Walking Through The Future

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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.

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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

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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

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360 degrees – Bringing the site to the studio

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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.

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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!

The inside story

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Once our buildings are watertight the activity within continues at a strong pace. We have now finished most of the first fix electrics and plumbing and are currently plaster boarding the walls and plastering some of the rooms. Walking around you really get a sense of the finished house.

This is our first project that features a basement pool so we’ve been looking forward to it taking shape. The pool enclosure has been constructed and the basement team are now preparing the floor so that we can insulate and lay the underfloor heating and screed. In the next few weeks we will be installing the door frames and doors as well as the structure for the staircases down to the pool and up to the garden.

So far, the build process has been pretty smooth, planning is everything!

Like most homeowners, when it comes to the interiors everyone gets very excited and creative. We have just been picking all the tiling and the timber floor finish for the ground floor and the staircase with our client Anya. The tiling in the pool area is going to be fantastic with a dark blue mosaic tile in the pool and then a very light stone tile on the floor and on three of the walls.

The beauty of our method of digital manufacture is that we produce all the component parts of the house on site. This cuts down on wastage and greatly reduces our carbon footprint. We are currently making the internal staircases followed by the front canopy over the door.

The English summer hasn’t let us down but luckily we were water tight before any really terrible storms hit. Now we are mostly working on the interior so the weather isn’t affecting us that much, although we could do with a bit more sun!

While we are cracking on with the build, out of respect for the adjoining neighbours who work hard in the week, we are trying to keep weekend working to a minimum so they get a bit of peace and quiet. And it also means that our fabulous team returns refreshed and ready for action on Mondays.

 

Build It Live, Bicester

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Visit us at Build It Live at Bicester Heritage on 11-12 June 2016 to find out more about our custom designed homes.

You can find us at Stand E43.

This special event is being held in Bicester, Oxfordshire, near to the exciting new custom build development, Graven Hill.

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Situated just to the south of Bicester in Oxfordshire, Graven Hill is the UK’s largest custom build development. Comprised of 1,900 plots, it will create an entire community of self-builders and remove that biggest of hurdles, finding suitable land on which to build. From provision of services and utilities to a streamlined planning process, it promises to make building your own home simpler than ever before and create a diverse and design-rich context in which to live.

Facit Homes is ready to work with clients at Graven Hill to design and manufacture their dream home. We are really excited by the scheme and all the opportunities it creates for the fast-growing custom build market.

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 our team.

Free Entrance to Build It Live, Bicester.

Seeing is believing

 

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Suddenly, there is a lot more to see on our project at Highgate as we now have the Facit Chassis frame completely built and the internal timber walls are going in. The concrete screed has been completed on the ground floor and all the windows including the huge bi-folding door at the back of the property are in place.

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The roof slates are fixed and now the plumbers and electricians can start on drawing through cabling. In a couple of weeks the basement will be waterproofed so the pool enclosure can begin to be built.

Everything has gone pretty well so far. Our team assembling the Facit Chassis has been brilliant and really quick. We were a bit nervous about getting the bi-fold door at the right level with the floor screed so Alastair, our design and build coordinator, and site manager Joe paid particular attention to marking out and checking the levels.

At present we have around six people working on site assisted by specialist subcontractors on a daily basis. George, our director of architecture, ensures the team has a good set of construction drawings to work from while also continuing to manage the budget and keeping an eye on the programme with the site managers.

We’re in constant contact with our client Anya who pops down about twice a week. At the moment we are tying up finishes including bathrooms, floors and joinery so there’s a lot to discuss. We are also looking at materials for the external cladding for the ground floor and have found some interesting options which we are costing out.

All being well we are still on track for completion towards the end of the year.

 

 

Moved in and ready to live

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There’s always a real sense of achievement when we hand over one of our custom build properties to its new owner. When our clients Jim and Mary came to get the keys and walk around with our quantity surveyor on the day of completion, the sun was out and the whole house was glowing in the evening light. It couldn’t have looked better for their arrival so handing over the keys was a very satisfying moment.

