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James Gorst replies

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I would like to respond to some observations made by your correspondents about The Lodge, Whithurst Park Cottage.

lCold-bridging The issue of cold-bridging was first and foremost in discussions between ourselves and the structural engineers at the onset of production drawing development.We took a considered view that the mass and depth of the ring beam and floor slab in conjunction with permanent underfloor heating - which in the winter months runs continuously - would be sufficient to deal with the potential occurrence of cold bridging. This strategy has been successful.

lInsulation to the gutter The gutter has been insulated.

However, this was edited from the drawing to enhance clarity. In retrospect a note should have been attached highlighting this omission.

Ply sheathing The constructional build up of the first floor framed walls and roof was developed after lengthy discussions with TRADA. We believe the construction used conforms to all current notions of best practice.

No westerly window to bedroom two This was a contentious issue with my clients too. However, the contrast between the open ground floor and the interiorised first floor was an important theme, and I was reluctant to see it weakened.

Leaves in the gutter The integral gutters both have overflows as your correspondent notes and a protective covering mesh. The extreme pitch combined with the mesh should prevent blocked gutters. Ladder anchorings have been provided to facilitate access and maintenance. The annual cleaning of the gutters and the cleaning of the longitudinal skylight (for which a man-safe maintenance platform is provided) are both highlighted in the Q&M manual.

lSlippers Comfortable, certainly, but watch out for poor traction on slippery hardwood floors.

James Gorst, London EC1

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