A Hull housing charity has joined forces with a digital manufacturing firm to explore new ways of bringing run-down properties back to life using ‘Lego-like’ blocks.
The joint pilot project between Giroscope and Blokbuild will see the construction and installation of a modular extension to two adjoining houses currently being renovated by the charity. The two properties off Hessle Road have been empty for nearly 20 years.
Under the initiative, the new kitchen extensions are being built using BlokBuild’s cutting-edge off-site construction system, where parts are created on a digital model, cut with pin-point accuracy using automated technology and then assembled at the company’s factory in Hedon Road. The BlokBuild system is manufactured entirely from timber and insulated off-site, making it a higher quality and more sustainable alternative to traditional construction.
During the project, Giroscope volunteers will receive training in the construction technology being used in the process. They will also work as a team to assemble the modules at the factory on before installing the Lego-like blocks on-site.
Following on form the pilot, both Blokbuild and Giroscope are hoping to collaborate on a much larger project to build new affordable social housing from scratch on a small site in the city of Hull.
Giroscope’s co-ordinator Martin Newman said:
“We are really excited for the opportunity to work with Blokbuild who are a really innovative Hull company. We hope we can develop this partnership to a point where we can begin to deliver much-needed affordable and very energy efficient housing together.”
He said volunteers taking part in the project would gain valuable gain work experience on their journey into employment or training. When completed, the two houses will be brought back into use as social housing for people in housing need.
Tom Sander, communications and engagement lead for BlokBuild, said:
“This is a unique project that combines Giroscope’s pioneering work in self-help housing with BlokBuild’s innovative approach to off-site construction. While we are still a relatively small company, our timber building system is one the most advanced in Europe.