And we're off! Construction of our latest project is well underway and in a very exciting development, we have been working on site with our customer as part of the construction team.
This single storey eco home in East Sussex will have beautiful views over the surrounding countryside once complete. A separate artist’s studio building already exists on the site and will be a matter of steps from the four bedroom home once it is complete.
Our customers created a design with local architects and obtained planning permission but found themselves in a position where the build costs quoted were far beyond what they wanted to spend.
Adapting the existing design
Once they discovered Facit Homes, our in-house architects amended the design in order to allow for our high performance Facit Chassis™ and then applied for a minor material amendment to the existing planning consent. You can discover more details on this in our planning announcement.
Progress has been rapid on site. The site levelling and excavation for the foundations were undertaken by our customer, Mike, who hired a digger and completed the works according to our plans. He was always keen to be involved throughout his project but was unsure that he would find a company with that flexibility.
Our assisted self finish option gives him the opportunity to manage the internal fit out himself, but since completing the digging he has also become a part of the core site team! The team is currently manufacturing the Facit Chassis and assembling the superstructure, and Mike says that he is really enjoying the hands-on experience of learning how his future home is actually built.
At the very start of the build, the footprint of the building was excavated, levelled and covered in shingle. Drainage was installed underneath and SVPs (waste pipes) visible in the image below continued to poke through the concrete slab once it was poured.
The site is on very sticky clay soil, so steel piles were driven into the ground, also visible in the image below. They are stable in soft soil and form a solid base for the foundations, which will also be protected from any movement in the ground by Cellcore heave board.
Next we could install our Advanced Foundation Technology (AFT) insulated raft foundations. This is a simple but highly effective system that is thermally efficient, technically advanced, fast to install, and uses a minimal amount of concrete while providing the maximum amount of support and performance.
The first step in an AFT system is a layer of EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) installed directly onto the heave board, with the top of the piles poking through.
Next, a DPM (Damp proof membrane) was laid to prevent moisture reaching the concrete. After another layer of EPS, the team set out the underfloor heating, pinning the tracks and laying the pipes, which sits within the concrete once it is poured.
Steel reinforcement in the concrete slab, tied to the top of the steel piles, creates a solid structure. Next was the concrete slab pour and power floating to create an even surface.
Digitally manufacturing on site
Just as Mike expected from a Facit Homes project (after watching our Grand Designs episode), we delivered our MPF (Mobile Production Facility) to site. It’s back in play for this project so that we can manufacture our structural plywood components on site and on demand.
The CNC router is automated to cut the sheets of plywood into flat patterns as per our digital designs. Once the patterns are cut, our team assembles the shapes into a component - as shown below.
Initial training took place on site with our MPF expert and Head of Production, Pedro, visiting the team in person to ensure that we were ready to put the Facit Chassis™ into production.
Reducing inventory, improving efficiency
Introducing ‘The Ply Store’. One of the main benefits of on site manufacturing is reducing the space required for storage, the admin involved in inventory management and the lead times for the product. However, a little storage space is still required.
FSC spruce plywood is the main material of a Facit Home. Sheets are delivered to site flat packed and then manufactured on demand to create our superstructure. The Ply Store is a small, covered space that keeps these deliveries of plywood protected from the elements.
Kickstart your project today
For more information about how we can build a home designed by another architect - or design and build you a home from scratch - get in touch today.
Call 020 3034 0720 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.