House Planning Help Podcast (general)

Air leakage expert Paul Jennings looks at how best to achieve that all important airtightness when using particular construction methods.

Check out the show notes for more information.

 

Direct download: HPH227.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30pm UTC

With a matter of weeks until he moves into his new home, Ben Adam-Smith shares a list of ten things that he's excited about.

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Direct download: HPH226.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:08pm UTC

Architect Andrew Goodman explains what it took to create the UK's first load-bearing straw bale Passivhaus home.

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Direct download: HPH225.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:12pm UTC

Rob Wiggans explains how you can minimise risks when buying land for development.

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Direct download: HPH224.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

Dean Scott takes Ben on a tour of the Graven Hill development, and of his own energy-efficient self build.

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Direct download: HPH223.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am UTC

With the first phase well under way and residents already moving in, Karen Curtin, Managing Director of Graven Hill Village Development Company, talks through the process of finding and buying a plot at Graven Hill.

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Direct download: HPH222.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:18am UTC

As Ben Adam-Smith's build enters the final few weeks he reviews his project's schedule and sequencing. Although a lot of the detail pertains to building a masonry wall Passivhaus, it still serves as an example of the stages any house build might go through.

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Direct download: HPH221.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:22pm UTC

Mike Coe provides a progress update on his second self build project, with finances being stretched as construction is set to begin.

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Direct download: HPH220.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:04pm UTC

Ben Adam-Smith looks at why self build projects often eat into the budget set aside for landscaping. This includes Ben's new home where initial garden plans have been put on hold!

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Direct download: HPH219.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:48am UTC

Alex Baines explains the impact a mid-construction delay has had on him, his family, and his Long Barrow Passivhaus project.

Check out the show notes for more details.

 

Direct download: HPH218.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:59pm UTC

Ben Adam-Smith chats to his wife Kay about what it's been like building a house. She never wanted a new build, preferring to buy a period property instead. So why did she agree to do this? And what can we learn about trying to get a partner on board with a self build?

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Direct download: HPH217.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:17am UTC

With decades growing his knowledge of self-building, Mark Brinkley shares some of the surprises, challenges and joys involved.

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Direct download: HPH216.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Ben Adam-Smith reflects on what he's learned so far during the construction phase of his self build.

The project is halfway through and the finished house will meet the Passivhaus standard.

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Direct download: HPH215.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:31pm UTC

Rob Wiggans shares his expert tips on how to find a plot of land for a self build project.

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Direct download: HPH214.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:31pm UTC

Steven Thompson, from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, explains why it can be sensible to have a contract, and what type you might need for a self build project.

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Direct download: HPH213.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

John Fenwick discusses the challenges of building his award-winning Passivhaus with an atypical form.

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Direct download: HPH212.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Mark Feldman of MARS Building Ltd offers an insight into how he prices up potential new jobs (including when he's invited into a tender process).

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Direct download: HPH211.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:40pm UTC

Liz and Mike Hill explain the decisions behind the design of their contemporary eco home.

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Direct download: HPH210.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:24am UTC

Marlen and Tony Godwin explain why it was important for their modern, minimalist Passivhaus home and office designs to be sympathetic to the neighbourhood.

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Direct download: HPH209.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:43pm UTC

Ben Adam-Smith looks at some of the reasons why his tender returns might have been so high. He then sits down with his wife Kay to consider possible savings.

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Direct download: HPH208.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:06pm UTC

Chris Parsons from Parsons+ Whittley outlines a traditional procurement route. And Ben and Kay Adam-Smith receive their tender returns.

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Direct download: HPH207.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:36pm UTC

Robert Flynn from Solarbarn explains how to choose a solar array to suit your needs.

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Direct download: HPH206.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm UTC

Architectural technologist Dan Higginbotham from Parsons + Whittley Architects talks about producing construction drawings and a scheme of works from an architect’s design.

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Direct download: HPH205.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:04pm UTC

Five self-builders explain how they came to build their houses on the edge of a developer estate.

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Direct download: HPH204.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:36am UTC

Author and self-builder Will Anderson talks about realising his self-build dream not once but twice!

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Direct download: HPH203.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:39am UTC

Building Services Engineer Alan Clarke explains how he has designed and specified the ventilation, heating, and hot and cold water systems for Ben's new house.

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Direct download: HPH202.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:36am UTC

Ben Adam-Smith reflects on how he's changed while making 200 podcasts about self and custom building. He also looks at how the podcast has changed with him.

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Direct download: HPH201.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm UTC

Ben Adam-Smith shares 20 insights about self-building that he has learned while making 200 podcasts and also tackling his own project.

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Direct download: HPH200.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:13pm UTC

Self-builder Oliver Smallman tells us about planning, building and living in his London Passivhaus.

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Direct download: HPH199.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:32pm UTC

Interior designer Emily Bizley explains how she and her husband, an architect, co-designed their RIBA shortlisted self-build home.

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Direct download: HPH198.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:33pm UTC

Jon Martin explains how he beat the odds with his extraordinary self-build tree house.

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Direct download: HPH197.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:55pm UTC

Lucy Pedler, architect and founder of The Green Register, talks about the importance of good communication throughout a self-build project.

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Direct download: HPH196.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:04pm UTC

Gordon Lewis explains what cellulose insulation is, how it's applied and why self-builders can benefit from choosing it.

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Direct download: HPH195.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:24pm UTC

Paul Testa from Paul Testa Architecture talks about how to predict the costs of a house build and shares his tips on limiting a self-build budget.

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Direct download: HPH194.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:52am UTC

Simon Corbey from ASBP shares some of his research into the costs and life cycle of plastic windows and suggests some considerations for self-builders.

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Direct download: HPH193.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:07am UTC

Michael Holmes from NaCSBA explains the Right to Build initiative and how it will impact on the future of custom and self-builds.

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Direct download: HPH192.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30pm UTC

Lloyd Alter from TreeHugger shares his advice on what we should be prioritising as 21st century self-builders.

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Direct download: HPH191.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:09am UTC

Ben Adam-Smith explains how he and his wife have been specifying their new home (which will be built to Passivhaus standard).

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Direct download: HPH190.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:26pm UTC

Actor and TV presenter Robert Llewellyn shares his insights about the future of electric cars and energy production.

