Friday, 1 July 2011

Vent-Axia Launches New Guide to the Building Regulations

I stumbled across this story earlier today and thought it well worth a mention.

Vent-Axia, the brand leader in low carbon ventilation solutions, has introduced a new, step-by-step ventilation guide designed to help explain recent Building Regulations changes to private and social housing new-build specifiers.

“Amendments to Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations issued in October 2010 have effectively re-written the rules for domestic ventilation” says Lee Nurse, Vent-Axia’s Marketing Director. “The drive to reduce carbon emissions places much greater emphasis on correctly designed and specified ventilation systems, competent installation and verified performance. This new Guide looks in detail at these three key areas and explains how specifiers can achieve compliance”.

The Guide provides an overview of new Building Regulations Part L, the document covering fuel and power, and Part F, means of ventilation, with a summary of the implications for ventilation. These cover airflows, background ventilators and noise (Part F) and minimum efficiencies of motors and heat exchangers (Part L).
From here the Guide looks at the impact of these changes on the four key ventilation systems covered in the Building Regulations, Intermittent Fans (System 1), Passive Stack (System 2), Centralised (MEV) and Decentralised (dMEV) Continuous Mechanical Extract Ventilation (System 3) and Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) (System 4). It includes helpful working example calculations and specific information on particular Vent-Axia solutions, including the Lo-Carbon Centra, Quadra and Sentinel Kinetic systems.

Specifiers will also find the new Vent-Axia Guide useful in outlining the future direction of Building Regulations at landmark dates in 2013 and 2016. The Guide also offers advice on how contractors can be trained to ensure the systems they install meet requirements laid out in the Domestic Ventilation Compliance Guide 2010 which accompanies the Building Regulations. With the industry currently developing a system where competent installers can help developers get better ventilation performance in SAP, this will be of growing importance.

Vent-Axia’s new product development programme is directed towards fulfilling the requirements of the Building Regulations with a comprehensive range of low carbon technologies and solutions.

Or alternativley youcan visit: Building Regulations  for a full listing and description of all the terms and rules.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Relaxation of Planning rules.

As those of you who follow my blog are aware I am always on the look out for changes to building and planning regulations and have recently came across a news story on the BBC website about some changes. Although the changes are in Northern Ireland there is no doubt in my mind that they will soon be bought in to affect in the rest of the UK in the coming months. 

The following post is from an interview with Minister Edwin Poots and although it is dated 18th March it has only just caught the public's attention;

From next month homeowners in Northern Ireland will find it easier to carry out home improvements.

Small extensions, conservatories and some roof alterations will be allowed without the need to seek planning permission first.

Environment Minister Edwin Poots announced the changes on Friday.
He said: "The measures will increase the range of householder development that no longer needs planning permission."

Changes will include small house extensions and conservatories, roof alterations, porches, sheds and green houses, oil and gas storage containers and chimneys, and flues and decking.

"The new arrangements will also introduce new domestic permitted development rights for renewable energy technologies such as solar panels, heat pumps and biomass fuel storage containers", Mr Poots added.

"I want to make it easier for homeowners to undertake these types of minor developments to their homes."

From 6 April, homeowners will be allowed to install domestic micro-generation equipment including solar panels, ground and water source heat pumps and biomass fuel storage without planning permission if within set limits.

Previous rules stating extensions had to be within 10% of the existing house size to avoid the need for planning permission will also be relaxed.

The fitting of dormer windows and rear extensions will not require official consent when the changes come into effect.

Mr Poots made sure to emphasize there will not be a total relaxation of planning requirements.
He said: "Importantly the new rules strike a balance between freeing homeowners to make improvements and limiting the size of an extension so that neighbours are protected.
"It is important to point out that larger more intrusive extensions will still require full planning permission."

My personnel opinion is that they are most certainly doing the right thing in relaxing the regulations for planning permission, especially if it encourages people to look at ways of saving energy and doing their bit for the planet. I also think that some of the rules already in place are a little to strict and that when they revised in March 2013 we will see a significant change in the way we have to go about applying for planning permission.

For all the full rules and regulations please visit the link below.

