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Maintenance of buildings: visit to Hunebedcentrum

Saturday, 5 November, 2011
Steve Burrow
Penny Hill
Number of Participants / Visitors / Audience: 

During the OpenArch conference at the Hunebedcentrum, the opportunity was taken (with the support of the Centre's managers) to review the reconstructed Neolithic house in order to find areas which St Fagans could learn from in the building of its own Iron Age houses.

One area in particular stood out during this work. The Hunebedcentrum's house is built in an area with a high water table, causing issues of damp penetration to the structure, resulting in long term costs. The solution trialled at the Centre was to build up the ground level prior to starting house construction. Through this simple method, water is encouraged to run away from the building, reducing damp issues.

This approach was subsequently adopted at St Fagans in the construction of the new Iron Age roundhouses, supported by the addition of drains to draw water away from activity areas.