The BEACON project is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, through the Welsh Government, and the primary aim is to undertake company-relevant innovation and R&D in relation to biorefining and the low carbon economy. One of our interests is in plants as building products. This week, together with Neighbourhood Construction, we have been working on creating samples of breathable plasters containing plant materials, in order to investigate their thermal properties and their capacity to buffer moisture.
An interesting thing that I was made aware of recently, is that the natural gas piped into our homes produces a surprising amount of water vapour when it combusts.
With modern boilers, this is not a problem since they are well sealed and vented via flues to the outside. However, where there are gas fires, gas hobs or gas ovens, these might contribute to the total amount of moisture in the house, thus raising the humidity & potential for condensation.
One of the things I have been impressed with is the idea of the partnership between ‘customer’ and ‘provider’ of work. The ethos of the Co-operative is to encourage the owners to join in and experiment for themselves. This can cut down cost and spread the knowledge around.
Unnecessary and irreversible damage has been sustained to this Listed Georgian property, timbers have been cut unnecessarily, lath and plaster have sustained avoidable damage and masonry work has been unnecessarily chased.