Jim Miller Design Ltd
92 Livingstone Road
Hove
East Sussex
BN3 3WL
+44 (0)1273 233548

CPHD Consultant

AECB
Passivhaus Trust
green building partnership
September 20th, 2017 | For Sale | jimmiller

Last chance to make me an offer on my Internorm HV350 tilt and turn window (528 x 2007mm) and a set of french doors (1684 x 1980mm) fitted to my loft conversion but being swapped out w/c 2 October due to minor defects.  The specification is top end: aluminium clad larch, triple glazed with solar powered integral blind behind a 4th pane of glass (to control overheating) and U values ~ 0.85.  External colour is light grey.  Both are fully functioning but one door is slighty warped and there is some minor cosmetic damage.  Any reasonable offer accepted.   Collection from Hove / Brighton in early October.  Download the paperwork

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September 13th, 2017 | BSB | jimmiller

The October BSBM is Tuesday 10th from 7pm at the Battle of Trafalgar, 34 Guildford Road, BN1 3LW.  Please do bring your ideas, drawings and projects along for an informal discussion!  Everyone very welcome.  Details

September 07th, 2017 | Materials | jimmiller

Can Proclima’s very effective and useful Tescon VANA tape hold an ageing suf board together in the sea?  I’ll report back after the weekend!

dav

August 29th, 2017 | BSB | jimmiller

The September BSBM is Tuesday 12th from 7pm at the Battle of Trafalgar, 34 Guildford Road, BN1 3LW.  Please do bring your ideas, drawings and projects along for an informal discussion!  Everyone very welcome.  Details

August 18th, 2017 | For Sale | jimmiller

I have installed an Internorm HV350 tilt and turn window (528 x 2007mm) and a set of french doors (1684 x 1980mm) to my loft conversion but due to minor defects these are being completely swapped out by Internorm.   The specification is top end: aluminium clad larch, triple glazed with solar powered integral blind behind a 4th pane of glass (to control overheating) and U values ~ 0.85.  External colour is light grey.  Both are fully functioning but one door is slighty warped and there is some minor cosmetic damage.  Any reasonable offer accepted.   Collection from Hove / Brighton in early October.  Download the paperwork

August 07th, 2017 | BSB | jimmiller

Just a reminder that it’s BSBM tomorrow evening, Tuesday 8th August from 7pm at the Battle of Trafalgar, 34 Guildford Road, BN1 3LW.  Please do bring your ideas, drawings and projects along for an informal discussion!  Everyone very welcome.  Details

July 31st, 2017 | BSB, Events | jimmiller

The August BSBM is Tuesday 8th from 7pm at the Battle of Trafalgar, 34 Guildford Road, BN1 3LW.  Please do bring your ideas, drawings and projects along for an informal discussion!  Everyone very welcome.  Details

July 19th, 2017 | Airtightness, Passivhaus, Project 117 | jimmiller

Fantastic news today, the rebuild of a Victorian cottage in Brighton has achieved an airtightness of 0.35 ACH so way below EnerPhit and acheiveing full Passivhaus performance.  The homeowner has toiled on the project for 5 years and the result of a lot of hard work and dedication has paid off.

 

July 10th, 2017 | BSB, Events | jimmiller

Just a reminder that it’s BSBM tomorrow evening, Tuesday 11th July from 7pm at the Battle of Trafalgar, 34 Guildford Road, BN1 3LW.  Please do bring your ideas, drawings and projects along for an informal discussion!  Everyone very welcome.  Details

July 03rd, 2017 | Materials | jimmiller

Surplus building materials in Brighton:

60 x 1780 x 560 Pavatherm boards (2 off) + offcuts

200mm ejots (80 off)

100mm ejots (70 off)

Mesh

Free to anyone taking in the next week. Call David on 07753 935 670

June 26th, 2017 | Airtightness, Loft +, Sustainable Renovation | jimmiller

Retrofitting airtightness to eaves is always a tricky detail.  The joists were boxed under and around with OSB / ply which was sealed first with Orcon F and then taped with Tecson Vana.  Solido SL was used to continue the airtightness to the wall as the fleece backing and can be plastered.  The black above the joists is 6mm acoustic strip.

June 26th, 2017 | Loft +, Materials, MVHR, Sustainable Renovation | jimmiller

A continuous 40mm semi rigid woodfibre batt thermally isolates the timber studwork from the (external) masonry party wall to the west with further woodfibre batts between and being water vapour open (and with the lime parge) should be a long term robust solution.  The east party wall is more complicated due to the elevated risk of damp due to the neighbour’s chimney stack and the MVHR ducts so vermiculite was poured all the way down the chimney flues and continued up to insulate the wall in the loft.  vermiculite doesn’t have quite as good thermal performance but it’s ability to flow into every area was critical and should stop flanking noise travelling up the chimney flues and negating efforts made with the floors!

