A kit of parts

The sway frame is going together beautifully. The timber frame team have bolted the base plates to the concrete slab, and slotted the glulams into place.

image    image    image

The sway frame has been designed and built to carry the weight of the triple glazed south facing units, and to stand up to the prevailing south westerlies.


The Structure

The Passivframe


The timber structure is a work of art and watching the frame being assembled on site is  fascinating.

These are the glulam beams that cantilever out over the ground floor to provide structure at first floor.

image   image   image

MVHR duct routes are pre-cut in the frame. You can see the holes in the floor joists ready for the duct work.

Stage Two – The Timber Frame


We have walls !

The timber frame team have been on site this week and have drilled and anchored the sole plate to the slab creating an airtight seal.

They have started to erect the external walls from 300mm (pre-cut factory made) I beams.

image   image   image

The frame is being erected at a cracking pace…..


Not so sleepy


The first concrete delivery arrived at 7am Tuesday. (1 of 4)


The soon to be hidden pipes and mesh.



The concrete polishers hard at work.



After a day of power floating the floor has set beautifully.

A busy week

image   image   image   image

It has been a busy week.

The radon barrier (yellow plastic sheeting) was carefully laid over the top of the sand blinding.

EPS 70 insulation was laid in 3 layers of 100mm. The hot and cold water pipes were chased into the top layer of insulation. The DPM was laid over the top of the insulation, and then the underfloor heating installed to the entire ground floor area.

The scaffolding team have erected a temporary structure over the footprint and our very good friends Rob and Sandra gave up their evening to help us tie down the canopy over the frame allowing for a watertight environment when pouring the slab.



Frame delivery

IMG_5390   IMG_5394

The timber frame arrived today from the woodworks in Gloucestershire as pre-cut factory made I beams and joists.


Blue bricks

Our blue brick delivery   IMG_2158

The plinth bricks have arrived. These will be laid around the perimeter of the house where the ground floor meets the walls.

Emerging out of the ground

The trenches are full of concrete and the ground worker Jim is starting to build up two skins of block work. The ground bearing slab will eventually sit on top of the internal skin of blocks.

IMG_5336           .IMG_0087

You can start to see the new footprint emerging…….

An empty site

Where has the old bungalow gone?


We lived in the old 1960’s bungalow for five years before moving out. The accommodation was limited, but it had a good sized garden and great sea views across Weymouth bay. We knew we would have to modify it somehow to suit a growing family so we started looking at our options.

We looked into renovating the bungalow but it’s poor construction and lack of insulation made us realise we needed to start again.

It was at this point we looked into the concept of building to the German Passivhaus standards.

We looked into various procurement methods including ordering a flat pack from Germany. We also tried to convince local builders to build our passivhaus design, but none were convinced.

As a result we are self building with guidance from passivhaus consultants and timber frame experts.

It is our intention to build to passivhaus standards whilst testing and comparing the costs with a conventional house build.


Hello world!

The Sleepy Dorset blog has been set up to document our self build project.

We are hoping to build a new house to the German passivhaus standards.

Demolition starts in March 2015….

Watch this space for updates throughout the construction process.