SuperHome Database

London, Lewisham, Honor Oak Park, Walters Way

House Summary

Paul Capel and Alice Grahame
House Type:
Self-build Walter Segal Detached House (built 1985/6)
Carbon saving:
73% - SuperHomes Assessed  

Measures installed:

  • Condensing boiler
  • Draught-proofing
  • External Wall Insulation
  • Floor Insulation
  • Green Roof
  • Low Energy Appliances
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery
  • Passive Ventilation
  • Reclaimed Materials
  • Renewable Energy Supply
  • Roof Insulation
  • Solar PV Panels
  • Solar Water Heating
  • Sunpipe
  • Triple Glazing
  • Underfloor Heating
  • Water Saving Devices

  • London, Walters Way SuperHome PV Array
  • Paul and Alice Walters Way
  • DSC05626
  • Open House self-build Segal Lewisham
  • Paul and Alice 2

Upcoming events

Early interest in Open Days encourages SuperHome owners to host more events. If you'd like to visit this property please contact the owner and let them know. SuperHomers are often happy to respond to questions about their refurbishment project by email between times. Please read ‘more on contacting this SuperHomer’ before you make contact.

What visitors are saying

"Interesting to actually get to see ECO improvements in reality rather than at an expo.”

"A very interesting eco-refurbishment."

"Such a wonderful concept - excellent explanations."

"Inspired by green ideas like thermal recycling of insulation. I love that there is so much greenery through the windows."

"Inspiring how small change creates a big impact. You get a sense of community, it's a very special place."

"Thank you for opening up your home - fascinating."

"Thank you so much for a wonderful afternoon! Very inspiring, I now want to build my own home!"

"Really interesting to see how an early example of eco-building can continue to adapt to more modern green technology while retaining the original design aesthetic."

Personal story:

I work for Ordnance Survey and assess a lot of buildings, particularly in London. It is quite inspirational, seeing lots of different building designs in my day job. I have also drawn inspiration from my masters in Advanced Energy and Environmental Studies which I completed at The Centre for Alternative Technology.


I think we’re pretty green – we gave up flying in 2005 and we use green electricity and green gas. For one holiday we had to decide between taking the car which would cost £110 in diesel or taking the train which would be twice as much. In the end we decided to go on the train because it was probably better for the environment and it also meant I got to spend more time with my daughter Millie. So we are doing the best we can to be green.

When we were introduced to Passive House Standards we thought why live in a house that wastes energy if you can have a house that doesn’t? We just wanted to achieve the best design we could with this house while also using recyclable materials.

The whole point of retrofitting the house was to inspire other people to be green whilst also showing that you can have a really nice lifestyle and not have to contribute in a negative way.

Also see:
Property background:

This house was one of 13 houses built on Walters Way in 1985/6 by the now famous architect Walter Segal. He developed a system of self build that people could manage themselves; therefore the properties were built in standard sizes with standard materials. The houses are built on piles on the ground and on stilts so that you have access underneath the house.

We were only the second people to live in this house and it is unique. There is not another house like it anywhere because there aren’t many Walter Segal houses and because this house has been pushed towards the Passive House standard.

Key changes made:

During the refurbishment of the property we added a small extension and concentrated on insulating the main fabric of the house. This included super-insulating everything and triple glazing windows and doors. We also rebuilt and insulated the roof and then added solar panels to it.

Measures installed in detail:

• 12kw Condensing boiler (smallest available as secondary heat source to Solar Thermal heat store)
• Draught stripped and overhauled all windows with FSC timber frames and aluminium cladding
• External wall insulation – the existing walls were insulated with 200mm Pavatherm  wood waste and lime rendered (U value 0.18). External walls in the new extension have a U value of 0.17
• Floor insulation consists of 22mm Isolair sarking board, 100mm Pavathern boards, 100mm existing glass wool and 30mm Gutex wood fiber board resulting in a U value of 0.15
• Green roof
• All A+ appliances, including the fridge, washing machine and an induction hob
• All existing lighting is low energy and all new lighting is LED
• Whole house Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery system
• Two storey Passiv solar chimney on the south for passive heating in winter and active cooling in summer
• Reclaimed piece of teak from a lab used in the kitchen
• Electricity from renewable sources via Ecotricity
• Existing roof is insulated with 100mm glass wool, 100mm Hemp and cotton batts, 100mm Pavetherm and woodwaste resulting in a U value of 0.14, some warmcell insulation used in the extension roof
• Solar thermal panels, used primarily for renewable space heating in the winter and linked to thermal store and ground level underfloor heating
• 2kWp Solar PV system
• Sun pipe in new extension
• Triple glazed windows and doors throughout, from Finland,  have a U value of 1.03
• Underfloor heating (Jupiter) from Germany
• Water saving devices include; ES4 4 litre siphon flush WC and water saving fittings to taps
• Energy smart meter

Benefits of work carried out:

The house is very cool, keeping an ambient 20-22°C and with the doors open we are actually lifting the heat up. One particular design feature of the original property is the big overhang on the roof that actually blocks the really high hot sun in summer. That design feature is really important and when we redid the roof we made sure to keep the overhang.

We are really pleased with the aesthetics of the house and proud that we actually produced something of beauty. We took lots of the original elements of the house and brought them through into the design so that when you stand back from the house now and look at it, the house fits in with the other houses.  We wanted a house that looked nice as well as being energy efficient.

Another benefit is the noise control of the new design. In the wintertime when we are locked down with all the windows sealed, it is silent. Even in the summer you get hardly any sound coming in – we had a street party one July and I could feel the house moving from the bass out in the street but couldn’t hear it in the house!

Favourite feature:

I get the most satisfaction from the solar thermal because I can actually see that working.

Contact this homeowner

Assessment types

SuperHomes Assessed

A home that has been visited and assessed by us and confirmed as reaching the SuperHome standard, which demonstrates a 60% carbon saving.

Homeowner Reported

Information has been provided by the homeowner about their home and energy use prior to the installation of measures and following their installation which demonstrates a carbon saving. This information has not been verified.

Remote Assessed

The homeowner has provided information on their home including what measures have been installed which has enables an assessor working on our behalf to assess their carbon savings. This home has not been visited to verify the measures installed.


This home has not been assessed, but the homeowner has reported what measures have been installed. It may be that this home is awaiting assessment.