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Post peak lodging house/bedsits
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:35 pm    Post subject: Post peak lodging house/bedsits Reply with quote

A friend has recently inherited a very large but rather rundown house, and rather than sell it in the present market have decided to retain it and let it as bedsits/student lodgings.

The house has 7 bedrooms, and 2 other rooms that could be used as bedrooms.
It is in good structural order but very dillapidated internaly, and needs rewiring, re plumbing, a new heating system, and internal refurbishment.
There are 3 sheds, about to fall down, and a large double garage.

They plan to let it to students whilst BAU continues, and to anyone when/if TSHTF.
The aim is to offer relatively cheap, basic lodgings, that whilst not carbon neutral, should be far more efficient than most other new or old buildings.
Whilst by no means peak proof, the premises should be better prepared than most for disruptions to fuel supply etc.

They propose the following
Convert the existing accomadation into 9 letting bedrooms, 3 communal showers, 3 communal toilets, and a large open plan kitchen/dining/living room, and a small self contained owners flat.

HEATING will be new gas central heating, but only basic heating up to 20/21 degrees. Rads on inside walls.
Provision to fit a solid fuel stove to replace the gas boiler in future.

DOMESTIC HOT WATER from the boiler in winter, and from solar thermal in the summer.

ELECTRICITY SUPPLY, To be primarily from the grid, but with a large 12 volt battery charging PV system for lighting and refrigeration.
All lighting to be 12 volt, each letting room to be equiped with a car type 12 volt socket, limited to 5 amps.
240 volt power sub metered to each room.

LAUNDRY, coin operated launderete washers and dryers to be provided.

WATER SUPPLY, generally mains water, with the exception of WC flushing which will be rainwater when available.

INSULATION, loft to be insulated with at least 600mm of rockwool, double glazing throughout, and draftproofing.

FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS, rent to include use of water, solar heated hot water, and reasonable use of 12 volt lighting and power.
Gas bill, and common parts electricity useage, and water bill to be divided among tenants in proportion.
Electricity used in rooms to be paid for according to amount used, via meter.
Storeage of bulky luggage etc in the loft, by arrangement for a small fee.

3 new garden sheds to replace existing, available to let to residents, on a first come first served basis. Only for storeage or workspace, not living accomadation ! Each shed to have a 12 volt light from the house system but no other electrical system.

The common room/kitchen/living room to be equiped with a gas cooker, an electric cooker, a wood stove with basic cooking facility, a high efficiency 12 volt fridge and freezer.
A small wall mounted 12 volt TV will be provided, and a car type radio. Any other entertainment equipment to be provided by the tenants.
Basic cooking equipment provided, including microwave, toaster, kettle.

The existing double garage and workshop to be reatined by the landlord for batteries, water tanks, and as workshop and store.
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Last edited by adam2 on Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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JohnB



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the big issue is making sure that it's a tenant friendly place, rather than being used to exploit people. It sounds like it will be.

I'm not sure about the 12v systems. For the future it's a good idea, but I wouldn't have thought it was something that students would appreciate, or use properly.

The first stage of my project is/was supposed to be filling the house with like minded lodgers, rather than just anyone who turns up with the ability to pay. I hope this means that low-impact/sustainable/"green" facilities can be provided for people who will use and appreciate them, rather than having to provide more conventional facilities that aren't sustainable in the long term.

I'd want to cost the project carefully to make sure it's viable, and the landlord doesn't turn into Rigsby from Rising Damp out of necessity rather than choice!
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PS_RalphW



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I lived in several houses like that in London, before I moved out to more rational parts of the country.

Students will destroy any property, however well adapted and converted.

Older people will not be so destructive, but wear and tear by 9 independent adults can be quite alarming. expect up to 15 people in the house at any one time. (More if they hold a party).

The 12V system will be a major liability. Think of a student as having the technical knowledge of a 3 year old, with a 20Yo's physical strength, after several beers. Major fire hazard. (And you know I mean the student).

I can be more explicit in my horror stories...
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments.
I dont think that the 12 volt system will too much of a liability, it will be as student/tenant proof as possible !

I dont anticipate much use of the 12 volt sockets in the bedrooms, as 240 volts AC will also be available.
Each socket will be on a 5 amp MCB, in a locked enclosure, in a landlords area.
Lighting will be all, or mainly 12 volts, and relatively student resistant, with enclosed fittings, and circuit protection by inacceasable MCBs.
I dont THINK that a foolish student can do any more harm with 5 amps at 12 volts DC, than with 5 amps at 240 volts AC.

And as regards other student proofing, all lockable doors will be fitted with mortice locks, not Yale latches.
That means that one must have the key in order to lock the door, and CAN NOT slam a door shut with the key on the inside.

Furniture will be basic, comfortable and student resistant.
Beds and some other furniture will be made by local trainee carpenters, as a project. Bed collapses=no beer for carpenter !

The 12 volt refrigeration, radio and small TV will be permanently wired, and if tampered with, no more of a risk than mains voltages.
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stumuzz



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be careful not to fall into this set of regs,


http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/rentingandletting/privaterenting/housesmultiple/
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blimey that's a minefield innit? Looks as if you can avoid the worst of it by not having an attic (or a basement), though.

According to our local councillor, you need planning permission to turn a family house into a student house, even if you make no building alterations at all. Kind of obvious, when you consider that students, on the whole, "Don't Look NiceTM".
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JohnB



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
Blimey that's a minefield innit? Looks as if you can avoid the worst of it by not having an attic (or a basement), though.