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Direct download: HPH189.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:16am UTC

Richard Hawkes from Hawkes Architecture tells us about the exceptional circumstances in which planning for rural new builds may be granted.

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Direct download: HPH188.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:04pm UTC

Will Kirkman from Ecomerchant shares the key results of a survey the company ran to find out what self-builders worry about most.

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Direct download: HPH187.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:42pm UTC

Ben and Kay Adam-Smith have a difference in opinion over which windows to specify for their new build Passivhaus home. While Ben is keen to minimise mullions, transoms and window frames, Kay believes this takes away from the aesthetics.

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Direct download: HPH186.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:24pm UTC

Ben Adam-Smith reviews what it took to be granted planning permission for his new Passivhaus home.

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Direct download: HPH185.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:44pm UTC

Donal O’Leary tells us about his self-build in Ireland and shares advice for a successful project.

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Direct download: HPH184.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:07pm UTC

Buckinghamshire Passivhaus has become one of the most airtight buildings in the UK. As such, we consider what factors contributed towards their exceptional result of 0.08 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals.

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Direct download: HPH183.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04am UTC

Justin Broadbent from ISO Energy explains the options available for extracting energy from water on your plot of land.

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Direct download: HPH182.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:09pm UTC

Jack Harvie-Clark from Apex Acoustics provides an overview of acoustics in the home. He also explains how we might go about controlling noises and soundproofing.

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Direct download: HPH181.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:24pm UTC

Ben Adam-Smith runs through the main options of where to live while your new home is under construction. While there's potential to save a lot of money it should not impact significantly on your comfort, state of mind or key relationships.

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Direct download: HPH180.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:33pm UTC

Cath Hassell from ech2o consultants explains why connecting to mains drainage is generally the best option for a new build home. She also runs through some alternatives if this is not possible.

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Direct download: HPH179.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:58pm UTC

Clare Whitney from Clayworks explains how clay plasters are made, their applications and why we might choose them over other wall finishes.

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Direct download: HPH178.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:50pm UTC

Architect Ruth Butler shares the story of building a contemporary Passivhaus on an overlooked, brownfield site.

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Direct download: HPH177.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:04pm UTC

Dennis and Nicola Merrigan talk about the highs and lows of their Passivhaus self-build project, sharing lessons learned.

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Direct download: HPH176.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:13pm UTC

Ben reviews the journey from briefing to planning stage for his own self-build project, with their architect Chris Parsons from Parsons + Whittley.

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Direct download: HPH175.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:59pm UTC

Ben and Kay Adam-Smith visit their architects Parsons + Whittley to discuss how to move their project forward. There are decisions to be made over which designs to pursue, what materials to embrace and how to address the various constraints (including bringing down the height of the building).

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Direct download: HPH174.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:52am UTC

Dr Michaela Benson from Goldsmiths explains how our housing needs change through life and why the concept of a forever home is often not realistic.

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Direct download: HPH173.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:27pm UTC

John Palmer from Enhabit explains what happens if you choose not to go all the way to Passivhaus standard, including how this impacts on cost, energy efficiency and comfort. He also outlines a best practice approach if you are going to build with Passivhaus principles.

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Direct download: HPH172.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:56pm UTC

Elina Grigoriou from Grigoriou Interiors talks about design, wellbeing and sustainability, and the role of interior designers.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH171.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:12pm UTC

Michael Campbell from Spratt Endicott Solicitors explains the key stages that need to take place in order to buy a piece of land for a self build project.

Ben also chats through some of the challenges he faced during his plot search and subsequent land purchase.

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Direct download: HPH170.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:57pm UTC

Clare Nash from Clare Nash Architecture shares various responses by small developers in the UK and abroad to the challenges of creating modern communities through better design.

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Direct download: HPH169.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:16pm UTC

Allan Corfield from Allan Corfield Architects (ACA) explains how his approach to services and fees differs from traditional architecture practices in the UK. He describes the staged services his practice offers, giving indicative costs.

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Direct download: HPH168.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:56pm UTC

Simon Corbey from the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) shares some thoughts of what makes a healthy building product.

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Direct download: HPH167.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:07pm UTC

7 self-builders reflect on the key things they wish they'd known before starting their projects.

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Direct download: HPH166.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11pm UTC

Ben and Kay Adam-Smith receive initial sketches of their new home from their architects Parsons + Whittley. They then feedback to John over the phone.

Chris also outlines how this stage works and explains why it is so important.

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Direct download: HPH165.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:41pm UTC

Belinda and Paul Wilson share what they’ve learned from their Passivhaus build. Paul also explains the responsibilities of the Principal Designer and why he decided to take on this role himself.

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Direct download: HPH164.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:50pm UTC

Andrew McInulty from Ready Made Basements explains the main reasons people install basements. He also shares the challenges of building below ground and how they are best addressed.

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Direct download: HPH163.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:42pm UTC

Ben and Kay Adam-Smith sit down with Chris Parsons from Parsons + Whittley to run through the brief for their self build project.

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Direct download: HPH162.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:19pm UTC

Ben Adam-Smith shares what he's learnt during the process of hiring an architect for his self build project.

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Direct download: HPH161.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:59am UTC

Master thatcher, Stephen Letch, tells us about the history of thatching, the materials and techniques involved, and how it can be used today. 

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Direct download: HPH160.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:15pm UTC

Ben Adam-Smith comes clean with his project progress! After two and a half years of looking, he has finally managed to buy a plot of land upon which to build his eco home.

However, the process of buying the land was perhaps not the joyous occasion he would have liked. In this solo episode he shares what he's learnt.

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Direct download: HPH159.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm UTC

Architect and author Pat Borer shares insights from his teaching career at the Centre for Alternative Technology as well as what he's learned from his own practice (which has helped hundreds of self-builders).

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Direct download: HPH158.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm UTC

Architect James Galpin from HazleMcCormackYoung shares insights into how Mayfield Passivhaus was designed and built. 

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Direct download: HPH157.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:13pm UTC

Lisa Kerslake from the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management explains how self-builders can encourage wildlife to flourish on their plots. 

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Direct download: HPH156.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:11pm UTC

Jeremy Harris explains why he chose not to use an architect or designer for his self build, and how he managed to do the job himself. He also shares some of the challenges that he came up against.

