Monday, November 28, 2011

Render (Stucco) progress

Progress last week applying the rendered finish to the house.

This is the base coat (first of 3 coats).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Brickwork Complete

The brickwork part of the build is now complete, as is the framing for the outdoor dining area. Over the next few days the builders are re-arranging the scaffolding in anticipation of laying the lightweight cladding on the upper parts of the home. We'll be using a 100mm foam board, and then both bricks and foam will be rendered.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Air Conditioning & Heating

I finalized the air conditioning contract today, as well as the heating. It's been quite a challenge because the house design doesn't really allow the installation of a ducted heating system.

For the airconditioning we are installing a Toshiba Mini-VRF system. Toshiba calls it the SMMSi - you can find out more about it here:

It's  a scaled down version of the commercial systems that are used in buildings. It allows us to have a 28,000W AC unit outdoors, and then run refrigerant piping indoors, and have separate air conditioners in each room. It's pretty neat actually - we wind up with 8 different thermostats inside and individual room control, which isn't really possible with a ducted system.

Additionally, the unit can scale it's speed back based on the load of the various units indoors, so you don't always have to run it at full capacity constantly cycling it on and off. This should increase the overall reliability, efficiency and life span of the unit.

These systems are made in Japan - here's a picture of how the system works

For heating, we're putting in a separate gas powered radiant heating system. In this case we will be using a Baxi condensing hot water boiler that also has 28,000W of heat output. The Baxi boilers are an Italian product

Here's a link to more information:

We'll be combining the boiler with italian wall hung radiant heating panels (here in Australia they call it "Hydronic Heating"). The panels come in various sizes to suit different room sizes, as well as some nice chrome towel rails you can use to keep your towels dry while your bathroom is being warmed up.

The towel rails look like this:

The panel radiators look like this: