MVHR unit installed in loft

humblebee hive – retrofit #7

Seal tight, Ventilate right It’s the retrofit mantra. And we did notice how quickly it got stuffy once the windows were in and the EWI was all but sealed. We were still getting chilly inside, in part because in order to have fresh air we had to have the windows open, while the rest of the...

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Reclaimed slates

humblebee hive – retrofit #6

Uplifting tales about small challenges leading to better outcomes One of the best courses I went on during my time at Arup was the Design School. I was only a grad + something at the time (yup, it’s been going for over 20 years!), and we had a lot of fun, away on residential for a couple...

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humblebee hive – retrofit #5

Planning and Building Control What’s the point of the Planning system? It’s to decide nationally and locally what we want to see and prioritise in our built environment. So in the face of a climate emergency and biodiversity loss, what is the most immediate action government could...

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humblebee hive – retrofit #3

Windooooows! So exciting: finally met the team on d-day: Richard – retrofit coordinator – Chris & Erol (Team “Windows”) and Tim & Liam (Team “External Wall Insulation”) and the Green Building Store “Performance” windows arrived on the...

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Cavity Wall insulation being pumped in

humblebee hive – retrofit #2

Cavity Wall Insulation (CWI) Delays with the Planning Application process – and more on this in a later post – meant we couldn’t start the “big works” until this month (March 2022). But one of the things we could get on with and commission, with relatively little...

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Hemp insulation in loft and loftlegs

humblebee hive – retrofit #1

It’s fair to say phase 1 of humblebee HQ’s retrofit has stretched over quite some time… We started planning – with a duly filled-in draft Passivhaus (PHPP) model – back in, ooh, I don’t quite recall, but a good 2.5-3 years ago. We are broadly aiming for the...

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Positive community, positive house

Home of 2030….now

Today the winners of the Home of 2030 competition have been announced, but win or lose, we know how important it is to get future housing right for the next generation. We took the 5 Capitals approach to try to redress the balance towards the Social, Human and Natural worlds, and the Construction...

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The Positive+ Collective

“When you buy from a small business an actual person does a little dance.” Wow, wow, wow! I am so excited because a few months ago, an ex-colleague from my Arup London days – the brilliant Adrian Campbell of changebuilding – asked me if I’d be interested in contributing to a design...

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Healthier Homes – What can you do?

No more draughty, gas guzzling dwellings – my top tips for improving comfort, indoor health and energy efficiency. The switch in most households to LED lighting was the largest contribution to the drop in the UK’s carbon emissions last year. Meanwhile, the incentives for renewable energy...

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Let’s talk about mould…

A few years ago I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease called CIDP, the chronic version for Guillain-Barré syndrome. It started with pins and needles in both feet, migrated to the rest of my legs and started in my fingers and hands with a gradual loss of sensitivity. Then came muscle...

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