plastering, painting and plumbing, hanging doors and fitting architrave and skirting- all seem frustratingly slow – but this is the penalty for building a largish eco-house with 24 corners, a house where the hemcrete walls were installed in the wettest June on record and where the magnesium silicate MultiPro boards used for the internal shuttering require a complex process of priming and special lime plastering.
But we can now see light at the end of the tunnel and friends who visit are suitably impressed with the progress. The discontinued rustic oak kitchen bought from Magnet at a substantial discount is now fully fitted, the Everhot stove is fully functional and the bathrooms are almost fully tiled.
The modest Morso Badger stove is supplying core heat. The 80 HP400 solar tubes on the garage roof are already pumping in heat at almost 40 degrees C on the (rare) days when we have a few hours of winter sun. Most of the lighting is complete and the new JCC LED downlighters are impressive consuming no more than 3-7 watts per unit. By the end of next week the bespoke energy management system courtesy of Exergy Devices will be monitoring and controlling heat in the foundation slab which will function as a giant radiator/energy store. Soon we will be able to tell exactly how much (PV) electricity is being produced, how much energy is being used, and the temperatures in the foundation slab, the outside temperature and the living area in the house.
The house is bright and light thanks to the zero VOC EcoSure paint from Dulux on the ceilings and the off-white Earthborn Clay paint on the walls.
Drainage work continues and if the weather is favourable, the BioPure septic tank and the 5000 L Stormsaver rainwater tank should be operational by the end of next month.
We will have been living in the mobile home for two years this weekend and it is beginning to feel like it. The first year was spent finalising plans, obtaining planning permission, and levelling the site. It was not until late May 2012 when the timber frame arrived so 9 months is probably not bad going.
Sorry there has been not time to take photos but some of these will follow with the next posting.