How exciting to have an Heritage Open Day property right on your doorstep.
I guess before all the explanations and descriptions a picture of the house should come first. So here’s the picture I took on Sunday last.
What’s a Segal Method House
The Segal Method is named after Walter Segal (1907 – 1985), an architect who developed a system of self-build housing, around a traditional timber frame with timber cladding.
The Segal Method is:
- simplified construction methods, suitable for self-builders, using simple dry joints with bolts and screws
- modular design for interior adapatability, ease of enlargement, and avoidance of waste
- elimination, where possible, of the ‘wet trades’ of concreting, bricklaying and plastering
- reduction in the building’s weight by using cladding, insulating and lining materials in their standard sizes
- a flat roof with many layers of roofing felt, enabling roofs to be covered in grass
- minimal foundations, often just paving slabs
The Segal Method House at Hookmill Nursery, Lightwater
The House took Bill and Edwina Godfrey four years to build, with Bill doing most of the work. It now serves as a wonderfully open and friendly home to the Godfrey family. The Godfrey’s contacted architect Simon Yauner of Green Architecture to help deliver their dream. In Simon’s notes in the Hertitage Open Day leaflet he describes key elements of the construction:
“The timber for the frame and cladding was locally sourced and remains untreated. Th external walls incorporate 50mm thick woodwool slabs to act as sound insulation, as well as blown newsprint insulation to tackle heat loss. ”
“The roof has a waterproof membrane, a drainage layer made from recycled foam chips, and grass wich has simply been cut form under the building and respositioned some 4 metres up …”
“The house is heated by a central wood-burning stove. The bathrooms are planned with composting toliets. Their is no blackwater discharge. Grey water is discharged into willow-hedged beds. Surface water tends to be retained by the turf roof, and any excess is piped into a ditch. “
Simon Yauner, Bill and Edwina Godfrey were on hand to answer all our questions. We left in total admiration of the Godrey’s commitment to ‘green’ building and ‘green’ living.
An uplifting Open Day visit, a pity there weren’t more people there with enquiring minds.