Report and Consent

It has taken me AGES to piece together enough time to finish the first portion of the permit for the new shed.

Not only drawing up the various plans, but also gathering together the other documents for a complete submission.  Even so, I am not sure if they won’t ask for more!

The first stage of the permit process in my case, is to apply for a Report and Consent, as the shed is going to be closer than 1m to a side boundary.  So tomorrow morning, I will rock up to the City Council, and hope when they see the application there isn’t some glaring omission.

If all goes to plan, that will take up to 3 weeks (15 working days) to be processed.  From there, the process starts again in applying for a building permit.  At least a lot of what is required for the building permit is also in the Report and Consent, so attaching that will take care of the bulk of the requirements.

I’ve been to the council a couple of times already to talk through the process, show preliminary plans etc, gotten the application forms.  I’ve downloaded the plan of subdivision, and gotten some good property boundary plans from the LANDATA database, from which I have drawn up both the plans for the property, but also surrounding properties.  I’ve had to make measurements and draw on these the various buildings.

So the plans that are being submitted look like this:


drawing3There is also a 2 page letter, summarising the plan and covering off the points where I am taking into account the Minister for Planning’s guidelines, the Council General Siting Requirements, and the area’s Character Statement.

If I haven’t dotted all the T’s and crossed all the I’s, I am not sure what else I need to do!

Wish me luck 😉

Shed Insulation

Jumped onto DJ’s suggestion, and contacted Bradford’s local supplier to get some pricings (and other details).

Oh, and just a side comment (and not targeting any specific company) – I’m always fascinated how many try to baffle you with bullshit. Companies contradicting each other, and themselves.  You’d think that this was magic and not science, or a simple engineering issue.  Just once, I wish that if someone doesn’t know the answer they’d say “I’m not sure, let me find out”.  Happens in all industries, and perhaps I am too skeptical for my own good, but I (hopefully often will) quickly pick up when someone is leading me down the garden path.

To start, the product that every shed manufacturer seems to promote is called AirCell. That is all they tell you.  Turns out there are about 8 different types of AirCell


One is called Insulshed, and from talking with Kingspan (the manufacturers), it is really only for sheds used for storage, not for workshops.  It has an R-value of R0.9, but in any case noone seems to want to claim it has any thermal rating at all.  Wonder why you’d use it then, even though their website claims “indoor temperatures that are significantly cooler in summer and warmer in winter”

They recommended a different product of theirs called Insulbreak, for commercial properties, which has an R-value of 0.9 (out), and 1.9 (in).  The difference is apparently because the material is relying on the air gap between it and the metal roof.  I guess that indicates a simple sheet of foil creating the same air gap would achieve about R1.0 in and R0.0 out, which makes sense as that is the science behind a Thermos Flask. Of course you are not going to be able to achieve a vacuum between the surfaces, or be able to fill them with a thin gas (and expect it to hang around!)

So I contacted a shed supplier (the one from yesterday) to see what they use.  “Dunno – it is Air Cell” Ok, cool. Which one? “Uh – let me put you through to head office”  Well at least they didn’t spin me a line.  Turns out they supply another AirCell product – Glareshield.  Not sure what the glare part of the name is, but it is another thermal-reflecting product.  That one has an R-value of 1.0  These values have been determined in-situ, in other words relying on the installation of the product in a structure, and gleaning the thermal benefits from that structure.  The R-value of the material itself is around R0.15, which is the only one I will use when comparing it to other materials (which would also benefit from the structure it is installed in to achieve a final real-world R-value.

To cover the entire structure in that would cost $2000.

Poor thermal rating, no noise retardation, about the only thing it would probably achieve is to stop it raining on my tools (condensation).

Before I go further, some further information about the whole R-value thing.

The R-value is (and I am only going to use the SI version, rather than imperial measurements) m²ΔK/W

So how does that help us?  The answer is heaps!

m² – how many square meters of area is allowing heat out of the shed (there will be more for ceiling rather than wall, but we’ll let that go through to the keeper).

ΔK – This is the difference in temperature between the inside and the outside in Kelvin.  Conveniently, Kelvin and oC are the same scale, just with different starting points.  K starts at absolute zero, and oC starts at the freezing point of water at 1 atmosphere.

W – watts – how much heat is passing through

To put it all into perspective, if the shed is 6mx3m, 2m high with a flat roof, it is 54 m². The outside temperature is 8 oC, and inside we want to have at least 18 oC.  The walls and ceiling are insulated with R2.0.  What size heater is required to maintain the temperature? (Note, this is not the size heater required to raise the shed to that temperature!)

2 = 54 x 10 / x

x=270W  A human body produces an average of 120W, so combined with a few machines running, it appears this is sufficient to maintain the temperature.  (Thanks to Derek for pointing out a glaring error!) Better not have the dust extraction running outside the shed though – it will be sucking out the 18 oC air and drawing in the 8oC air!

This doesn’t calculate how long it takes to warm up the interior to that temperature – that is a factor of the thermal load of the air and the contents, and the internal volume plays a big part in that.  And the reverse of that – if the outside is 10oC, and there is no heater, the inside will slowly drop in temperature until it matches the outside, but again it comes down to the thermal load and how much heat is contained to know how long it takes to cool down.

Back to insulation then.  As I mentioned at the start, I researched DJ’s solution, from CSR Bradford.

They have a number of insulating materials.

