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HiiGuru Video Call Advice

Brief description of the kind of support/advice you give over video call:

  • I have 45 years of experience in construction industry, I studied construction for 4 years and architecture for 8 years; and spent the rest of my career learning and sharing knowledge
  • 39 years have been self-employed, writing specifications for £2415m of projects, most of them working with many Architect’s offices.
  • Since 1999 I have focused almost entirely on environmental construction and specification
  • I have taught architects at all stages of their education for 16 years including Continuing Professional Development seminars for 30 years
  • I have written, illustrated and delivered over 1000 hours of seminars on environmental construction, specification and procurement, and I attend as many seminars as I can to keep up to date.
  • I have assembled or written a 620 page 9000 term jargon buster so we can have a common language
  • I founded and funded GreenSpec website from 2000 to 2013
  • I have been building Green Building Encyclopaedia website since 2012
  • I have been creating parts of Green Building Calculator (a design & decision tool and this website) since 2011, formally launching versions 1 & 2 during COVID,
  • Currently developing Green Retrofit Calculator V1 with imminent launch April 2023
  • All of this experience is brought to bear on any conversation I have whether face to face or in video calls

This video call advice services is right for somebody who …. (describe different use cases)

  • Might be designing, self-building, constructing or retrofitting any building or landscape
  • Might be being advised at exhibitions and shows about technology or material or product that the advisor wants to sell and you might want an independent second opinion with a more holistic point of view
  • Might be hearing conflicting advice from different sellers and need an independent balanced opinion
  • Might be confused by some jargon, materials, properties, issues, being banded about by sellers
  • Might have a building that suffers problems that are challenging to solve, damp, overheating, costly to run, etc.
  • Might be thinking of designing to Passivhaus but not wanting to go to full testing and accreditation, is this wise?

What can I ask my Guru?

  • I am not a mechanical, electrical and public health services engineer
  • I am not a structural or civil engineer
  • I am not a landscape architect
  • I am not an interior designer
  • I am not a quantity surveyor
  • However I do have some guidance and lateral thinking on all of their issues
  • I am trained as an architectural technician and an architect and I have explored many aspects of environmental design and focus on joined up thinking

10 example questions

  • How can we brief our architect to make our building future proof?
  • Where should we spend our money on our house retrofit?
  • How should we insulate our old solid walled house to ensure it is done well?
  • How do we stop our house bedrooms overheating in summer?
  • How should be insulate our proposed attic extensions?
  • Should we spend extra money on triple glazing or stick to double-glazed windows?
  • Should I send money on expensive taps, ironmongery or thermal insulation?
  • How do we find a suitable sub-contractor to install a sophisticated services installation?
  • We are being advised to use dense wood fibre insulation instead of PIR insulation, why should we agree?
  • Is foamed plastic insulation suitable for our roof insulation?
  • We live in a chalet bungalow how can we insulate all the slopes and the triangles?
  • We have been advised to remove the insulation from our cavity walls to reinsulate them with a new material, what do you think?
  • We have a damp basement and wonder what we can so to solve it?
  • I have a set of drawings and a specification can you give an opinion of the plans and material choices?
  • We are being advised to use Air Source Heat Pumps on our old house, is this a good idea?

What you will get out of the video call / what are the benefits?

  • For every question there are 10 more questions around the first, I have to ask and answer them all or I may miss an important issue or you may misinterpret the first answer and we get it wrong in one of the other 10 issues
  • If I have not experienced the questions before I will apply my mind and years of experience to the whole problem and try to find some logical solutions to it.

E.g. how it could improve their situation or help them avoid something negative

  • Unexpected consequences are a risk of adopting new methods of construction when addressing the climate, biodiversity and cost of living emergency
    • E.g. making a building airtight to save energy and money, can trap off-gassing from synthetic materials, carbon dioxide and/or moisture vapour from breathing and other domestic activities
    • Adding too much insulation to solid walls can create risks of condensation, mould, frost damage and structural failure
    • Adding the wrong thermal insulation material can cause overheating whist the right material can avoid it
  • Having a broad understanding of many different methods of construction and exploring their features, benefits and their risks in their adoption or modification means I can apply them to a unique proposal and brainstorm its issues.

© Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan
27th January 2023 – 29th March 2023

Brian Murphy

Schedule a HiiGuru call C#1559 End.

© GBEGBCGBLNGSASWSBrian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan **
25th September 2022 – 29th March 2023

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