June 22nd, 2017 | Events, Hove Passivhaus, Passivhaus | jimmiller

The Hove ‘Passivhaus’ tour on Tuesday was very well attended and received.  Philip Proffit of naked house who supplied the timber frame system was also on hand to answer questions.  There should be a tour later in the year when the project is complete.

 

 

June 19th, 2017 | Events, Hove Passivhaus, Passivhaus | jimmiller

So the ‘Passivhaus’ new build tour at 31 Old Shoreham Road, Hove BN3 6NR is tomorrow evening, Tuesday 20th June at 7pm.  Please arrive on time as I expect we will have to lock the gate when the tour begins.  The site is just off the junction of Shirley Drive and Old Shoreham Road and there is parking nearby but not on site.  Hard hats are mandatory so please bring one if you have one as there are only one or two spares on site.  I imagine the tour will take around an hour and a half and we may retire to a local pub afterwards.  The tour is fully booked.

June 14th, 2017 | BSB, Loft + | jimmiller

Great turnout for last nights tour which was very well received.  Next meeting is Tuesday 11th July from 7pm at the Battle of Trafalgar, 34 Guildford Road, BN1 3LW.  Please do bring your ideas, drawings and projects along for an informal discussion!  Everyone very welcome.  Details

June 12th, 2017 | BSB, Loft + | jimmiller

Final reminder of tomorrow (Tuesday) nights tour at 92 Livingstone Road, Hove, BN3 3WL at 7pm sharp and then off to the Station pub around 8ish (although there is a table booked from 7pm).  No need to bring any safety clothing but there will be a ladder.  Both the site and pub are within 5 minutes of Hove station.  I will not be contactable tomorrow until the evening so please contact Tim Small on 07970 057 284 if urgent.

June 12th, 2017 | Fenestration, Hove Passivhaus, MVHR, Passivhaus, Ventilation | jimmiller

The build continues a pace and is pretty much up.   The timber and woodfibre insulation look fantastic in the sun.  Some of the glazing panels are massive especially the two story panel to the atrium.

June 12th, 2017 | Events, Hove Passivhaus | jimmiller

The tour of the ‘Passivhaus’ new build at 31 Old Shoreham Road, Hove BN3 6NR at 7pm on Tuesday 20th June is now fully booked so if anyone who is confirmed can no longer attend please let me know ASAP as there is a waiting lsit

June 09th, 2017 | Loft +, MVHR, Ventilation | jimmiller

The ducting for the ventilation system went in today, 75mm diameter semi rigid plastic piping running down the chimney flues extracting from the kitchen and bathrooms and supplying fresh air elsewhere.  21st century meets 19th century.  Hopefully the whole system will be in for the tour on Tuesday

June 08th, 2017 | BSB, Loft +, Sustainable Renovation | jimmiller

Just to reconfirm this coming Tuesday 13th June’s BSBM will be ‘ON TOUR’ at 92 Livingstone Road, Hove, BN3 3WL at 7pm for a tour of phase 2 of the sustainable renovation to my own house and then we can head to the Station pub around 8ish (although there is a table booked from 7pm).  No need to bring any safety clothing but there will be ladder(s)!  Note we can also take a look at phase 1 of the works completed in 2014.  Both the site and pub are within 5 minutes of Hove station.  Book is not essential but would be appreciated.  THERE WILL NOT BE ANYONE AT THE USUAL VENUE, THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR PUB IN BRIGHTON.

May 24th, 2017 | Airtightness, Cold bridging, Fenestration, Loft +, Materials | jimmiller

Today we installed the new bathroom window, and true to the retrofit mantra of doing it once and doing it right, the window is made from Accoya timber so is dimensionally stable and will last perhaps 60 years plus, the glazing is triple with krypton gas to reduce sash thickness, high performance airtight seals all round, concealed balances within the sashes (which are not visible at all) and reduce air leakage and cold bridging.  This is a window developed over 2 years for another project and should be rolled out to the retrofit market!  Manufacured by Westgate Joinery.  Period detailing to match existing windows and you really can’t tell it’s super high performance.  Beautiful installation of expanding foam airtightness to the frame.

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May 24th, 2017 | BSB, Events, Hove Passivhaus, Passivhaus | jimmiller

There will be a site tour of the ‘Passivhaus’ new build at 31 Old Shoreham Road, Hove BN3 6NR at 7pm on Tuesday 20th June.  The timber frame will be partially complete so it’s an exciting time to see the build.  Hard hats are mandatory so please bring one if you have one as there are only one or two spares on site.  I imagine we will retire to a local pub afterwards.  Please let me know if you plan to attend, even as late as on the day / evening.

