Towards A Self-Build Guild?

We’re very excited to have been longlisted(!) for the National Custom & Self Build Association Self Build Starter Home competition. Our proposal took a deviant approach to the brief, proposing a ‘Self-Build-Guild’. The Guild is an organisation to support and enable self-build for people with little or no upfront capital.  It was motivated, in part by watching one too many episodes of Grand Designs, but more than that by the excellent example and discussions that have been created by the excellent Protohome project that has been sited in the Ouseburn in Newcastle over the summer.  The project was intended to explore the use of self-build to help those suffering from homelessness or other isolating factors. It generated some fascinating and inspiring conversations around how to enable this kind of project for real.

Our entry takes a critical perspective on the ‘housing crisis’ and proposes a process driven approach rather than product driven responce.  After all, there an almost infinate number of designed housing solutions that focus on the end product. Yet very few that focus on the process behind how to deliver them or why we are failing to deliver enough new homes to meet the needs of people across the housing spectrum in the UK.  We address this through a Self Build Guild that organises, educates and trains people to deliver their own starter home. Our process simplifies the process through:

  • Finding and aquiring land through collective organisation
  • Organising individuals through access to professionals and shared knowledge
  • Tackle the complexities of designing a home to meet modern standards of construction
  • Allow users to assemble their own modules in off-site controlled factory conditions
  • Simplifies onsite construction through simple groundwork and panel based assembly
  • Customisation internally through an open plan layout and extendable roof space
  • Customisation externally through a waterproofed finish with battoning ready for users to finish

Our entry features alongside some exciting looking projects that will be on display at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham next month.  If you’re going to be there – check it out.

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