Keep checking back for more updates as the homes start to take shape!
August 2019 - Last two houses
Houses 62 and 64 are now up, and we’ve completed brickwork up to the front of all the houses, and looking at options for external floor tiles!
+ July 2019 - Exterior walls
The builders got a lot done this month. The exterior brick walls are being completed, the roofs got a layer of felt, and the stairs are in!
+ June 2019 - Insulation
The insides of the shell are getting built up as we add insulation and put on an airtightness membrane. Bricks will be going on the building soon!
+ May 2019 - We have roofs - and street art!
The houses have gone up to roof level on Houses 56, 58, and 60. And we also had amazing street art on our hoarding in May from five local street artists, all based on what ‘home’ means to them. Check out all their art here.
+ April 2019 - Timber frames
A very exciting month as the timber frames went in and the houses actually started coming out of the ground.
Timmmmberrr! In our case it's being lifted up, not falling down!
+ March 2019 - On our way up!
In March we finished digging up the biggest home, House 64, and also poured the concrete slab.
+ February 2019 - Walls
The houses are starting to come out of the ground, with the retaining walls and partition walls going up. The beam and block floors have also gone in, creating the undercroft of the house.
+ January 2019 - Brick samples
The boys on site have been experimenting with the type of mortar joints to be used on the brickwork (top).
On the second picture you can see that right after the reinforcing bar was installed the temperature dropped to less than 3 degrees, so they had to delay the concrete pour by 2 days.
Better luck next time boys!!
+ December 2018 - Concrete slabs
The boys are installing the steel reinforcing bars for the concrete retaining walls for nos 62 – 64 Blenheim Grove. This structure once complete will form the lower ground and undercroft level areas.
+ November 2018 - Hoarding and clayboard
Can you believe that some people don’t know what we’ve been up to at Blenheim Grove – we have had to stick up a sign – “left a bit Colin!”
Laying down clayboard Digging ourselves into a hole
+ October 2018 - Drainage
After the pilings are done, the last stage before the slab is poured is to make sure the drainage is in place. Lots of holes needed!
+ September 2018 - Cutting down piles
Having installed 117 piles, the boys have started the hard work of cutting to them down to the correct level for the slab to sit on top. It’s noisy work, but they should be finished in a week or so.
+ August 2018 - Timber frame factory visit
On Wednesday, 22nd we visited the Cambridgeshire factory of our timber frame manufacturer, WhiteHaus. On the left you can see the thermally insulated panels created in the factory ready for delivery to site and on the right, you can see an example of a building that the panels have been used to create. The guys can build the frame on onsite for a building like this in less than a week - magic!
This particular house is a type of holiday home that WhiteHaus supply to a luxury holiday provider in the UK – time for a mini break!
+ Ribbon cutting at Blenheim
To mark the official launch of Blenheim Grove, Richard Bacon MP was our guest of honour at a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony on 25th July 2018.
Richard Bacon MP, Chairman of the all party group parliamentary group on self-build, custom and community housebuilding and place-making said:
“Unboxed Homes are part of a revolution now taking place across the country that will give more people the chance to create their own homes according to their own design. This approach offers higher quality and better value for money, as well as being much better for the environment. Unboxed Homes’ new development is a great example of how the housing market is set to change for the better.”
Check out the video of the day!
+ July 2018 - Piling begins
Join Gus on site as he shows us around the progress on site as the pilling work gets underway.
Things are really happening now at Blenheim Grove. This was the piling contractor in action last week. Don’t mess with these guys, one of them was in the Fijian national rugby team!
+ June 2018 - Vibration testing
Over the past month, we have been monitoring vibration on the railway viaduct to help us determine a safe level of vibration whilst we are pilinig the foundations at Blenheim Grove.
Boffins quanitfy vibration in buildings as Peak Particle Velocity (PPV) and it is measured with a very expensive senson in millimetres per second (mm/s).
Interestingly(!) passenger trains were the source of pretty low level of vibration, but when a freight train crossed the viaduct the sensor measured a PPV of 8mm/s.
At least we know that our piling work will not make the railway collapse..
+ May 2018 - Main contractor moves in
Our main contractor MARA BUILD has found their new base during the construction. This is in a disused railway arch next to the site. Below is a picture of the space before they start moving in and it even has a toilet!
+ April 2018 - Trial pits
If you ever wanted to know what the foundations of a railway viaduct look like we have good news for you! Last week our contractors had to expose the viaduct foundations to verify their depth and composition to ensure that our works would not damage the railway.
What did we learn?
That the Victorians used much shallower foundations for their railway viaducts than we are using for our 5 little houses!
+ March 2018 - Starting on site and clearing the site
We've just started on site at Blenheim Grove - hooray!
The excavator arrives on site.
Clearing the site.
Video site diary
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