May 24th, 2017 | BSB, Loft + | jimmiller

Just to confirm Tuesday 13th June’s BSBM meeting will be ‘ON TOUR’ meeting on site at 92 Livingstone Road, Hove, BN3 3WL at 7pm for a tour of phase 2 of my the sustainable renovation to my own house and then we can head to the Station pub around 8ish (although there is a table booked from 7pm).  Both the site and pub are within 5 minutes of Hove station.

May 22nd, 2017 | Loft + | jimmiller

The frame to the dormer is now up and the Internorm window and doors went in today.  More on the doors later, but  the window is triple glazed with a venetian blind mounted externally and a further fourth pane of glass to enclose the blind and keep it isolated from the weather.  In the winter the blind can be stowed away to maximise solar gain but in the summer when overheating is the issue the blind can be lowered and because it’s on the outside of the triple glazing it will be highly effective (unlike an internal blind).  The blind can also provide privacy and the fourth pane can be opened to allow for cleaning and easy replacement of the blind should it be required.  It’s a very neat and tidy solution to an awkward problem and does away with complicated and expensive external shading solutions.  Detailed with Intello for airtightness and Purenit to sills for cold bridging.

May 07th, 2017 | Airtightness, Cold bridging, Loft + | jimmiller

The party wall where the chimney has been removed was in a terrible state (as expected!) with holes visible into the neighbour’s chimney flues so a brick skin (shown partially complete) has been added to strengthen the structure and give a basic level of airtightness.  Additionally both party walls are being plastered in lime which will allow any existing and future moisture from the brickwork to migrate into the void between the new stud wall and escape through the roof (details to follow) and to further improve airtightness.  There is also a strip of Perinsul blocks (black on the photo) above the steel to reduce cold bridging and the second photo shows how this integrates with a Purenit sleeve to form a continuous thermal envelope around the steels (in grey) in this tricky configuration.  Note there is also a Spacetherm blanket around the back of the steel which can be seen in an earlier blog.  These hi-tech materials are rarely used in traditional buildings but are tools of the trade for high performance buildings and while they are expensive both in material and labor costs there is a significant reduction in heat loss, improved thermal comfort and additional safeguarding of the building fabric, and I would expect a payback over the lifetime of the building.

May 07th, 2017 | Events, Loft +, MVHR, Sustainable Renovation | jimmiller

I’m planning a tour of the latest stage in the renovation to my house, most notably a loft conversion which is in full swing and should be at an interesting stage for the BSBM meeting in JUNE on the 13th.  So instead of meeting at the Trafalgar I’m suggesting meeting on site (92 Livingstone Road, Hove, BN3 3WL) at 7pm and then we can head to a local pub around 8ish.   I’ll reconfirm nearer the time, but please let me know if you’re interested.  Phase 1 of the renovation was completed in 2014 and included external wall insulation and triple glazing.

May 07th, 2017 | Hove Passivhaus, Passivhaus | jimmiller

Construction is still moving forward apace with the garage roof providing a very useful staging post for fenestration which is being installed as we go

May 04th, 2017 | Loft + | jimmiller

Not much left of the original structure!

May 04th, 2017 | Airtightness, Loft + | jimmiller

An Intello membrane has been wrapped around the sole plate (support for the new dormer facade) which will be taped to the plaster below and to the wall / fenestration above which makes this awkward detail airtight for minimal effort and cost.  Keen eyes might notice that the floor joists are not treated to avoid unnecessary chemicals.  The tin roof is proving be be a great investment, allowing protected & dry working conditions and saving £££s every day by reducing temporary works.

April 28th, 2017 | Hove Passivhaus, Passivhaus | jimmiller

The timber frame has arrived from Latvia with panels fully assembled including insulation, plasterboard and even conduit ready to receive wiring!  The photos below show just one day on site.  It will be interesting to see how the plastic sheeting handles the British weather.

days work

crane

conduitinsulationservices

April 23rd, 2017 | Cold bridging, Loft +, Materials | jimmiller

The steels supporting the new loft floor bear into the party walls and until the neighbours undertake loft conversions this will be a significant heat loss.  The beam ends have been encased in Purneit (a structural insulation left over from another job) with 10mm of Spacetherm blanket behind.  Without going to the expense of 3D thermal bridge calculations it’s impossible to determine the improvement but simple U value calculations suggest both the Spacetherm and Purenit reduce the heat loss by a factor of 3.  The black paint is Blowerproof which provides the airtightness which is especially critical here as the brickwork is thin and weak.  The second image shows where the Purenit has been routered  to seat the steel bearing plate with the Spacetherm behind

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April 23rd, 2017 | Loft +, MVHR, Ventilation | jimmiller

The flues are now accessible showing the route for the ventilation ducting from the loft to the other rooms in the house

