Building Design Expert Pencasts

Pencasts are created using very special technology in the form of a pen that has a built in video camera, microphone and flash storage. The combination allows the recording of hand drawings and text in instant graphic form, or as part of an animated and narrated page.

Building design professionals, almost without exception, explain concepts, ideas and details using a pen/pencil and paper, which works on a one-to-one, or one to a few level. The pencast enables communication of an idea to anyone, anywhere in the world (internet link prevailing). You can even get an ‘app’ to play back pencasts on a smart phone.

If you would like to request a pencast on a particular subject, or if you would like to comment on a pencast already posted, please do so in the comments box below.

To play a pencast, please ensure yo are able to listen via your computer speakers or headphones, and click on the play arrow of the pencast of your choice:

It’s All in the Bond

I think we had better take a deep breath and thank the Romans again. What for this time? – Masonry bonding. The bit where one brick or stone unit overlaps another to form, what we have come to acknowledge as a ‘bond’. This of course gives walls added strength and stability.

Many different types of ‘bond’ have been explored and developed by our master builders over the intervening years since the romans. But this is no history lesson. Some of the developments have proved more successful than others. If you click on the following pencast you can hear and see what one of those variations was, and why it didn’t work so well.

Mistaken Sub-Floor Ventilation

How many times have you seen an air brick inserted within a cavity wall at a level that coincides with the floor joist depth? Before we started insulating floor constructions this was common place, but the need for ventilation seems to have escaped some contractors who consider it acceptable to install the ventilation bricks in the same place and then block it off with insulation. This line of thinking applies on retrofit too.

Gable Walls and Cold Bridges

There is always more ways than one to ‘skin a cat’. This pencast shows a simple way to overcome the inevitable cold bridge asociated with traditional masonry cavity wall construction and the gabled roof.

Brickwork – Why mortar?

Why do we use mortar? This pencast attempts to dispell some of the associated myths.

Extending a suspended timber ground floor – useful tip

If you are extending ground floor accommodations and wish to maintain the same floor level, how do you install different sized timber floor joists to the ones already there? This pencast shows not only how to support a different section size of floor joist, but how to maintain the all important underfloor ventilation as well.

Framed Openings and Cold Bridges

The ‘cold bridge’ is now one of the greatest sources of heat loss in our highly insulated homes. This pencast shows a simple remedy that will significantly reduce the cold bridge caused by window and door openings.

Professional Site Inspection

A few pointers on what to look for when carrying out a site inspection as the sub-structure walls continue through to super-structure.

Cold Roof Construction

What exactly is cold roof construction? What makes it a ‘cold roof’ and what are the good construction requirements that will make it perfectly okay?

Warm Roof Construction

There is much mis-information been talked about and published concerning warm roof construction, this pencast seeks to put the record straight on a number of levels.

Thinking about Simple Construction

Most building construction is not, and should not be complicated. This pencast look at some of the basic premises for good traditional roof construction and a few of the short cuts some tradesmen try to take that are neither good for the roof, or the industry in general.