For the roof, they suggested Anticon – stands for anti-condensation.  Has a thermal rating of R1.5 and has some noise reducing properties.  Cost for the roof alone would be $270.  Compared to $600 for AirCell for the roof (only), it is a good start.


For the walls, R2.0 glass wool ($793) Total shed cost $1063, but I’d need to line all the walls to cover up the batts, so there is an additional cost in that.

The other material they sell is Acousticon, but it wasn’t being pushed.  It has R1.9 and is 80mm rather than 60mm for additional sound absorption (and insulation).  It is Anticon with more thickness.  For the roof, it would cost $495, for the walls $1155.  The whole shed therefore would be $1650

The other option is to go with the Anticon all round, which would cost $900.  It is a lot easier to manage than the batts (needing wall linings), and quite a bit cheaper than the Acousticon, which doesn’t have a much higher R-value in any case.

Sounds like a good option to me.

The only disappointing thing in all this, is you don’t seem to be able to have thermal insulation of the shed, and natural light.

Laserlite has a U value of 7.2 and U=1/R, which gives it a R-value of 0.14  Guess that really works as a huge hole in the insulation. No matter how well insulated the rest of the structure, heat gets sucked straight out the laserlite – like leaving a door open!

So I’ll feed all this into my design concepts, and see how it all plays out.  If it comes down to a choice between outside light and inside warmth (or coolness in summer), thermal comfort will win – installing and running lights is a lot cheaper than air conditioning!!!!

***Update*** Following on from the amendment after Derek found a mistake I’d made in a calculation (now corrected), I thought I’d work out how much energy would be required to maintain a 10 oC difference between the inside and the outside of the planned shed, using R1.5 Anticon.

Energy (W) = ΔK x m²/R

W = 10 x 180/1.5

Now if I manage to wield my calculator correctly this time(!), this means I need a 1200W heater to maintain that temperature difference.  And that is without skylights.  Achieving that temperature difference would be a mission – hate to think what the thermal load would be!  My (secret) plan to install a Coonara fireplace (and/or) a potbelly looks to be the only way I could hope to heat the place up sufficiently.

Interestingly, if I went to the extra expense to install R2.0, it would drop the maintenance heat input from 1200W to 900W.

If this was a residential house, where you’d (hopefully) find R4.0 insulation, this would make the maintenance heater size to 450W – about 3.5 humans worth!

9 Minutes

Another small milestone has been passed – I now have an exact partslist and specifications sheet for the shed, along with a diagram of the required slab and footings.

Interesting point – the structure has around 2900 fasteners (majority self tapping screws), and will weigh almost 2 tonnes (not counting the slab obviously!)

The concrete slab (including footings) I have calculated to require 6m3 of concrete – approx 13 tonnes (wet).  That allows 100mm thick slab, with an additional 300x300x300 footing under each column, and 300x300x500 footings under each column that supports the mezzanine.

Time to start looking at concreters, and finding out about pump trucks.  Also, I want to have a chat to an electrician and plumber to see what needs to be considered before the pour, because once the slab is down, there is no adding electrical ducts, drains, or under-floor dust extraction.

Finally – so much to think about!

It’s a Crayon Jim, but not as you know it

Just what do you think of, if I suggested we were going to discuss crayons?

I have a (almost) 6 year old, so you can tell you where my thought processes are at. It has a lot more to do with colouring in, than working with wood!  When it comes down to it, Crayolas don’t cut the mustard when you have some serious work to do.

So it is fortuitous that there are crayons for the workshop.  Still, I can sense your incredulous look. So yes, I am being serious – you can buy crayons for the workshop, and they have real benefit over other marking methods.

Lumber Crayons

Lumber Crayons

They are the Pro-Ex Contractor Grade Lumber Crayons, and they are specifically designed for work.  They are a much harder crayon than what you are used to using – other than the name, they have little in common with the crayons in a child’s pencil case.  They are clay-based, not wax based, which makes all the difference where it comes to how they function in a serious application.

Obviously designed to write on timber (being Lumber Crayons), they can also write on steel, concrete and stone, dry, wet or frozen (not that much timber is frozen down under!)  They come from a company that specialises in industrial markers for the metal and woodworking industries

Back when I worked for a truck-fitting company, designs for a construction were laid out on the floor in full scale using chalk.  The lines would quickly blur, or simply disappear.  These would have been a real asset in that situation.

I’ve already integrated these lumber crayons into my standard practices, and it was quite surprising just how quickly I found they were the better solution for marking up the timber.  They obviously don’t replace the pencil or marking knife for measuring, but pretty much every other situation, they are taking over!

Timber gets marked where there are defects, the different timbers are identified (where it can become unclear), and offcuts get labeled as well.  Workshops have used chalk for this in the past, and again this can wear off, or the marks fade over time.  The lumber crayons remain a clear mark on the timber.



I have used them to clearly mark where I have found metal in reclaimed boards (which is particularly useful!) and on the thicknesser. By quickly scribbling on the surface of the board, it is a useful visual indication when the board has become flat across the entire surface (sometimes this is hard to distinguish).

Having the three colours is very useful as well – depending on the board, you can choose which will show up the best.  The yellow and black are the most visual (dark on a light background, and vise versa).

There is also a crayon-holder, which affords the crayon more protection from being dropped and a leather strap so it can be hung conveniently nearby.

Crayon Holder

Crayon Holder

These are available from Kaufmann Mercantile, and are made in the USA.

Send in the crayons

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