After 18 month’s research, marking out finally starts. It’s really pretty exciting—but also rather frightening. I know what I want but have I been able to communicate that to the architect and builders?
Then excavating the foundations with a large digger. Concrete pump Amazing quantities of soil and clay appear and pile up. These are spread out over the rest of what was once garden. All the ducts are put in place—all the foul water drains, the duct for the air for the stove and those for bringing in water and electricity. These are all brought up from underneath and will be sealed. Holes in the walls of the house itself must be avoided as they are likely to compromise air-tightness.
The concrete pump appears and unfolds itself in a “war of the worlds” manner arcing high over the trees. Concrete lorries arrive one after another, empty their loads into the hopper at the back of the concrete pump while, at the other end, the hose is guided along the trenches, partly by hand but mainly by radio controlled joystick .
Building an eco-house of any sort is an altruistic endeavour. In other words, it’s going to cost you more than it would if you just built a house to modern standards. (See separate section for this discussion – eventually!)