paper igloo architecture and design

First materials purchased!

January 5, 2014

So, it has been several months since our last post, and we have been really, really busy!

We have been working hard getting our response to warrant points returned to the council and it was certainly an interesting process....

We discovered that, due to the extensive length and relatively narrow width of our dead-end drive, coupled with the proximity (or lack thereof!) of our future house to the nearest fire hydrant we cannot comply with two of the sections of the Technical Standards that relate to fire and rescue. In order to ensure the building is adequately serviced in the event of a fire we are consequently required to install a fire suppression system: in this instance generally in the form of a domestic sprinkler system, fed either from the mains water supply if the pressure and flow are adequate, or a water tank, which for our house will be in the region of approx. 1000L.

So, another added cost! However, making the discovery at this point in the process did make me appreciate the Scottish system of having to obtain a Building Warrant prior to construction starting on site (even for this size of project) as it removes a lot of the uncertainty, and risk of escalating costs, prior to starting building. (In England it is possible to construct a single house on a 'Notice' which means that instead of most of the technical information being provided to the local authority prior to starting it can be done as the project progresses in closer collaboration with the Building Control Officer. Whilst this process can expedite a project I do feel it carries a slightly higher risk of additional, potentially disruptive, works only being 'discovered' as necessary during the build process.)

Of course any sprinkler system must be specified and designed by a specialist so for this we are going to a local company called Aquablaze. We are also going to install a supply tank as the mains water supply pipe that has been installed to our site is not adequate to meet the demands of both the potable water supply and the sprinkler system.

We are hoping to firm up the layout of the sprinkler heads over the course of the next month in order to ensure no clashes with light fittings, MVHR ducts or fittings, and of course to ensure adequate coverage throughout the dwelling. It has been an interesting 'development' in the design process, however I am just glad that it has come at this point in the process and not later!

Aside from that, we have now paid the deposit for our under slab insulation, which, as it is our first payment for any materials for the build is exciting and nerve racking at once - it is really going to happen!!

We are now aiming to start on site sometime in February, with a view to starting the timber frame sometime in March, all weather dependent of course, so more updates on that soon.