4 Modular wooden constructions: tiny house, cabin, extension and housing
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A few years ago, architects at Studio Bark, in collaboration with Structure Workshop and Cut and Construct, began developing the idea of a kit of parts designed so that anyone with reasonable construction skills could build their own structure. This is U-Build, a modular system made from wooden panels crafted with the precision of a computer-controlled (CNC) cutting machine. Panels are delivered to the construction site in a compact box, ready to be assembled, stacked and screwed together to shape walls, floors and ceilings. Only a few tools are needed, such as a rubber mallet, a drill, a tape measure and a level.
Although this system allows the construction of various types of buildings, its high level of customization finds particular use and effectiveness in housing projects of varying scales. From a small house for a couple opting for simplicity, to a cabin “off-grid” in the woods, an extension to a Georgian house and an energy-efficient 3-bedroom house, U-Build brought extraordinary prefabricated timber homes to life.
The artisanal simplicity of a small house
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, like many in 2020, Connie and Jasper began to reevaluate their plans, seeking a simpler lifestyle connected to nature. The couple’s intention to generate lower CO₂ emissions brought them closer to the movement Tiny House. Your new home was built quickly and easily using the U-Build system.
The approximately 16 square meter home on wheels was meticulously designed to incorporate all the essential elements: a bedroom, a functional kitchen, a bathroom and intelligently planned storage and laundry spaces. Transported to the site by a trailer truck, the house is characterized by its distinctive gabled roof, complemented by handcrafted furniture and an exposed cork covering, a feature valued by its owners.
A cabin for a self-sustainable retreat
Unplugged.rest, a company specializing in detox retreats, collaborated with the U-Build team to install one of their cabins in the heart of a forest. The ‘Olive’ cabin operates completely off-grid, powered by batteries and solar panels, and includes a composting toilet and wood burning stove.
Like all structures built with the U-Build system, especially those that can be planned to be temporary, the cabin can be dismantled, relocated and reused. In this case, the prefabricated parts were carefully assembled into removable bolted pillars, eliminating the need for concrete.
Simplify home expansion with prefabricated modules
Extensions to existing buildings have become an increasingly common solution in a world where housing is evolving from its traditional configuration to incorporate new functionality. These additional spaces not only increase available square footage, but also create versatile zones for home offices, multipurpose areas, or additional bedrooms.
The Mill Lane project is an extension to an 1830s Georgian house, which was developed by attaching U-Build modules to existing structures. Completed in collaboration with its sister company, Studio Bark, this renovation expands the rear section of the home, featuring an upstairs guest suite and an open kitchen and dining area downstairs. The modular components were carefully manufactured by Cut and Construct and then delivered to the site in a format flat-pack.
An Eco-Friendly 3 Bedroom Modular Home
U-Build modules can comprise the entire structure of a property, including floors, walls, ceilings, internal partitions and doors. In the case of the Nest House, also a product of the collaboration between U-Build and Studio Bark, the system creates an affordable 3-bedroom eco-friendly home.
The design avoids the use of concrete foundations, opting instead for adjustable and removable modular support feet. The structural slab and roof are constructed from interlocking U-Build boxes, and its walls are 300mm thick, boasting an impressive U-values of 0.15W/m2k. The house is powered by solar panels, batteries and smart infrared heating, significantly reducing its operational energy consumption.
Find out more about this revolutionary self-build system here.