Thursday, 20 October 2016

Tatsfield dramatic modern flat roof home complete

Towards the end of September we completed the frame erection work on our Tatsfield project in Surrey, which is a modern flat roof home constructed on a dramatic sloping site, see below an architect rendering of the finished scheme;


We successfully designed out all steel in the structure, to minimise the cold bridging. Instead we utilised complex box beams, and extensive glulam beams, which in the large open plan upstairs area form a striking visual feature in the home.

We look forward to the scaffold being removed so that we can obtain some photos of this project which we are particularly proud of, in the mean time here are some drone images from the frame erection works.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Another Touchwood house achieves Passivhaus certification!

Our client's on our Porters project, which we completed 3 years ago recently decided to put the house through the Passivhaus certification process to formalise the performance of their home. The house was modelled with PHPP early on, but during the build the clients were focused on managing the build, so decided to leave the certification process till later.

We have a number of projects where clients take this approach - holding back on the formal certification (but recording evidence during the build) so that all their energies are on organising the self build tradesman and the like.

Porters build cost was just over £1000/m2, for a home that has a negative heating bill, this is a great example showing that passivhaus is affordable, it is mainly just a different approach to the build.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Passivhaus mentioned on Robert Llewellyn's Fully Charged!

The latest Fully Charged episode features passivhaus and low energy new builds - Robert Llewellyn explains them and the politics behind the lack of large uptake in the UK. No reason to not build one yourself though, get in touch, we have built many!

Friday, 27 May 2016

Interview with Lisa Jackson regarding her Touchwood Homes built passivhaus home

Ben Adam-Smith recently visited our Fox Barn passivhaus project in Hampshire (which we erected 2012) to talk through the build with the owner, Lisa Jackson.

Lisa explains the build process in detail along with the some useful advice regarding planning. She also explains our airtight frame construction, general advice regarding managing a self build and how comfortable living in a passivhaus is. Please visit Ben Adam-Smith's site to read / hear the blog:

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Curved wall home in Chesham

We are currently erecting our Chesham project, a new home featuring subtly curving external walls, and curving ridge beams.Curved walls and beams are no problem for our bespoke pre-cut system, any design is possible!
The curved external walls create a very complex floor cassette, which also has to incorporate the ducts for the Touchwood designed PAUL MVHR system. This complexity is achievable without problems though with our machine pre-cut frame system, the image below shows the floor cassette:

To match the external walls being curved, the design also requires curved glulam ridge beams so that the rafters end up the same length. The curved ridge beams are now installed, ready for rafters to be slotted in, the image below shows the curved ridge beams:

We enjoy the challenge working on these exciting cutting edge curved wall buildings!

Friday, 4 March 2016

Devon low energy house

A previous Touchwood customer (Colin) wrote to us today saying how amazing the performance of his Touchwood house has been over the winter months with regard to minimal heat demand:

"Still regarded by locals as "the best house in the village" and we remain absolutely delighted with everything. Dropped to -5 at night last week but never below 20 inside.  No woodburner lit (only twice for an hour each time) over two winters and no heating apart from one "timed" bathroom floor and similarly, a towel rail.  In duct heater has never come on!!"

With a high quality finish to the house, and extensive groundworks externally (garden walls and the like) the self build cost was £1480/m2. This for a house that now has very very low heating costs. If you're going to build a house, do it properly and build one that doesn't require endless fossil fuels (and so high running costs) to heat. Even if you're building the house to sell, low heating builds will be a marketable asset, and morally it's just plain wrong to build new houses with needless fossil fuel heating demands - when it isn't particularly more expensive to build an air tight and super insulated Touchwood House -  just a different approach.

Why doesn't the government force volume house builders to build this way via building regulations? Probably because the volume builders have such powerful lobby powers they dictate government policy (and they don't want to change from their current build methods). No doubt locking us into expensive fossil fuel heating means we always have to buy fuel - good for the fossil fuel companies short term - disastrous long term (global warming/energy security). The only option is to self build houses to the passivhaus standard, showing it can be done affordably - embarrass the government to get the volume builders to do the same!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Chepstow home nears completion!

Touchwood supplied the new timber frame super efficient home for a client in Chepstow that is now near completion. The building is constructed on a hill side so has complex groundworks, and a connection to an existing dilapidated stone structure on the site that has now become part of the house. 

Mr Francis sent the images below and commented:

Many thanks for all your help with everything.  Super pleased with the service from Touchwood, and how everything has turned out. Mr Francis, Chepstow 

Friday, 29 January 2016

Office phone number change

Please note that after a transfer period of a year our old office number is now closed - please only use the new one : 01279 842675