Its been a long time!!

Its been a long time!!

Its been since February since we put up a post but a lot has happened since then!

I have just added an instagram widget which you can see on the right of the screen.  I take a couple of photos and videos a week, mostly when I go outside and have a “wow” moment.  The scenery here is always changing and really beautiful around sunrise and sunset.  So you will find plenty of photos to see what we have been up to lately there.

This summer we took the roof off the building and insulated with 15cm of polystyrene.  We went for polystyrene over something more “eco” because of the cost. Our sustainable ethics can only stretch as far as our budget and we have maximized the use of natural building materials elsewhere.  Also for the same price we would have only been able to insulate with 5 cm of natural cork instead of 15cm, and polystyrene has much better insulation qualities at the same thickness than natural cork.

We noticed a difference straight away in how cool the house was over the summer.  If we closed all of the windows in the morning while the house was cool, it stayed that way all day.
photo of roof with insulation

We have just finished plastering the outside of the building.  We chose to go with an insulated lime, cork and diatomaceous earth plaster at about 1.5cm thickness.  This  is really a minimum, but we think that with the roof being well insulated and the fireplace, we will make it just fine through the winter using a minimum of wood.

At the moment the temperature is about 9 degrees C in the mornings and the house is staying at around 19 – 20 degrees C even with the windows open.

Here is a video about the plaster:

The house looks great!  And that is one of the major jobs we had left that is finished.
house with lime plaster

Here is a video of the final lime plaster coat being applied over the insulation base layer:

The boys hard at work! #limeplaster #naturalbuilding

A video posted by Luke Wills (@lukemallorca) on

The lime plaster for the finish coats is made locally and the company that makes it have been very helpful with recommending good workmen for applying lime.  It is also great to be able to support a local company that make sustainable building materials.
You can find out more about them here:
https://www.unicmall.com/es/

We now have just the final coat on a couple of walls on the inside of the building and a bathroom to finish, and that will be all of the big stuff done!

This week I have been digging trenches for the cables to the solar panels. Today I have to dig some holes for the foundation of the solar panel structure which is arriving next week.  After the solar panel structure is built, we will order the rest of the solar panels and the batteries and install our big system.

I often put up videos on our youtube channel and dont update the blog so you can get small updates there and on the instagram feed.

Click here to visit out youtube channel

Click here to visit our instagram

Introduction to Passive Solar Design

After yesterdays video I thought I would make a more specific introduction to Passive Solar design in Google Sketchup.

Here are some links from the content in the video:

In my first blog post I explain how I used the passive solar design principles in designing our outhouse:
Click here to read the blog entry

http://www.sunsurveyor.com/

The Solar House Book