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robkb

Grand Designs this week

A re-visit to the Hedgehog Housing Co-Op, 12 years after the initial programme - a self-built community of Walter Segal houses just outside Brighton.

Was on Wednesday night but is on 4/7 tomorrow night and is probably on 4oD as well.

Deeply inspirational stuff.
Nick

They built a lot more than seven houses, no?
Mithril

Ah, thanks for the reminder. No TV ATM so I forgot - shall watch it on the iPad Smile
robkb

They built a lot more than seven houses, no?


Ten, when it was all finished.
Nick

I meant more than just houses. There was a real community there. Better than some million pounds glass and steel so called ecohouse in splendid isolation, not least because its owned by people so offensive wasps would reject them.
robkb

Sorry, I'm being particularly dense today thanks to a 4am start Embarassed

And yes, it was the community aspect of it I found most inspiring. Anybody can build anything given enough money, but it takes something else to get what they seem to have there.
vegplot

Sounds interesting.

I stayed in a Walter Segal house for a week once as part of my MSc course at CAT. Great idea but he didn't foresee them being used by rutting students trying to be discrete judging by the quality of of sound insulation.
robkb

Laughing Laughing
Mithril

Just watched - won't give away any spoilers, but worth watching.
VM

Just watched it on 4 On Demand while eating my lunch. Thanks for pointing it out. Really inspiring.

I kept thinking how brilliant for those kids to have seen their mums and dads build their homes - as well as to have a stable community to grow up in.

As our Kevin says at the end, why are we not doing more of this? That site is particularly great, but principle and houses could be great in lots of places.
Barefoot Andrew

One of the best GDs.
A.

And I've stayed in that house at CAT too. Creaksville Very Happy
tahir

Our architect was involved with Segal self build for quite a while, sounds like a good idea, no idea why it hasn't taken off
vegplot

Our architect was involved with Segal self build for quite a while, sounds like a good idea, no idea why it hasn't taken off


From what I've seen and heard it hasn't taken off because it doesn't appeal to the mass housing market. In many way moderns timber frame is very similar but geraed toward mass production and because they often have a brick skin are seen as more acceptable to the masses.

This leads onto the Walter Segal main issue is that is has very little thermal mass and consequently can become very cold. Combined with poor thermal and sound insulation they've never really taken off.
tahir

I guess the actual design will have moved on by now, people like Jon now know a lot more about the insulation issues. cassy

His philosophy behind it still stands though; off-the-shelf, comparatively cheap, easy to source materials, able to be constructed by people without building experience.

Post and beam construction is adaptable enough to allow for thicker insulation if you get away from the dimensions he originally used.
VM

I did wonder about insulation. Guess these days we all think about it more than when Segal came up with his idea. vegplot

I guess the actual design will have moved on by now, people like Jon now know a lot more about the insulation issues.

I think so yes. Walls and roof aren't a problem the floor is more difficult as it allows a lot of free airflow. However, that doesn't detract from the principle of using small cross section low cost timber for most of the construction.
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