Housing is an important issue for everyone. Having a home brings security, safety, and comfort. But homes are also something that are getting more and more expensive all the time, especially in large cities. Not only is land expensive to buy, but so are materials to build new homes (or renovate, or repair, older ones).
And as the world's population is growing, this is a real concern. Which is why this next project is so interesting!
Called House Block, it is a new initiative started by Automated Architecture Labs (AUAR Labs) in Bristol, England. Its aim is to try to completely rethink how we build homes by making the process:
- More environmentally-friendly
- Accessible to everyone, even if they have no background in construction
Alongside 3D-printed homes, it is another example of ways that traditional construction is being challenged.
House Block is a modular construction system. What does that mean?
A module is a simple, independent unit that is used to build more complex structures. Okay, maybe that sounds really technical, but chances are you've used modular systems all your life ... as Lego!
Similar to that classic toy, House Block has one basic module—called Block Type A—that is used over and over to create whatever building a person wants. Like this:
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And also like Lego, the House Block module is designed to fit together in differents ways. So from a table to a shed to a house to a sports hall, it all starts with just this one block.
Keep it simple
The reason for this design is because it allows everyday people the chance to understand construction and build sturdy structures with much less knowledge. And when people can take control over the building process, the hope is that housing can become more affordable. And also more suited to what the people in that community need.
Obviously, building a safe home is not as simple as opening a bag of Legos. Or a box of House Blocks. But there is no question that this—along with 3D printing—is a really neat idea. And maybe the future answer to how we make our homes.
In the video below, you can see how AUAR Labs are putting their modules to the test by having people see what they can do with them! There is a lot of technical jargon at the start, but by 1:44, they start talking about how Block Type A can be used to build all sorts of things. Then, the video moves on to different people—including everyday folks—talking about what they've learned from the project.
What a cool chance to learn about something new!