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Direct download: HPH155.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:38pm UTC

Jeremy Harris, a scientist by background, wanted a low energy house for his retirement. He talks about the initial stages of his self-build project: finding a plot of land and obtaining planning approval.

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Direct download: HPH154.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:21pm UTC

Phill Skill explains what building regulations are and how we comply with them.

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Direct download: HPH153.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:41pm UTC

We re-run an interview from 2014 with Stephen Gurney, who explains what causes poor airtightness test results and how they could have been avoided.

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Direct download: Encore_episode_-_Stephen_Gurney.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:41pm UTC

We re-run an interview from 2013 with Sarah Susanka, author of the Not So Big House. 

Check out the show notes for this podcast.

Direct download: Encore_episode_-_Sarah_Susanka.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:29pm UTC

We re-run an interview from 2012 with the co-founder of the Passivhaus standard, Dr Wolfgang Feist.

Direct download: Encore_episode_-_Dr_Feist.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:12pm UTC

Mike Coe and his partner Lizzie created one of the UK’s most energy efficient homes. Now they’re looking to sell and start a new project elsewhere, they’re finding that they will have made a loss. Mike discusses why that might be, and whether it will change the way he thinks about his next self build.

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Direct download: HPH152.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:54pm UTC

We are currently following the progress of Buckinghamshire Passivhaus with video updates in The Hub. In order to provide some background to the project, we spoke to its architect, Janet Cotterell, about the reasons behind her clients decision to completely rebuild the house, rather than follow their original plans of refurbishing it to Passivhaus standard.

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Direct download: HPH151.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:48pm UTC

We have been following Alex Baines’ Long Barrow Passivhaus self build project in previous podcast and Hub episodes. This time we catch up with him to use his experience of working in the renewables industry, together with his current role as a Passivhaus consultant, to understand how renewables and a fabric first approach can be balanced when building your own energy efficient house. 

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Direct download: HPH150.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:57pm UTC

Until fairly recently Paul Buckingham was carrying out airtightness tests on volume built houses. He explains how his role was to make the house pass the test, not about making the house energy efficient.

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Direct download: HPH149.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:22pm UTC

Dean Scott and his wife Hannah have never found anywhere they liked enough to buy and have long had a dream to self build instead. With the release of plots at the Graven Hill development in Oxfordshire, they are now looking to start the process and get building!

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH148.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:49pm UTC

As part of Ben Adam-Smith's video work, podcasts and meeting with other self builders, he is often asked questions about the Passivhaus standard that he doesn't know how to answer. He recently took the opportunity to put those questions to Elrond Burrell, as well as finding out about Elrond’s future plans as he gets ready to move back to New Zealand. 

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Direct download: HPH147.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm UTC

It can be difficult to know who to approach at your local authority, other than the planning department, if you’re looking to self build. And if you get a knockback where do you take it from there? Emma Osmundsen from Exeter City Council explains who you should be talking to and how working co-operatively and collaboratively could help with your plans to self build.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH146.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:48pm UTC

Building a 94m² Passivhaus with no south-facing glazing, on an infill plot in a conservation area posed many challenges! However architect Bernard Tulken’s Lansdowne Drive Passivhaus won a 2016 UK Passivhaus Trust Award. In this case study he talks us through the constraints and decision making involved.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH145.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:34pm UTC

Three self builders explain their next steps after struggling to find land upon which to build their new homes.

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Direct download: HPH144.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:21pm UTC

Ben Adam-Smith reviews the key decisions that may have led to failing to build an energy-efficient home within his desired 4-year timeframe.

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Direct download: HPH143.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:24pm UTC

Marine Sanchez is a building physics engineer and a Passivhaus Designer. She helps explain what a Passivhaus Designer does, when you might need one and how they work within a design team.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH142.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30pm UTC

Andrew Collinson explains what the role of structural engineer entails. He also runs through his most frequent tasks on housing projects, outlines how he might interact within a team and gives tips for how to find good structural engineers.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH141.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:20pm UTC

A quantity surveyor can add far more value to a project than just working out how much your project is likely to cost. Jerry Thomas explains the role of a quantity surveyor, when you should employ one and how it could benefit your self build.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH140.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:35pm UTC

Tomas Gartner describes building biology as “a more holistic approach to achieving sustainable, low energy buildings with a more human focus." He explains how it is nothing to be feared or fanatical about, but is a sensible approach to understanding the risks and trying to improve them wherever possible.

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Direct download: HPH139.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30pm UTC

Integrated design is a way of a design team working collaboratively on a project from the outset. Architect Charles Grylls and Passivhaus Consultant Nick Grant explain how their team works and the benefits it has for the client, as well as for future projects.

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Direct download: HPH138.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:50pm UTC

Initiated by Cherwell District Council, the Graven Hill Village Development Company are providing opportunities for self builders to create their own homes on a 1900 plot site, on land previously owned by the Ministry of Defence near Bicester. Philip Singleton explains the scheme and what potential customers can expect on their ‘customer journey’.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH137.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:40pm UTC

Ben Adam-Smith shares what he's learnt from visiting 6 self build projects, each shortlisted for the UK Passivhaus Awards 2016.

Regen Media produced 6 video inserts for the ceremony and this gave Ben the opportunity to visit these homes. Now he reflects on each project and the key takeaways.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH136.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:15pm UTC

Tom Gresford likes to use auctions as a way of finding interesting and quirky development sites. He bought an old water tower at auction to build his latest project, Chieveley Passivhaus, which was shortlisted for a UK Passivhaus Award 2016. His intention was to show that you can build beautiful, modern houses in the Passivhaus way. 

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH135.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:39pm UTC

Angie and Paul Dallas wanted to build a comfortable, energy efficient home for their retirement, using land at their existing property. Paul was also keen to be as hands-on as possible, but their decision to build to the Passivhaus Standard, which he didn’t have experience of, left Paul needing to create a role for himself.  

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH134.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:28pm UTC

Paul Foulkes explains how building automation systems differ from smart home technology, how they can improve energy efficiency, and why the KNX non-proprietary system can help a building adapt to the needs of its occupants.

