Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Batts in the Belfry

 As we insulate our house with a certain pink kiwi icon, it seems an apt time to re-examine our ‘mission statement’.
Mich, our Plumber, steps into the 'pink palace'
 The project management triangle is often raised when planning an endeavour, or excusing a result which doesn’t meet with universal satisfaction.  The three points of this triangle are cost, schedule and scope and they constantly maintain pressure against one another throughout any project.
In building our home, this model naturally applies, but could also be interpreted as cost, schedule and environmental responsibility.  Our commitment to sustainable living has tugged constantly against our timeframe and particularly our budget, threatening to turn our triangle into a point of singularity and become our own time and matter-engulfing black hole. 
Rose and Ed examine the Gib board waiting to become our interior walls
 Another pressure is the well-intended expectations of others, whose encouragement has been more sustaining to us than they realise, but whose sense of scope isn’t constrained by the practical factors which our vision must meet.  For example: so that we stand a chance of moving into a mostly-completed house by Christmas (THIS year), without financially crippling ourselves, we’ve chosen to insulate our home with fibreglass Batts.
Other, more exotic and arguably more environmentally-friendly options exist (including natural wool) but Batts isn’t the pink peril it’s sometimes claimed to be, either.
Firstly, it’s made from up to 80% recycled glass, utilising huge quantities of a waste product to actually benefit sustainable living. Batts has earned an accreditation from Environmental Choice New Zealand which assesses every aspect of the manufacturing process and end product in relation to our environment.  But most importantly, it has a proven track record since 1961, guaranteed to keep our home warm and dry by preventing airflow through interior and exterior walls, therefore conserving our preciously earned energy for the next 50 years.

Dean cuts and places the gib board (seen here in our study),
ready for us to ‘glue and screw’
 The next few weeks are going to be a flurry of activity, with electricians, our builder, plumber and waste system installer all scrambling over one another to fit out our almost completed home with the services it needs.  By the time we move out of our container and into our new house this adventure will have lasted almost exactly nine months – a full gestation period!

While all this has gone on I’ve been responsible for hammering
in 20kg of nails to keep our new floor in place.

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