Chocks away

Construction has now been underway for almost 2 months on the latest Facit Home near Bovingdon airfield, Hertfordshire and as winter’s frosty grip takes a hold on the weather the Facit Chassis is rapidly approaching completion. The triple-glazed windows are being installed next week which will take us toward the first major milestone of being wind and watertight, allowing the interior fit out to commence. With the insulated raft foundation having been laid in a very speedy 3 weeks, concurrent production of the Chassis components meant that the erection team were able to get straight on with the job as soon as the 100mm thick slab was dry, keeping us on track for our fastest and most efficient build yet.

Our site agent, Kamran, is running a tight ship, overseeing the team on site and making sure we are on programme, whilst back in the studio project architect David sets the pace with careful coordination of all the technical information, orders and sub-contractors.

Unlike most of our recent projects, the site did not have an existing dwelling on it so all the utility connections will be new, meaning a lot of negotiation with the providers. We have also installed our first ground source heat pump, having dug over 200m of trenches into the ground to lay the pipes that will extract heat from the earth to produce hot water for the new home; with no mains gas available this is a great alternative strategy and will also result in even lower energy bills.

There is still plenty of work ahead for the team but with all of their energy being directed at it progress will be swift over the next few months.

The next chapter begins

stanhope-exterior-near-completion_resize

There was cause for celebration last week when our clients Anya, Robin and their 3 children moved in to their beautiful new Facit Home in Highgate. After a flurry of activity over the last month our team, led by project architect George, proudly handed over the impressive 4-floor (inc. basement), 6-bedroom property right on time and within 24 hours the family were already fully settled in to a new life in their very own modern, high performance home. It’s a radical change from the old house that we demolished on the site a year ago and they now have plenty of space to enjoy and no more draughts to endure.

As the most technically complex project we have tackled to date, the delivery has been a triumph of planning, coordination and honest hard work. The result is a bold and welcoming home full of delight, which will meet the specific needs of our client’s growing family for years to come. There is no greater reward for the whole Facit Homes team than knowing that.

Grand Designs Live, Birmingham

gdl-tring-front

Visit us at Grand Designs Live, the UK’s top contemporary home show, at Birmingham’s NEC from 19-23 October 2016 and find out more about our high performance homes.

You can find us in the Grand Build hall at Stand B65.

Please get in touch if you would like to arrange an appointment to discuss your project or just drop by our stand during the show and speak to one of the team.

More information about the show can be found at Grand Designs Live

The Final Straight

stanhope-cladding

With less than 10 weeks left on the programme we are now entering the final straight in Highgate with our project architect, George, ensuring every little detail is correct and site agent, Joe, coordinating a plethora of deliveries, trades and specialists. Everyone is fully committed to completing Anya and Robin’s new family home in time for them to move in on schedule.

On the outside, the GRC cladding panels have arrived and are just being mounted on the ground floor elevations. These lightweight concrete panels are around 1000 x 1500mm, with grooved vertical lines giving them a rich texture. Meanwhile, on the floors above the render is going on perfectly and should be finished in the next couple of days. We can’t wait to see the final result, with the concept drawings from the beginning of the project finally becoming a reality.

Inside the final finishes are nearly all in, with the tiling in the bathrooms completed and the sanitary ware installed. On the ground floor we have installed all of the flooring, with large format tiles in the entrance hall running through in to the kitchen and engineered timber floors to the other spaces. Next week will also see the tread and riser finishes going on to our digitally manufactured staircases as well as the bespoke metal balustrades which are being fabricated to our design. Their slim spindles are going to look really elegant and give lightness to the space with a lot of thought going in to the key detail of how they are fitted and relate to the stair finish.

Elsewhere there has been a lot of joinery installed, with fitted wardrobes to the bedrooms and master suite as well as the bespoke kitchen units arriving on site to be fitted by specialists. As always the site is a hive of activity but it is all taking shape nicely, just as a Facit Home should.

Build It Awards 2016 winner!

img_4398

We were delighted to be named winner of the Best Timber Frame Home at the Build It Awards 2016 last night in London.