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Direct download: HPH133.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:33pm UTC

For the past few years Peter Schneider has been looking into how the Passivhaus standard can be introduced to modular homes being built at local factories in the Vermont area of the United States. He explains how they are trying to educate people to realise the benefits and life cycle cost savings of having a better built, energy efficient home.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH132.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:51pm UTC

Robert Young explains why he decided to build a home for his retirement at the end of the garden and what steps were necessary to create this low maintenance, high comfort dwelling.

There was also one significant constraint on this plot, a mature lime tree, which could not be removed. Ultimately this led to the curved house that was designed.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH131.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:11pm UTC

Lisa Jackson is a planning consultant and together with her husband, who has a background in construction and planning, set out to build an energy efficient home. What they created was a timber frame home built to the Passivhaus standard.

Lisa shares her experience of the process and is also able to provide useful tips about getting through the planning process. 

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH130.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

In 2012 Cambridge City Council advertised for potential members for a new cohousing scheme on a plot of land within an existing development. Chris Wilson was struck by the idea of building a consensus based community and is now Chair of the K1 cohousing group. He talks to us about the processes they have gone through to get the scheme to its current stage.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH129.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:06pm UTC

Helen Brown heads up the building physics department at Encraft. Her main area of interest is in low energy construction in new build housing, with a particular focus on Passivhaus.

Based on various research and monitoring methods she is able to explain the differences between actual energy consumption compared with their designed intent.

 

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH128.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:21pm UTC

Ben Adam-Smith outlines 5 strategies for taking your land search into your own hands.

If you have been struggling to unearth a plot for your self build and have time to invest, then these proactive strategies could help you get your hands on something that others have missed.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH127.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:06am UTC

Simon Sturgis has been studying carbon emissions in the building industry for the last 8 or 9 years. He uses his experience to look at the scenarios of when it might be best to demolish and rebuild, or whether retrofit might be a better option. He also explains how new buildings should be created with their ‘circular economy’ in mind.  

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH126.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:12pm UTC

Andrew Michler has been living off grid in the Colorado Rocky Mountains for over 20 years. He has had a long interest in sustainable design and as well as completing a book about how sustainable architecture around the world responds to its conditions, he has also created Colorado’s first certified Passivhaus home.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH125.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:02pm UTC

Potton have a history of serving the self build market and are currently building a Passivhaus show home. They are making the details of the build available through their Self Build Live events and are running courses through their Self Build Academy to help people through the self build journey. Paul Newman explains why they’re doing this, and also what lessons they’ve learned from the construction of their Passivhaus show house.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH124.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:27pm UTC

Like Ben Adam-Smith, Michelle is a podcaster who is keen to build her own home and is sharing the information she learns along the way with her audience. In this episode she and Ben discuss how some of the challenges of the self build market compare in the UK and the US, and also some of the best things about their respective housing industries.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH123.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:40pm UTC

With Ben Adam-Smith struggling to find a plot of land in his town, he has decided to try a new approach and dedicate a full day trying to tap in to local knowledge. He shares the tips he was given and concludes with how successful his day was in progressing his self build plans.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH122.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:12pm UTC

Together with her team at Passivhaus Homes, Janet Cotterell has been developing their PH15 system for building houses to Passivhaus standard. She explains the differences between kit and system approaches and why there should be more available on the UK market.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH121.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:35pm UTC

Thomas Honour is a mortgage adviser for BuildStore, who are mortgage brokers specialising in projects such as self builds. Self build mortgages differ from traditional ones, and Thomas explains some of the products available and what you are likely to need to secure finance for your project.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH120.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:05pm UTC

Harvey Fremlin is Managing Director of the National Self Build and Renovation Centre, where they have trade exhibitors, run courses and generally provide impartial advice on all things self build. Harvey talks us through the different things to be thinking about when you’re choosing your building materials.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH119.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:55pm UTC

Keen to focus on the professions involved in a self build project, in this episode we’re looking at architects. Adrian Dobson has worked at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for over 10 years and is their Executive Director Members. He was a practising architect himself and still gives lectures and seminars to students and architects in practice. Adrian explains the benefits an architect can provide, and gives advice on how to find the right one for your project.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH118.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:36pm UTC

David Snell is author of ‘Building Your Own Home’ and writes regularly for ‘Homebuilding & Renovating’. The last time we spoke to David he was working on his 14th and ‘final’ self build project. He has since decided to return to Gloucestershire and is now working on his 15th! With so much experience to draw upon he is able to give examples of what to look for when selecting a plot of land, and how you can tell whether it’s the right one for you.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH117.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:18pm UTC

Mike Whitfield, of Mike Whitfield Construction, has been focused on creating energy efficient houses in Herefordshire since the 1990s. He explains why building high quality, low energy buildings requires different skills and mind-set to traditional construction, and gives advice on how to find a builder who is up to the task.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH116.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Freelance writer and author of Housebuilder’s Bible, Mark Brinkley, has been writing about how to build houses for over 20 years. Now embarking on a new self build project of his own he is aware of how terrifying the process can be! He shares with us some of his experience of how to create a budget, and what you can do to make sure you stick to it.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH115.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30pm UTC

David Olivier has over 30 years of experience working with architects and engineers, advising on energy conscious design. In 2012 he moved into his own passive solar self build house and shares with us some of what he has learnt professionally, and personally.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH114.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:09pm UTC

Tara and Dimitri had allocated £350,000 for the purchase of land and costs for building their Gloucestershire home. They explain how they worked with their architect and builder to manage their budget and pass on tips for what they learnt along the way.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH113.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:41pm UTC

Phill Skill is Lead Business Consultant at Stroud District Council, and for 10 years before that he was their Head of Planning. He talks us through the terminology and processes involved that might apply to a self build project.  

Check out the show notes for more information.

 

Direct download: HPH112.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:34pm UTC

Nick Grant explains why his childhood “make do and mend” mentality has given him a lifelong passion for doing more with less. Combined with a background in engineering he demonstrates how value engineering can be applied to a house building project. 

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH111.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:11pm UTC

Ben Adam-Smith reviews where he is in his own self-build process and discusses the reasons why there will be some changes to future podcasts.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH110.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:25pm UTC

Cesar Abeid has recently written a book called ‘Project Management for You’. He explains how his simple steps approach to project management can help bring an idea into reality, whether in your personal or professional life, and how this methodology can be applied to organising a self-build project without being overwhelmed!

