the house looks fab, JE
- thanks Topsy, shame that the new TT system is now pointing out that it has been built in the arse end of nowhere! But hopefully I will be a comfortable hermit.
Any particular reason why the underground heating is done in such a way (funny cicrlar shapes)? They are water pipes right ? Will they be set in concrete or under wooden floors . What kind of temperatures of water or oil can you pass in them ?
The first picture was before the concrete went down, then you can see on the next photos AFTER the concrete has been laid on top. They are indeed water pipes (heated from gas boiler in the cellar), and I think the idea is just to spread the heat roughly evenly through the concrete.
No idea what temperature the actual water runs, but you can usually "feel" the heat coming through on underfloor systems with your bare feet. As it happens we have also been looking into adapting the system so that it runs cold water in summer - this would technically work to cool a house down.
However we have not installed this as we also have one of these new "air exchange" systems. The idea is that it can recirculate all the air in the house every 4 hours with fresh from outside. There is a heat exchanger that "sucks" any warmth out before changing for fresh air. So the idea is that you can keep the windows shut (keeps flys and warm air out in summer), plus there is a further heat exchanger sunk into the garden earth that will "cool" the air by a few degrees in summer as well. But it is not air-conditioning as such.
In theory the air exchanger not only provides fresh air, but also filters out particles so the house "should" be less dusty. Humans constantly shed skin so dust is actually produced inside a house!
I am no "dust" or "fresh air" crank but the problem is when building your own house, as some of you will hopefully discover (rather than purchasing), you can't help getting drawn into fitting the latest gadgets because of course it will always be "too late" to add these later.
So it is a kinda "hidden cost" I would say when comparing building to buying - it is very easy to talk yourself into the latest stuff. For instance I think the glass is some special insulated gear or something.