Who Are We?
And Why Skye?
We are Mike Coe and Lizzie Stoodley and this website will document the creation of our new home in Portree. It should be the first truly passivhaus dwelling on the Isle of Skye - if no one beats us to it (for an explanation of what a passivhaus is and how it works, see the Design pages).
This isn't our first building project. We moved here from Worcestershire, where we built one of the UK's most energy-efficient homes, The Cropthorne Autonomous House . For a highly experimental first build, with rainwater-harvesting and composting toilets in addition to the non-standard passivhaus building techniques, it was a great success. There were no 'Grand Designs' style disasters, the house performed very well and there was nothing we wished we'd done differently. It was a delightful house to live in. We said, many times, that we would never again want to put ourselves through all the stress, hard work and uncertainty that goes with building a house. And yet, here we are...
You can follow the build - almost in real-time - on the Live Webcam (see this page) and in the slideshow of this month's highlights (see this page). We also try to post regular updates on Twitter (see below).
For a full timeline of the build in pictures, with captions, take a look at the Gallery page.
A regularly updating slideshow of recent pictures from the site (on mobiles and smaller devices scroll to see all images). For full image diary, with captions, see Gallery page.
This month - outside: the stonework is almost complete - final pointing taking place, weather permitting; external sills being completed; preparations for construction of external frame and balcony outside south-facing windows; inside: fitting out of plant room 'nerve centre' and installation of electrical cables ongoing; installation of MVHR unit and ducting; boarding and taping of remaining windows/doors still to do to make airtight and watertight; plaster boarding of ceilings throughout and finishing of internal partitions (this has been delayed as water ingress has meant parts of the house not dry enough to proceed. Still to come: plumbing; bathroom and kitchen installation; tiling (all floors to be tiled except stairs and mezzanine); soil and seed on roof and guttering installed; external groundworks, including trenches for water, sewage and electrical connections; construction of porch steps and disabled ramp, external steps down to lower porch at rear and patio area outside kitchen door; garage foundations - and garage, if funds allow... and, finally, decorating....
In the second video report Mike shows you the Isle of Skye from his own unique perspective, and explains all about the site and what drew us to it. Plus, there's a full rundown on the design of the new house. But not everything in the garden is necessarily rosy...