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH109.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:39pm UTC

Ben Adam-Smith has been frustrated by his lack of progress in finding a suitable building plot and has been wondering whether there is anything he can be doing in the meantime to help his project. Kirsty Maguire of Kirsty Maguire Architect Ltd explains the steps that he could be taking now to put him in a stronger position for when he has a site and the project goes live.

 Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH108.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:26pm UTC

Jon Broome from Jon Broome Architects explains how to create sustainable neighbourhoods and why they make better places to live. He also shares progress on a group self build scheme in Lewisham, London, which is embracing these principles.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH107.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Professor Phil Jones from the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University explains how SOLCER House exports more energy to the grid than it uses and addresses fundamental issues relating to affordability, buildability and performance. With governments around the world committing to deliver zero carbon housing by 2019, this project has been designed from the outset as a practical solution.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH106.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Prewett Bizley Architects specialises in low energy architecture and Bob has a particular interest in retrofit. He explains that housing is responsible for around 27% of the UK's carbon emissions, so buildings of all ages and styles have a part to play in terms of energy efficiency.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH105.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Arun, Nicki, Donal, and Glen share their stories of how they successfully bought their plots of land. With four case studies to evaluate from three different countries, there’s lots to be learned from our guests today.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH104.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Geoff and Kate Tunstall explain how they were able to create a fantastic Passivhaus in Denby Dale with a modest budget of around £150,000. They also share how they got caught by a 6-inch ransom strip and what options were open to them.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH103.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

The residents of Fintry, Scotland, were approached back in 2003 by a developer that was looking to set up a wind farm in the area and was seeking local support. After years of negotiations the community agreed to the wind farm on the proviso that they install an extra turbine on the site, for the Fintry community. The wind farm developer paid for the additional turbine, which the community are gradually buying back over 15 years, together with paying maintenance, interest and land rental costs.

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH102.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Michaela Benson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has spent the last three years working on a research project called 'Self-Building - The Production and Consumption of New Homes From the Perspective of Households'. She wanted to understand the diversity of the houses people build, their motivations for doing it and their experiences of the process. Her interviews with twenty individual self-builders and five group projects during that time have led her to notice characteristics that these people share. 

Check out the show notes for more information.

Direct download: HPH101.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

We catch up with Alex Baines, a Passivhaus consultant who you may remember from episode 74. We spoke to him then about how gaining support for his semi earth-sheltered rural self-build from his local community helped him achieve the necessary planning permissions. Almost a year on we spoke with him again to see what progress he has made on the build so far.

Check out the show notes to see some pictures of the progress.

Direct download: HPH100.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:01pm UTC

It has been almost a year since Luke Mahon took ownership of a new-build developer house, which he soon discovered lacked insulation! He talks us through his experience and the ongoing battle to get the house completed.

See the full show notes: http://www.houseplanninghelp.com/99.

Direct download: HPH099.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Architect, builder and Passivhaus Consultant, Christina Snyder shares the story of the experimental zero-energy Passivhaus self-build that she and her husband have undertaken in Michigan, and explains why they are in no rush to complete it.

Direct download: HPH098.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Peter Warm from WARM: Low Energy Building Practice explains why building to Passivhaus standard is desirable, how certification comes into the equation, and what steps will increase your chances of reaching certification.

Direct download: HPH097.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:32pm UTC

Kara Rosemeier from Passive House Academy New Zealand looks at why natural ventilation leads to little control of ventilation. She also shares why the Passivhaus approach is the logical step forwards.

Direct download: HPH096.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Harold Orr reflects on why the Saskatchewan Conservation House was a landmark on the road to high performance buildings.

Direct download: HPH095.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am UTC

Brian Murphy from Green Building Encyclopaedia runs through the most common types of insulation and explains why they each have strengths and weaknesses.

Direct download: HPH094.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:13am UTC

Tad Everhart, an energy adviser from Portland, Oregon, shares his story of building a house . . . which he retrofitted 10 years later after learning about Passivhaus. We find out why he was motivated to take on the challenge, how he went about it and whether all the hard work was worth it.

Direct download: HPH093.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:57pm UTC

Professor Tom Woolley from Rachel Bevan Architects explains what hempcrete is, how it is mixed and applied, and what the pros and cons of using it are.

Direct download: HPH092.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:29pm UTC

Tomás O’Leary from the Passive House Academy explains why he became an early adopter of the Passivhaus standard and also shares why we need to take every opportunity to retrofit existing buildings, even if it is a phased approach.

Direct download: HPH091.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:12pm UTC

Darren Macri from Bleu Nest is a certified Passivhaus builder and consultant, and he explains what this means and how putting together a team who have had training is likely to benefit your low energy build.

He also has insights into his own house build which is nearing completion.

Direct download: HPH090.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:08pm UTC

Bjørn Kierulf from Createrra explains how you can have the best of both worlds, using almost entirely natural materials to create a house that reaches the Passivhaus Standard.

Direct download: HPH089.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:27am UTC

Jay Shafer from Four Lights Tiny House Company gives us the lowdown of tiny house living. He explains why he initially made the choice, how different life has been since and why he has never looked back.

Jay also shares practical advice of what you need to know and do in order to transition to a smaller house.

Direct download: HPH088.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:58pm UTC

Andrew Peel from Peel Passive House Consulting explains why the quality assurance procedure is at the heart of the Passivhaus standard. He also feels the process can be useful to improve any building, even if not striving for the standard.

Direct download: HPH087.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25am UTC

Dylan Lamar from Green Hammer explains how design ideas are communicated in various different ways, from sketches drawn by hand to sophisticated computer models. He also shares the design process at Green Hammer, and how and why house plans evolve.

Direct download: HPH086.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:09pm UTC

Sofie Pelsmakers, environmental architect and doctoral researcher at University College London (UCL), busts 10 common environmental design myths. This also serves as a good introduction to The Environmental Design Pocketbook.

Direct download: HPH085.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:02pm UTC

Clare Parry, Director of the Australian Passive House Association, explains what it means to work on Passivhaus projects in different climates. What, if anything, changes?

Direct download: HPH084.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:26pm UTC

Author Michael Mobbs reflects on what he’s learnt about sustainability over the last 20 years. From living without a car and bringing key services in-house (his home is not connected to mains water, mains electricity or mains drainage) to growing his own food and being careful how he spends his money, Michael considers how effective he has been.