In the most competitive category of the evening, up against 7 other projects from a variety of manufacturers and architects, our home for Terry and Mickey was chosen by the judging panel who praised both our innovative use of BIM modelling and our sensitive response to the client’s brief and site. The team are all delighted to see this fantastic project being recognised by the industry and are thankful to Terry and Mickey for being such incredible clients.

 

Planning Success

enscape_2016-09-28-17-42-13

Planning permission has been granted for one of the latest Facit Homes, this time just outside Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire. This 4 bed property is set to replace a ramshackle old bungalow and was quite a planning challenge; together with the client we decided to locate the new home on another part of her large site, as well as substantially increase the GIA. From its previously awkward position among some light industrial buildings, the new home will now nestle next to some existing properties at the edge of the site, joining up with them to create a gentle cluster of dwellings. A combination of careful and sensitive design work, a well considered strategy and a robust planning submission meant that we achieved permission first time for exactly what our client wanted. A great team effort.

Work is now fully underway on the technical design of the building, groundworks tenders are out and we plan to get on site as quickly as possible. Watch this space for more updates.

All Systems Go

stair

It’s all systems go as we press on toward the finish line of the project. It still feels like there is a lot to do but the progress is fairly rapid and each day on site results in lots of visible changes. With all sorts of activities taking place both inside and out, the home is truly coming to life before our eyes.

The internal fit out is now very much in full swing, with bathrooms starting to get their second fix and sanitary ware being installed. With 6 bathrooms and a ground floor WC, there is a lot for our teams to put in, but careful coordination by our site agent means that things are going smoothly. The staircases are all in (so no more ladders between floors!) having been lovingly designed and engineered in the studio and then produced on site by the CNC machine in our Mobile Production Facility. The canopy over the front door was also produced before the MPF was finally taken off site, its work completed. This was one of the tightest spaces that we have ever squeezed the unit on to but it was a true embodiment of a Facit Homes project, with sheets of plywood arriving on site and being transformed in to precise, digitally designed elements such as the stairs.

 

External finishes are due to start next week, with the rendering on the first and second floor elevations being done first. At ground floor level there will be a Glass Reinforced Concrete cladding, a hard wearing material which has the appearance of stone and will give the home a solid, robust presence at street level. The way these two materials meet is a really important detail and we have been setting out a fabricated aluminium angle piece which will form a nice clean edge between them.

Walking Through The Future

Enscape_2016-08-10-16-06-21

Once we have a concept design for a new home agreed with the client our architects immediately start to develop the design in three dimensions. Our digital 3D BIM model forms the basis for a huge amount of the information required to manufacture a Facit Home so it makes sense for us to be resolving key design decisions in this environment from the outset. Plus we can ensure everything will work in reality which cannot be guaranteed with 2D drawings.

Enscape_2016-08-10-16-04-29

One of our favourite little pieces of software allows us to create a fully rendered virtual walkthrough of the design from our 3D model, both inside and out, which can be updated in real-time by the architect. If we move a wall in the model, it instantly changes in the walkthrough so we can constantly test out what is going to be the best option. It also means we can give our clients an idea of the look and feel of their future home really early on and work with them to make sure it is going to end up exactly as they want it to be when we build it.

Build It Awards 2016 Shortlist

Terry & Mickey16

The Build It Awards, in association with BuildStore, celebrate all aspects of self build and renovation, including completed projects, services and suppliers. The awards bring together architects, manufacturers and key industry figures in recognition of innovation and excellence in the custom home sector.

Facit Homes is delighted that our project at Maryon Road for Terry & Mickey has been shortlisted for a Build It Award. As our client Terry says “We think Facit must be a clear winner of course!”

Find out more about the project here – Terry & Mickey

awards-banner_400x133

360 degrees – Bringing the site to the studio

360 degree shot

Part of the process for monitoring progress on site at one of our homes revolves around a nifty little bit of kit – our 360 degree camera. At regular intervals our site agents take snaps of every room and send them back to the studio where the design team can look at exactly what is happening. By viewing the images in a clever piece of software, our architects can virtually inspect the site and provide feedback and comments to the build team to ensure every detail is correct.

360 degree shot 2

By digitally bringing the site to the studio in this way, our entire team continues to work closely together at each step of the project so that we deliver the high quality of design and finish our clients expect in their home. And we get some pretty crazy images too!