Studio Bark have been developing a low embodied carbon, low impact construction system, in house for a number of years. The design principles for U-Build came out of the desire to make construction truly affordable and truly self-build, opening up the prospect of self-led construction to a greater proportion of the general public.

Unlike conventional single-use materials the U-Build system is reusable, environmentally responsible, with no quality sacrificed. Computer aided cutting (CNC) has been used to create a ‘flat pack’ system designed to the human scale allowing modules to be moved by hand rather than machine. These modules can be easily assembled with a few simple tools (just a mallet, a screwdriver and a spanner).

Fabrication wastage is minimised through efficient ‘nesting’ of the parts and the use of a 300mm repeating grid, allowing all of the components to fit perfectly on a standard sheet of plywood. The system is modular, is incredibly versatile and light weight negating the need for extensive foundations.

Key features of a U-Build system:

U-Build House (image opposite) was granted planning permission by Breckland in 2018 on the innovative merits of the construction system. As this was developed as a truly self build system, Studio Bark are no longer involved in this project, as true to the project’s intention, it is a self-build system and as such is being delivered directly by the client.

Cork Oak House is an evolution of this original system looking at creating a highly insulative fully circular system. Through rigorous research by the Sustainability Research Institute, it is considered that the development in the facade build up is both highly innovative and represents the next step in ultra low energy design.