Local authorities can add their own rules too. What I initially planned for my place puts it outside the national HMO rules, but seems to fall inside the local authority ones, and guess what, there's a charge for getting approval!
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DominicJ



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whats in it for the students?
Assuming for a moment you cant find 9 students who's daddies are happy to pay extra for them to live in a green house, I dont see the practical beneft for them.
How big do 12 volt fridge/freezers go? And 12 volt TV's?

Can 9 people put a weeks shopping in this 12v freezer?
Or will they be expected to shop everyday?

Given the subsidy paid for solar electric at the moment, it seems insane not to grid tie it and claim the extra cash.

They can always buy the 12v connection gear and store it.
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Kentucky Fried Panda



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Students need 240v for computers and essentials + hair care, 12v won't power many hair driers or straighteners...

Think about installing 240v just in case your plans come to nothing and you need to flog the place.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haggis wrote:
Students need 240v for computers and essentials + hair care, 12v won't power many hair driers or straighteners...

Think about installing 240v just in case your plans come to nothing and you need to flog the place.


The 12 volt installation is primarily for basic lighting, high efficiency refrigeration, and possibly very limited low power 12 volt appliances.
Apart from a small energy saving, the 12 volt supply is primarily to ensure basic lighting throughout, without any concerns re power cuts.
Cell phones and many other low power gadgets can be charged from this supply simply by useing a car type charger.

All areas will have a standard 240 volt AC supply, and use of this would be the norm for hairdryers, computers, large TVs, decorative lighting and most other appliances.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

12 volt fridges and freezers are available in very large sizes, mainly for de-luxe, but off grid American homes.
One large fridge, and a similar size size combined fridge freezer is proposed.

12 volt TVs are only available AFAIK in small sizes, not at all suitable for a large group.
It is presumed that a medium size 240 volt TV will also be available, and be normally used.
The 12 volt one is in case of power cuts, or failure of the large one.
Recently, a power cut during an "important" football game caused real distress to the footbal obsessed. Better a small screen than none !

The rent is expected to be competitive with that charged elswhere, certainly no premium for greenish living.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UPDATE TIME

The first tenants have moved in, and generally it is going well.

HEATING is by gas, but only to a relatively low level, each bedsit has a radiator/towel rail on an inside wall.
No heating has been needed in the common parts.

HOT WATER is from very large cylinder, heated by gas and solar thermal, has worked perfectly.

REFRIGERATION is by standard high efficiency 240 volt equipment, not 12 volt as originaly proposed.

LIGHTING is virtually all 12 volt, by a mixture of LED and CFL lamps. 12 volt battery charged by PV.
This has already proved its worth in a 4 hour power cut.
Provision for use of grid power, but has not yet been needed.

POWER SUPPLY is generally from the grid, but also with 12 volt DC outlets in each room and the common parts.
Power to each room is metered and paid for. The consumption has been considerable in some rooms, over 10 a week.

COOKING is by gas, the originaly proposed electric cooker was not installed owing to concerns about the available power supply.
A wood/coal stove is also available, but is primarily for standby use.

LAUNDRY, by coin-op launderate type machines, no problems.

FURNITURE was chosen to be simple and robust, much of it locally made.
Has generally stood up to some "boisterous" behaviour.

WATER SUPPLY, mains except for toilet flushing which is rainwater. Has worked fine, the plumber mistakenly connected the hand wash basins in the toilets to the rainwater supply, which could be a slight hygeine risk if anyone drank the water.
"not drinking water" signs supplied.

I recently met several of the residents.
In general they seemed well pleased with the arrangements.

Likes, large rooms, spacious common parts, secure against thieves, reliable effective showers, well equiped kitchen area, large launderete type washing machines, owners pet cats, "trendy" LED lighting.

Dislikes, paying for laundry, slow/unreliable internet, lack of car parking, mouse infestation.

The residents are mainly students
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Last edited by adam2 on Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done; it sounds quite good and hopefully will show what can be done.

What is the lighting like? How does it compare with 'normal' situations? Would it pass the mother-in-law test?
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: the internet. If wireless broadband is possible, could the computers and the antenna's power supply plus the router be run on a low-voltage circuit? This would ensure internet access in a power cut providing the source of broadband is still powered up.

This is basically what I'm aiming for here, with the node on the hill which routes the broadband from the nearest town also being powered by pv. It will require funding by the members of our internet group but is perfectly feasible.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
Well done; it sounds quite good and hopefully will show what can be done.

What is the lighting like? How does it compare with 'normal' situations? Would it pass the mother-in-law test?


I doubt that it would pass the mother in law test, but it seems to be appreciated by younger persons.

Each bedroom is equiped with a three lamp spotlight fitting, intended for 12 volt halogen lamps, but actually fitted with LEDs.
A 13 watt flourescent lamp with local switch is wall mounted above the bed, with a similar one above the table.

The toilets each have two downlights intended for 12 volt halogen lamps, but fitted with LEDs.

The bathrooms have LED lighting strip each side of the mirror, and LED spotlights.

The living room/kitchen has 2 of 36 watt flourescent fittings over the cooker and sink.
The rest of the room has pendant fittings with 12 volt CFLs, each on its own switch.

The garden has yellow LED floodlights, so as not to attract insects.

The cat baskets have a 120 volt 500 watt halogen lamp, worked at 12 volts. This provides gentle radiant warmth and cats like this.
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