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April 13th, 2017 | BSB | jimmiller

Lots of new faces at the meeting on Tuesday, Mike of the Green Building Store,  Humayun of Miracles by Design and some low energy innovative builders working in Shoreham beach.  Next meeting is Tuesday 9th May from 7pm at the Battle of Trafalgar, 34 Guildford Road, BN1 3LW.  Please do bring your ideas, drawings and projects along for an informal discussion!  Everyone very welcome.  Details

April 10th, 2017 | BSB | jimmiller

Just a reminder that it’s BSBM tomorrow evening, Tuesday 11th April from 7pm at the Battle of Trafalgar, 34 Guildford Road, BN1 3LW.  Please do bring your ideas, drawings and projects along for an informal discussion!  Everyone very welcome.  Details

April 09th, 2017 | Loft + | jimmiller

The chimney is being removed down to the loft floor to gain space, simplify moisture / thermal / airtightness detailing and critically to provide access to the 6 chimney flues to run ventilation ducting throughout the building for the MVHR.  With the tin roof there’s no need to weather proof over the weekend!

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April 02nd, 2017 | Loft + | jimmiller

The builders have been complaining about the new welfare facilities on site!

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April 02nd, 2017 | Loft + | jimmiller

So phase II of my house renovation starts shortly, mainly a loft conversion but also moving the bathroom and installing MVHR with the aim to further improve the comfort and energy consumption of the house.  Phase III (if it ever happens) will be secondary glazing and internal wall insulation (IWI) to the front.  The plan includes rebuilding the pitched roof, loft floor and part of the chimney so I’ve opted for a ‘tin roof’ which should recover the additional cost of around £2k by allowing work in all weather conditions (so maintaining the programme), working dry at all times thereby improving build quality and removing the need for temporary weather proofing.  Here’s the scaffolding prior to the sheeting being applied.

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April 02nd, 2017 | EWI Case study | jimmiller

You may remember I installed external wall insulation (EWI) back in 2014 and unfortunately small gaps opened up between the insulation and the fenestration soon after completion.  These gaps were sealed with silicone and it’s now been 3 winters and there’s been no further movement so it would seem everything has stabilised.  So what happened and what can we learn.  Firstly, the training provided by the system supplier was woefully inadequate (something I suspect the whole industry could do better on) and compounded by a refusal to make a pre commencement site visit which considering that neither myself nor the installer had ever installed this or a similar system was indeed unwise.  Secondly (as seems to be common practice in the industry) the installer used the same contractors who undertake the rendering for the installation of the insulation and as this requires quite a high degree of craftsmanship, especially with the T&G woodfibre boards this became a painful process to get right.  On a recent job for a client we had to throw the specialist EWI contractors off the site and decided to use carpenters for the insulation but this causes problems for the guarantee and raises another issue the industry needs to get straight.  Thirdly, I pushed hard for a pull out test but neither the supplier or the contractor was prepared to do one which was unwise as the test performed after the works suggested that it was quite possible that some of the fixings may well have been inadequate and while in general this may not be outside the margin of safety for the system as a whole, it could be an issue locally and may well have been the cause of the excessive movement of the narrow strip between the door and window.  Surely it’s worth spending a few extra pennies to have longer fixings to avoid this risk?  Fourthly, the APU beads which form the first seal between the fenestration and insulation were specified by the system supplier but were unable to accommodate even small differential movement and so were not fit for purpose and indeed it may be wise to not fit them at all but I have not yet got to the bottom of this one, but the industry needs to – there’s no point fitting APU beads if they fail and the gaps need siliconing!  The possible issue of highly damp walls causing the woodfibre to swell / move still hasn’t been resolved as the system supplier would not provide any data on the moisture performance of the insulation or assist in testing the installation – surely, if we are to retrofit our old building stock then EWI is a critical part of the solution and we need to ensure robust installations.  However, the installation is a success and is working very well – it was just a bugger to make happen!

March 28th, 2017 | PassivOFFICE case study | jimmiller

So Matthew has been working daily in the PassivOFFICE for over a year now and it’s been a real success – quiet, comfortable and obviously with no drafts!  Colder days might mean switching on the 200W heater but if the sun comes out then it doesn’t even need this!  The Lunos extractors with heat recovery are performing as predicted and are indeed whisper quiet.  Unfortunately the vertical sliding shutter for solar control was not fitted due to cost but Matthew uses an awning in the summer months to control overheating.  It demonstrates the Passivhaus logic on a small and simple scale.

PassivOFFICE Threshold

March 28th, 2017 | Hove Passivhaus | jimmiller

So the concrete works are complete with the polished concrete lower ground floor, gym ‘box’ and rear retaining wall ready for the timber frame in April and the gabions are coming along well

FrontWholeTo road gabions