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Concrete is an age old material which has been known to form naturally in certain conditions but it has been in use for millennia. The Egyptians used an early form of concrete when building the pyramids but the Romans were experts in its use and they developed the use of admixtures. They also used a form of light weight concrete when forming the dome of the Pantheon, still there today. Concrete is a mixture of three basic components, water, aggregate in the form of rock and sand and cement and the form of cement almost universally used today is called Portland Cement which was invented by the Englishman Joseph Aspdin in 1824. We used a lot of concrete at Tipperlinn.. Following on from the s

Down The Drain

We have always found drainage a fascinating part of any project. Cutting in to an old drainage system six or seven feet below ground level and often being the first person to come into contact with those old pipes since a tradesmen installed them a hundred years or more in the past makes a unique connection with the soul of the building. With a new build it is usually a series of trenches and a lego kit of plastic parts joined together across the plot. The test is always a tense moment when the drainage inspector comes to site and the new drainage has to stand up to an air pressure test witnessed by the inspector. These days we use the services of HPGS Ltd who can certify their own work. Wit

The House Design

Daryl Robbins of Richard Murphy Architects is the project architect for the contract to build the house on Tipperlinn Road. We have worked with Daryl before on another RMA project in Gifford and we were pleased he was the project architect on this job. He has a real love of his craft but makes the building process and the interaction between contractor and architect an easy relaxed and productive process. We asked him about the design concept for the house and he has given us this fascinating piece which not only describes the thought process behind the current design but it also takes us through 4 different options for the site. The three early options chart the design process where the ar

The Big Lump Of Scotland

The amount of excavated material that has been taken off site has already been mentioned several times in this blog. This is the story of one big bit of it. We did all of the excavation ourselves with a hired one and a half ton digger, from Brandon Hire, and the skills of our digger driver Davey Innes. But Davey almost met his match when the teeth of his bucket scraped out a lump of sandstone a metre or so below the garden level. After most of the rest of the mornings digging we began to get an idea of the size of this little lump of Scotland. At first it seemed an impossible task, driver versus rock, but Davey wasn't to be beaten so easily and using his great skill and the old judo principl

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