Direct download: HPH083.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:41pm UTC

David Winterton from Sydney-based consultancy Ecological Design gives us a rundown of solar photovoltaic (solar PV). We find out how it works, what the key considerations are and why prices of PV panels always seem to be coming down!

Direct download: HPH082.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:11pm UTC

Cath Hassell from ech2o consultants explains what rainwater harvesting is, why it’s useful and how to get started.

If you haven’t heard our first podcast interview with Cath on the topic of saving water, check that one out first!

Direct download: HPH081.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am UTC

Paul Jennings from ALDAS talks through some of the findings from the airtightness tests we carried out as part of our documentary.

Direct download: HPH080.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:13am UTC

Mark Chesney from Beam Vacuum & Ventilation explains how houses have become increasingly airtight and why this has had a significant impact on energy efficiency. He also shares why having a good ventilation strategy is so important.

Direct download: HPH079.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:35pm UTC

John Butler tells the story of how he retrofitted a bungalow to be more energy efficient. Having carried out a lot of the work himself, he also shares what he's learnt about airtightness and overheating.

Direct download: HPH078.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:59pm UTC

Jackson Moulding from Ecomotive tells the story of Ashley Vale, a group self build scheme in Bristol, UK, that initially had to fend off a large developer in order to secure a plot of land. The will of the local community was instrumental in making this happen.

Direct download: HPH077.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31pm UTC

David Sharpe from Thomasons explains what the foundations are, why they must be site specific and how they could impact on the design of a building.

Direct download: HPH076.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:02pm UTC

James and Dani McDonald reveal why they were drawn to HUF HAUS, how the process worked and why they have become very loyal to the brand.

Direct download: HPH075.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:22pm UTC

Alex Baines talks through the plans for his semi earth-sheltered home, to be constructed to Passivhaus standard, and explains why involving the local community in the early stages was essential in gaining the relevant permissions.

Direct download: HPH074.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:40pm UTC

Richard Oxley from Oxley Conservation explains why understanding an old house is such a vital first step to take before upgrading its performance.

Direct download: HPH073.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:43pm UTC

Tim Nicholson reveals why he chose to retrofit rather than build new and, having selected a suitable property, what the strategy was and why. Tim has also been blogging about the experience on his website Oxford Green House.

Direct download: HPH072.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:37pm UTC

Alastair Parvin explains how WikiHouse has developed and why it is so significant when it comes to enabling more people to build affordable, high quality homes.

Direct download: HPH071.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:42pm UTC

Jake White from Ecotecture shares the story of The Curly House, an award-winning project that was built using insulated concrete forms (ICF). He explains what an ICF is, why there are benefits in terms of speed of construction and durability, and why most concrete structures have the potential to be extremely airtight.

Direct download: HPH070.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:08am UTC

Rory Bergin from HTA Design LLP explains why building standards are devised, the pros and cons, and why people adopt voluntary standards. He also gives an overview of the Active House standard.

Direct download: HPH069.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:17pm UTC

Dusty Gedge, founder of Livingroofs.org, explains the benefits of installing a green roof, how it can be simple and why lots of people get swayed by commercial systems.

Direct download: HPH068.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:39pm UTC

Graham Hunter from Parity Projects explains how data collected from one of their energy assessments is then turned into a report of options for the homeowner. This follows on from episode 60 which trailed Graham as he conducted an assessment.

Direct download: HPH067.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:04pm UTC

Stephen Gurney from Ecological Building Systems explains the main causes of poor airtightness test results.

Direct download: HPH066.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:23pm UTC

Alan Budden from Eco Design Consultants explains how simple design decisions can drastically alter the energy performance of a house and why this means your designer needs to be using a tool like the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) to better inform these decisions.

Direct download: HPH065.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:59pm UTC

Ken Levenson from 475 High Performance Building Supply explains what overheating is, why it happens and how to deal with it.

Direct download: HPH064.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:55pm UTC

Doug King explains what smart energy systems are, how they work and whether we should be embracing them in our new homes.

Direct download: HPH063.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:40pm UTC

Building services engineer Alan Clarke explains what factors should be considered when choosing a heating system for a low energy home.

Direct download: HPH062.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30pm UTC

If the idea of going 'off-grid' excites you, then perhaps now is a great time to be doing it. We live in an era where the cost of items such as solar panels is continually dropping and this is juxtaposed with fossil fuel reserves that deplete day by day.

While you may even be forced off-grid if you move to a remote location, does it make sense going off-grid if you have perfectly good access (for example, in a town or village)? And with different grids -transport, gas, water - which is the easiest to unplug from?!

In this discussion (which was one of our Google+ Hangouts) we discuss some of the issues surrounding going off-grid.

The Panel

Mike Coe, who lives in the Cropthorne Autonomous House (and was our guest in episode 54).

Paul Scheckel, author of The Home Energy Diet and The Homeowner's Energy Handbook.

Ken Silverstein, an business journalist who specialises in writing about energy

Direct download: HPH061.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:46pm UTC

Graham Hunter from Parity Projects conducts an energy assessment of a country house. He talks through the process as he goes about it and explains how the collected data will be used.

Direct download: HPH060.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:58am UTC

Andrew Farr from Green Building Store explains what qualities mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) should bring to a house. He also shares how to make sure you get a system that is properly designed, installed and commissioned.

Direct download: HPH059.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:18am UTC

Chris Parsons from Parsons + Whittley architects shares his experience of the costs behind Passivhaus.

Interview with Chris Parsons

Chris Parsons from Parsons + Whittley architects has always had a focus on making buildings as efficient as they can possibly be. With the issues around global warming and trying to reduce carbon emissions, this is why they found a great synergy with Passivhaus.

Direct download: HPH058.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:19pm UTC

Joe Atkinson explains how the LILAC cohousing community came together and why their project is affordable for everyone.

Direct download: HPH057.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:55am UTC

Piers Taylor from Invisible Studio Architects explains what a build system is, why you would use one over another and whether any are preferable when it comes to creating low energy houses.

Direct download: HPH056.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18pm UTC

Steve Mouzon from Original Green helps answer a question (from Frank Wiley) about what houses we should be building in areas that are prone to hurricanes or other extreme weather.