Building Regulations 

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Well I must say the weather we are having just lately is lovely. I found myself sitting in my garden last night just watching the world go by whilst sipping a nice ice cold can of beer. Then as the night started to draw in I decided to move in to the conservatory. It was at this point I thought to myself how lost I would be without it.

It sounds silly, but I really couldn't be without it now. Don't get me wrong it wasn't cheap but it's certainly one of the best things I have ever bought. Not only for the fact of it adding value to the property but also for durability it has. Things like when the family come round for dinner. I'm not a fan of dining in front of the T.V and would much rather sit to a table. So every weekend we have people over for either Sunday dinner or a Saturday night takeaway and sitting in the conservatory stops everyone getting transfixed on what's on the box and not talking.

Obviously not everyone can afford to buy one as prices usually start around the £4000 mark. Having said that though they are a well worthy investment. The process is not the quickest and there are things that you need to do before building such as getting planning permission and making sure it meets certain building regulations. Despite all this though having the finished product on your house is really a site to behold, well that's if it's done correctly!

I would say though research what it involves before you go making a decision and hiring a builder. A good site I found to get my information from is called Just Ask Dino. It has lots of helpful advice and also gives you the opportunity to speak to professional builders for their take on your situation. I will post the link underneath in case anyone needs some help with the rules and regulations for conservatories.

Hope this helps someone out there as it helped me out massively.

Building Regulations for Conservatories 

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Is money ruining football?

Those of you who follow my blog will know that im a big Aston Villa fan and just lately have not been to happy about the way the club and chairman have been acting. First of all it was the whole manager saga, which has come and gone now and there isn't much we can do about it. But after reading today that we are going to be losing Downing as well as Young it has sparked a bit of a fire in my belly.

I know im not the only person who believes money is ruining the beautiful game. Whether its clubs with lots of money putting silly bids in for players or even all the way up the top with Fifa officals taking bribes, the game is becoming a disgrace. The is just no loyalty anymore. What happened to the days when a player stayed at the club who made him and not just went where the money is? Player like Matt Le Tissier, Peter Beardsley, Alan Shearer, just to name but a few, who back in their day were brilliant and lets be honest could of played for anyone, but didn't. They stayed true to the club they loved.

It makes you wonder if players like Young and Downing are being sold for 17 million, how much would George Best, Pele or Maradonna be worth? In the hundred millions! Unless your a team these days with silly amounts of money like your Chelsea's and Man City's your team has got no chance of keeping there best players and building a quality team for the future.

I really do hope the FA bring in this new rule about transfer spending. I think it will be brilliant for teams like Villa, Everton, Spurs and all the teams with less money. Maybe then we can start to see a bit of a fairer game and maybe the players will start to think "Hang on a minute, why aren't they paying me a hundred grand a week?"

But I doubt it...

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Help and advice with new builds

Construction of your home is one of the most thrilling projects you can embark on. It can also be the most agonising one. The problems that you may run into are comparable to the problems you face when building in North America. But, evading them at the right time is more crucial. And the failure to do so can turn your new home dreams into a total nightmare.

Here are the five biggest problems you will run into while executing a new construction project, and how to avoid them.

The biggest problem you are going to face is a lack of data of the processes. This inclines to lead you into putting too much dependence on your contractor. This trust in your contractor is acceptable, if you have the right contractor. But without awareness and understanding of the market, it will not be possible. The other important thing you can do is teach yourself. Talk to builders, professionals, and other individuals who have had new construction work done. Explore everything you can, and review every step with your new contractor. Also in my personnel opinion I would suggest looking in to all the aspects of the construction including building regulations and planning permission. Just because a builder tells you it meets all the criteria its best to make sure yourself, as in the future you do not want to have to be tearing it down because it didn’t meet certain rules.

The next problem that comes up is usually theissue with the construction site. If your builderprovides you an estimate, but runs into issues later because of the obstructions related to your site, you are going to be the one to pay for it. Make sure you visit your construction site with your builder before work starts and you get your assessment.

Another issue that you may face as an owner is the poor quality due to the main contractor not doing periodic assessments. Make sure that your main contractor understands the significance of periodic inspections of his employees and subcontractors work. You should accompany your contractor on some of these inspections to check the work for yourself.
It is imperative to follow up with your contractor to make sure that deadlines are met, or at least you know the status of your project at any time. A regular follow up is highly advisable.Make certain that you have set dates for construction landmarks. And follow up on these dates. Don't be overly upset if deadlines are not on target, it is going to happen. But at least you will be aware about where your project is on its time schedule.

