Buildbase trades in timber for “A New House For London”

Buildbase has donated a range of timber from beautiful birch plywood to sturdy timber joists, providing a key feature for “A New House for London” designed by Arup, Carl Turner Architects and The Building Centre.

As part of the London Design Festival 2015, a prefabricated, portable home has been constructed to illustrate a fresh approach to the housing shortage. Built from two specially adapted shipping containers, the new prototype challenges land-use thinking; presenting a model for how under-utilised brownfield sites could be used to locate prefabricated, adaptable spaces, suitable for modern urban living. The cost of this new home is just 10% of the average London property.

Buildbase worked with its supplier network, including BSW, Metsa Wood, L&G and Altripan, to meet a tight building schedule and donate a wide range of timber for use throughout the project, from studwork and roofing to cladding and interiors.

Inside “A New House for London” birch plywood was incorporated to give a stunning effect throughout with use in kitchen and bathroom units, beds and tables. Outside landscaping called on softwood materials with decking supplied as well as timber for a vegetable patch, tool storage box and planters. Softwood was also used in the cladding along with Western Red Cedar slats.

The timber donated was guaranteed sustainable with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. It was supplied to meet the nearest specification to reduce time and workload on-site.

Neil Woods, Category Director for Timber at Buildbase said: “Timber is a perfect material for affordable housing. Timber cladding is much more cost effective compared with alternative materials such as glass, metal or plastic. It’s also easily available and can be used throughout a build. In fact, the more you build with it, the more you capture embodied carbon within a building’s structure. The effect carbon has on our environment is hugely important and using timber can significantly reduce your building’s carbon footprint. With high thermal properties, timber is energy-efficient too, so the cost-savings continue once the house becomes a home.”

Taylor Steel at Carl Turner Architects said: “A New House For London required a wide range of timber products for internal fit-out and cladding. We turned to Buildbase to supply everything from basic timber studwork to sheets of beautiful birch plywood. The main issue for us was sourcing timber of our exact specification, but we were able to work with Buildbase to overcome these initial concerns. We are particularly delighted with the outcome of the birch plywood interiors.”

A New House for London is located outside The Building Centre and is supported by an exhibition that explains the innovations and demonstrates an alternative approach to development for the use of the shipping containers as a house.  It is open to the public until Saturday 17th October 2015.


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BDC 299 December 2022