Direct download: HPH055.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:57pm UTC

Mike Coe lives in an autonomous house with his partner Lizzie Stoodley. He shares the story behind this self-build project and why it’s ultimately left them with a deeper connection to their environment.

Direct download: HPH054.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:02pm UTC

Mark Tiramani, the self-builder behind the UK’s first certified Passivhaus, shares his experience of building Y Foel and how this got him interested in the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP). He explains what PHPP is and why it’s a valuable tool.

Direct download: HPH053.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:53pm UTC

Lisa Ann Pasquale from Six Cylinder Limited explains what thermal imaging is and how it can be used in quality assuring the construction of low energy buildings.

Direct download: HPH052.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:47pm UTC

In this special episode Ben Adam-Smith explains why he wants to crowd-fund a documentary about airtightness, what it will entail and how you can help.

Direct download: HPH051.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:02pm UTC

David Snell, author of Building Your Own Home, shares advice on acquiring land, building up a skilled and reliable team, and keeping contracts simple. He is currently building his 14th house!

Direct download: HPH050.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:18am UTC

David Rudlin from Urbed explains what collective custom build is and why it would be beneficial to build more houses this way.

Direct download: HPH049.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45am UTC

Sarah Lonsdale, an eco columnist for The Telegraph, shares a list of 30 home improvements she has made to reduce energy bills, and save energy and water. Ultimately Sarah would like to build a new home (such as a Huf Haus or Passivhaus) but in the meantime she explains the benefits of incremental upgrades.

Direct download: HPH048.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01pm UTC

Ian McKay from BBM Sustainable Design shares how to find a property that will lend itself well to an eco retrofit.

He also contrasts two very different projects, the retrofit of a 1960s terraced house and the upgrade of a Victorian villa from the 1890s.

Direct download: HPH047.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:09pm UTC

Diana Woodward explains how her house was first modelled on a computer and then the 3D digital information was transformed into exact physical replicas. The components were fabricated out of WISA board on-site using a mobile manufacturing facility.

Direct download: HPH046.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:54am UTC

Upgrading your property so that it is more comfortable and costs less to run makes sense. If we're serious about tackling climate change then retrofitting has to be undertaken on a huge scale. So if it looks good on paper, why are very few people doing it?

In this discussion (which was one of our Google+ Hangouts) we consider some of the barriers that may be putting people off.

Direct download: HPH045.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:46am UTC

Mark Siddall from LEAP (Low Energy Architectural Practice) explains the circumstances under which poor ventilation can occur and why the control strategy becomes increasingly important the more airtight the building is.

Direct download: HPH044.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:25pm UTC

David and Penny Learmonth share their experience of building an ultra low energy home on a budget. They also project managed this themselves.

Direct download: HPH043.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:42am UTC

Fran Bradshaw from Anne Thorne Architects shares her experience of building an ultra low energy home using natural materials such as straw bales, lime render and clay plaster. The house is also aiming for the Passivhaus standard.

Direct download: HPH042.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:55pm UTC

Ben Adam-Smith looks at some of the essentials that you need to understand if you are going to create an energy-efficient house. There is more detail in Ben's new e-book: Why Most People Don't Build Energy-Efficient Homes.

Direct download: HPH041.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:31pm UTC

Martin Holladay from Green Building Advisor talks about the pros and cons of the Passivhaus standard. He also explains why he believes the German standard is not the best approach for the North American climate.

Direct download: HPH040.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:23pm UTC

Mark Elton from Sustainable BY Design explains what a phased retrofit of a house entails and the steps necessary to make it a comprehensive set of measures. He also shares his views of which properties make the simplest and most cost effective retrofits.

Direct download: HPH039.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:07am UTC

Bronwyn Barry from One Sky Homes explains the evolution of windows and why modern windows are really pieces of equipment. She also shares what's involved when it comes to choosing high performance windows for a project.

Direct download: HPH038.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:29pm UTC

Jason Orme, editor of Homebuilding & Renovating, shares some of the key challenges that self-builders face and what can be done to make sure they don't become pitfalls. He also explains how custom build might be a good option to explore for those who want a bespoke home but without the same level of risk.

Direct download: HPH037.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:52pm UTC

Cath Hassell from ech2o consultants shares why saving water - particularly hot water - is something we should all be doing. She also explains how we can achieve this in our houses through a mixture of technical solutions and behaviour change.

*A lot of the information in this episode is specific to the UK. This is because it became difficult to keep answering in general world terms because in each country it would be slightly different.*

Direct download: HPH036.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:08pm UTC

Lloyd Alter, Managing Editor of TreeHugger, explains how worldwide trends in green building have developed. He also shares his tips for self build success as well as some pitfalls to avoid.

Direct download: HPH035.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:32pm UTC

Architectural designer Wilf Meynell explains the concept of environmental design and why it is not the same thing as low energy design. He also shares how he has tried to balance these two approaches in one of his upcoming projects, Springfield House.

Direct download: HPH034.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:40am UTC

Douglas Kent from The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings explains how to look after period properties and what advances are being made with conservation techniques in order to achieve greater energy efficiency.

Direct download: HPH033.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56am UTC

Tim Hulse from EcoVert Solutions explains what insulation is and why there are often trade-offs to be made when selecting insulation.

Direct download: HPH032.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:11pm UTC

Architect, planner and author Graham Towers explains the fundamentals of housing density and why we really need to get it right in future developments.

Direct download: HPH031.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:54pm UTC

Mark Wilson from BuildingDesignExpert.com shares why he believes there is no such thing as a sustainable material and why it is our environment we are really hoping to sustain.

Direct download: HPH030.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:53pm UTC

Architect and author Sarah Susanka shares why scale is such an important aspect to consider when building a house. She also explains how a 'not so big' philosophy can be applied in many areas of our lives.

Direct download: HPH029.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:59pm UTC

Mark Westcombe, one of the founding members of Lancaster Cohousing, explains the cohousing concept and why creating an intentional community like this has many benefits.

Direct download: HPH028.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06am UTC

Mike Jacob from Trunk Low Energy Building provides an insight into the benefits of hiring a project manager for a house build. Also Ben Adam-Smith reflects on the UK Passivhaus Awards 2013.