Last but not the least; you may observe that attention to detail is not as convincing as it should have been. It’s not because the quality is bad, it's just the final touches may not be as professional done as what you are used to. Make sure you are working with a builder who has worked plenty of times in the past. There are construction builders who have been trained on construction standards, so they know exactly what most customers look for in their work. But as we all know there are plenty of cowboy builders out there who are just trying to make a quick buck out of innocent people.

Your newly build home can be a dream come true. But, it can just as easily be a nightmare if you work with the incompetent builder and don't watch out for these problems. Always discuss your upcoming construction project with everybody, especially people who have experienced the type of work that you are looking for.

Before writing this I spoke to friends who had either had conservatories or extensions built. Some said they had no problems what so ever, yet a few people I have been chatting to online have had many problems. Some even, (as I said above) have had local authorites come to inspect the property and have found it didn't meet certain building regulations and therefore have had to pull down the construction. So like I say it is imperitive that you make sure everything is in perfect order before starting.

Make the construction of your house the dream that is supposed to be. Your new home will reward you with a lifetime of memories.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Is it just me or is Firefox a waste of time?

I'm not sure if its just me who dislikes Mozilla Firefox but just lately it has been running terrible. I have been reverting back to using good old Explorer. It seems that every time I try to do some work on my current project of building regulations for conservatories it just doesn't seem to want to play ball.

If its not coming up with the error "Problem Loading Page" it is just deciding to freeze! Either way it is getting very testing on my patience. You would think with today's technology that the designers would be able to come up with a program with no errors or problems....or is it me just being too hopeful?

Either way I would like to see if anyone else is having problems with it or even just peoples opinions. Well enough of me moaning now....rant over!!!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Building Regulations and Home Extensions

When you are thinking about home extensions, before you start, you need to know certain building regulations. Individuals, who are not aware of these regulations, mostly run into a series of problems in the long run. Understand these house extension building regulations so that you stay on the right track and start building soon.

The most important thing that you need to remember before you start building is the fact that you must obey all the building regulations that are set in place. Those who don’t obey these regulations will need to start over or at least resolve what the inspector recommends. This is why you need to know the regulations before you start drawing out your plans and building your extensions. I have read of a few people that have planned to build a conservatory but because they did not check out or meet the building regulations for conservatories they were then made to tear down the building. This is something that no one would want to have to do so make sure you follow the regulations to the book.

When drawing out your plans for you extension you must be able to have the exact height that the extensions are going to be. The inspector will ask these types of questions and you need to show your measurements. Once, the plans have been finalized, there should be no need to make the building any different than your approved measurements.

The length of the expansion must also be determined as well as documented for the inspector. Again, this has to be included in the plans that you are submitting. If you do not get the correct measurements you could end up ruining the extension completely. Make sure you are complying with all the regulations otherwise you are going to spend a lot of time fixing your plans before you even start building.

Regulations pertaining to safety also need to be obeyed when you start building. Once everything has been set up, an inspector will walk through to make sure that everything is safe and ready to go. If you miss even a small thing during the process at all, you may not get the approval stamp that you are hoping for and instead there will be more adjustments to make.

Once the inspector walks through your newly constructed extension, you will be able to get the final approval subject to the fact that you followed the regulations as well as made sure that everything has been set in place for safety purposes. If the inspector notices anything out of the ordinary, they will obstruct to make sure that you are responsive of the changes that need to be made.

There are a few structures that you can build without getting involved into any kind of inspection or house extension building regulations. Structures for instance garden sheds and garages can be built without the necessity to call an inspector. Look into the list of structures that you may build without worrying about too much hassle. Although some people think that you do not need building regulations for conservatories, this is just a myth. Any structure over a certain size MUST meet building regulations and safety regulations.

Home extension building regulations are not difficult to find and follow. The fact is, you must be certain that you are obeying rules in order to construct a structure that will stay strong for many years to come. Make sure you understand the regulations thoroughly so that you know what needs to be done.