August 2015

Welcome to the August edition of i-build magazine! This issue is packed with inspirational projects and products as well as useful advice for your self-build.


The first comprehensive survey of custom and self-build activity has exposed that many councils are taking action to boost home-build opportunities, with England’s custom and self-build housing sector looking to double by the end of 2018.

This is great news for the self-build sector, but it unfortunately coincided with a reduction in the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive tariff for biomass boilers and stoves ­– put into effect on 1st July – which some might view as a step backwards for eco-encouragement. The lowered tariff rates only apply to new applicants, so, with another tariff degression scheduled for September, now is the time to apply for the Domestic RHI. Don’t miss this month’s Green Living on page 14 for more information on these changes.

Utilising renewable technology has become a key concern for many self-builders. Kirsty and David Gordon, who have built a family dream home in their garden, were keen to take advantage of renewables and a modern method of construction. They wanted a SIPs build with many ‘green’ elements, such as solar thermal panels, an air source heat pump and a heat recovery and ventilation system. However, finding tradesmen that were confident to work with these technologies created an issue. Read about how they overcame this on page 20.

Elsewhere, as always, this issue is packed full of inspirational projects and advice to help make your home-build or renovation as smooth as possible. Highlights include three self-build projects that were among 37 UK buildings awarded the RIBA National Award 2015 on page 28, daylight solution advice from VELUX Product Manager Grant Sneddon in this issue’s Rooflight focus on page 36 and financial advice from BuildStore’s Group Sales Director in this month’s Viewpoint.

If you are coming to the end of your self-build journey and would like to offer your home as an inspiration for other budding self-builders, then get in touch at the usual address with a brief overview of your project. Don’t forget that you can access this resource on the move via i-build’s dedicated App – simply search ‘i-build’ in the App Store or Googleplay to download for free.