In the run up to completion and handover, it was a busy few weeks with all of the final finishes and details being completed. There was a tense moment waiting for some lights that were being shipped from Italy, but they arrived on time which meant that they were installed succesfully. Jim and Mary’s removal company started moving their boxes in the following day – there was no hanging around.

It seems a long time ago that we demolished the existing bungalow on the site in late June last year and the Facit Chassis started going up in early August. We’ve handed the keys over to the client right on schedule. Looking back, the installation of the final piece of our unique chassis roof was certainly a highlight and suddenly we all had a feel for the final form of the building. Watching all the internal walls go in and seeing the conversion of our digital model that we had walked through on the screen so many times into a physical space was a really satisfying moment.

We had to accelerate part of the programme to allow for the installation of the Photo Voltaic system before the feed in tariff changed. That meant rearranging the construction sequence but it was worth it to guarantee the best performance for the client.

Once we have handed over the keys we are still on call to answer any questions the new owners may have so it’s been good to go back and see how they are settling in and making the new house their home. Their dog is certainly enjoying the underfloor heating. Apart from some minor teething issues getting used to using some of the technology like the Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery system that regulates the air temperature within the home it’s been a smooth transition. While we move onto our next commission it’s good to know that the new owners are starting the next chapter of their lives in a highly specified unique home.

Grand Designs Live 2016

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Come and visit us at Grand Designs Live from 30 April – 8 May to find out more about our custom designed homes. You can find us in the Grand Build Hall at Stand B17.

Speak to one of the team about your project at the stand or book an ‘Ask An Expert’ session with our Founder, Bruce Bell or Director of Architecture, George Legg.

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Getting the right mix

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Work in leafy Highgate continues apace and now the basement concrete work has been completed so it’s no longer looking quite like the muddy building site it was before. The ground floor steel deck and concrete above has now been poured and the ground floor slab at the front of the building has been completed.

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Above ground we are completing the drainage around the perimeter of the building and tidying up the site in preparation for the next stage of the build. We have decided that for the first time in three projects we are going to build our classic Facit Chassis on site. This means having the engineered plywood delivered to the site which will then be cut and assembled into the component parts. These will be immediately located in the correct position on the slab and then eased into place by the erection team.

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The Facit Chassis allows for the neat separation of electrics, insulation and plumbing into different cavities. This creates flexibility for our construction team, and helps avoid any delays. This working method will make the whole production process more efficient then manufacturing the component parts in our London workshop and transporting them to the site thus reduces the carbon footprint of the build.

Offsite we are developing the designs for the swimming pool area and have been discussing the detail with our client Anya and the pool Subcontractor at Design Works in Clerkenwell. We picked out a set of tiles and finishes for the pool area which was a nice change from looking at building materials. We’re also finalising fixtures for the bathrooms and will be starting to look in more detail at joinery and floor finishes too. Fingers crossed again for some pleasant weather as we begin the next very important stage.

Up, up and almost away

We are definitely on the home straight with our second London home about to be finished, on time and on budget.

The scaffolding has just come down to reveal the sustainable cedar cladding which looks as if it actually glows in the evening light!

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We’re starting to move to the finishing and then decorating which will mark the beginning of the final push to complete the wonderful contemporary interiors. We’ll also be turning our hand to the external landscaping. It’s unbelievable to think that there is just over five weeks until completion.

Inside the all-important kitchen is 60 per cent complete. The carcasses are in and we are waiting for the decoration and flooring to be completed before we install the gloss white, touch to open doors and finish it off with a granite work surface.

The bathrooms are also well on the way. Owners Jim and Mary have gone for a neutral palette of warm grey floor tiles and matt white wall tiles and we are in the midst of finalising some bolder colours for the walls that will give each bathroom a different feel and look.

Jim and Mary are of course really looking forward to moving in to their truly unique house. As we are always keen to point out, Facit homes’ aren’t off the peg and don’t come all the way from Germany like a Huf Haus. Our projects are home grown and the component parts have travelled the short distance to South Woodford from our workshop in Hackney adding to the property’s sustainable footprint.

Looking along the street line now it’s hard to imagine the small bungalow that once stood on the plot. The new house has already proved a source of intrigue in the street and now it’s about to be lived in we’re sure it will remain a talking point for some time.