Direct download: HPH027.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:04pm UTC

Paul Jennings from Aldas explains why airtightness is an important factor to grasp when constructing an energy efficient home. He also shares how forward planning, attention to detail and teamwork are imperative for achieving good airtightness results.

Direct download: HPH026.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:59am UTC

Elrond Burrell from Architype helps bust some of the common myths that surround the Passivhaus standard.

Direct download: HPH025.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:25pm UTC

Jonathan Hines from Architype explains the concept of eco-minimalism and also the very different approach that guides them as a business. We discover how this design philosophy has helped shape an exciting new scheme of 150 Passivhaus homes for the village of Kingstone, Herefordshire.

One the day this podcast was published the development - in conjunction with ArchiHaus - was granted planning approval! N.B. Our interview with Jonathan was recorded on 20th March 2013.

Direct download: HPH024.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:31pm UTC

Kingsley Barraclough shares his experience of building a house and explains why he decided to use structural insulated panels (SIPs).

Direct download: HPH023.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm UTC

Mark Saich from Green Building Solutions gives an insight into why straw bale building is becoming popular. He also addresses some of the issues that we may harbour around the safety and durability of this low impact and low carbon material.

Direct download: HPH022.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:38pm UTC

Matthew Cutler-Welsh from Home Style Green explains some of the challenges of creating sustainable urban systems. He also shares his goals as a podcaster, including championing healthier, better homes for New Zealand.

Direct download: HPH021.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:52am UTC

Andy Simmonds from Simmonds Mills Architects explains ventilation in the home, why it's important and what the options are if you're looking to retrofit a property for energy efficiency.

Direct download: HPH020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:42pm UTC

Mark Brinkley considers why the UK has the smallest proportion of self build across Europe and what changes might need to occur if we wanted to adjust the balance. Mark shares why Germany's system is more likely to lead to higher standards and communities that embrace development.

Direct download: HPH019.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:12pm UTC

London's Ecobuild has just concluded for another year and Ben Adam-Smith shares his experience of the event. In this episode he chats to four people he met there - Janet Cotterell from Passivhaus Homes, Jon Bootland from the Passivhaus Trust, Jo Gooding from the UK Cohousing Network and Robert Stern from Litmus Films.

Direct download: HPH018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:25pm UTC

Justin Broadbent from isoenergy explains what a ground source heat pump is and how it could be used as a solution to make a period property energy efficient.

Direct download: HPH017.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:24am UTC

What's more important - preserving heritage architecture or retrofitting it to high energy efficiency? In our first forum on a Google+ Hangout we discuss some of the issues.

The Panel

Writer and blogger Roger Hunt (who appeared in our 10th podcast)

Writer and Passivhaus consultant Adam Dadeby from Passivhaus Homes (who appeared in our 5th podcast)

Homeowner Ross Atkin (who has recently retrofitted his Victorian house)

Direct download: HPH016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:04pm UTC

Ben Adam-Smith shares an idea he has about using the Internet to communicate the need for incremental lifestyle change as an action to combat climate change. This one-off episode focusses on how you could use content marketing to get your message across. Cesar Abeid from The Construction Industry Podcast is Ben's guest and helps explain how content marketing works.

Direct download: HPH015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:25pm UTC

Bill Butcher from Green Building Store shares his approach to creating a low energy barn conversion by building a box within a box. Stirley Community Farm will meet the EnerPHit standard.

Direct download: HPH014.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:42pm UTC

Jason and Lucy Reeve share what preparation was necessary to commission their new-build home and Ben Adam-Smith considers what's more important in renovation, preserving the past or creating a sustainable future.

Direct download: HPH013.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:27am UTC

Dr Derek Taylor from Altechnica weighs up the pros and cons of various renewable energy sources and shares his thoughts on whether you should be generating at home. He also talks about his role in creating one of the UK's most energy-efficient homes.

Direct download: HPH012.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:36am UTC

Dr Brenda Boardman reflects on the world's energy situation, climate change and the growing problem of fuel poverty. She gives practical advice on how this affects building or renovating a property.

Direct download: HPH011.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:29pm UTC

Roger Hunt explains how to make a period property energy efficient without damaging the building or creating problems for yourself in the future. Also House Planning Help gets its first guest blogger, Paul Mallion from Conker Conservation.

Direct download: HPH010.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:09pm UTC

Alex Rice, Senior Engineer at Green Tomato Energy, explains that there are few technical challenges that remain when retrofitting a period home into a low energy building and it is a case of how you apply those solutions to the given building.


Tom Pakenham from Green Tomato Energy describes the practical challenges of making a Victorian house energy efficient. Plus how passive house principles helped a Norwegian explorer in the 1890s.


Tahir Sharif talks about how he built up his knowledge in order to commission an energy efficient home, while Ben discovers some great thinking from the Home World Exhibition of 1981.


Ted Stevens, Chairman of the National Self Build Association in the UK, gives his advice on how to find a good plot of land at a reasonable price. Plus, why Almere in Holland could be a blueprint for other large scale self build developments across the world.

Direct download: HPH006___How_to_Save_Money_When_Buying_Land.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:23am UTC

Adam Dadeby from Passivhaus Homes talks about some of the challenges he faced when retrofitting his own home to the Passivhaus standard. He's also co-author of a new book called The Passivhaus Handbook.


Dr Wolfgang Feist describes how better energy efficiency opens a path to making us less dependent on fossil fuels and we have that knowledge now.

Direct download: HPH004___The_Passivhaus_Standard_2_Dr_Wolfgang_Feist_Passive_House.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:59pm UTC

Pat Wilkinson from Touchwood Homes reveals why he decided to build to the Passivhaus standard and there's a resource for young industry professionals who might just be completing their architecture degrees or building training etc.


Martin Evans from The Malthouse Consultancy talks about energy efficiency and Ben Adam-Smith sets up a consumer mastermind group on LinkedIn to collate the good and bad of house design.

Direct download: HPH002___The_House_Design_You_Want_And_The_Low_Running_Costs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:19am UTC

Ben Adam-Smith explains his motivation for creating this podcast and there's an interview with Simon Lewis, Managing Director of RW Armstrong, a residential builder in the South East of England.

Direct download: HPH001___What_Makes_a_Successful_Builder_of_Traditional_Homes_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:16am UTC