The Energy Showcase

A Pioneering Solar House

Superstructure and External Claddings






Pictures 1 and 2 – We had finished casting the concrete superstructure but it was not yet covered up by external insulation. One neighbour complained at the ‘bunker’, not knowing that it would look like figures 5 or 6 once it was finished. The pictures are taken respectively from the north-west and south-east.





3 – Slating the garage roof, just after fitting the rooflight. The house walls looked similar at this time, before rendering.
4 – Sliding one of the outer rooflights onto the house roof, after slating the area near the north eaves.

Digital StillCamera


5 – Much later … the house south and west walls just before rendering the gable end and fixing the gutters and downpipes. The stainless steel brackets visible were fixed to the walls before rendering.

The garage, in the distance, was by now complete with a random slate roof and white rendered walls. But as yet, it had no external doors. The joiner who was commissioned to make them from reclaimed timber never finished them. The only option was to obtain more timber and find another joiner.



6 – The house viewed from the south, showing the wall rendered and ready for the lean-to greenhouse. A stainless steel flashing projects out, ready to overlap the greenhouse roof. There are vertical gaps where the greenhouse west and east walls will meet the house wall.

Digital StillCamera


7 – Frank fixing one of the panes of toughened glass to the frame in the aluminium lean-to greenhouse. The slates in the picture are temporary protection for the insulation in the foundation wall. The metal flashing which was on order had not yet arrived. This insulation will help to keep the greenhouse soil warmer than the ambient air for a large part of the year, improving plant growth.