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Grimshaw unwraps prototype for rapid-build printed modular homes


A team led by Grimshaw has created a prototype for a ‘printed’ modular housing system which can be built and be ready to occupy in just three weeks  

The Atelio home has been designed in collaboration with emerging south-east London practice SAM Architects, manufacturer Tufeco and the Carbon Free Group. The shell of the house is made from recycled materials and ‘produced in a fast, automated manufacturing process’.

The team claims the dynamic digital control of production from the BIM model means it will take just five hours to ‘print’ the average house and then only four days to erect the shell.

The first mock-up of the highly adaptable zero-carbon housing system was shown off earlier this month at the Build Show for UK Construction Week in Birmingham.

SAM Architects partner Melanie Schubert said the system brought a ‘new concept to the housing market with a modern customisable design for everyone’. She added: ‘The houses and apartments focus on natural daylight with large floor-to-ceiling windows; rooms with dual aspect focused on a connection to nature. Atelio provides houses and apartments which don’t just meet the minimum standards.’

Although single units can be built, the practices believe the system would offer ‘large-scale developments an opportunity to build houses that form a neighbourhood with a distinct identity’.

Atelio at uk construction week (3)

Atelio at uk construction week (3)

Grimshaw associate principal Paolo Vimercati said: ‘[This design] empowers a new way of community living, and our methodology reflects a fresh approach to earth-friendly living. We have developed a landscape-driven planning concept that encourages a community spirit through engagement with the environment.’

The practices have worked with Norfolk-based Tufeco, a leading innovator in the manufacture and use of recycled glass structural insulated panels (SIPs).

The firm’s director Jon Gunn said: ‘Our new-build system is a great example of British innovation and comprises a simple monolithic form that is both structural and highly thermally efficient. The same panels in Atelio are used for walls, floors and the roof and require minimal labour or specialist equipment to build with.’

Atelio at uk construction week (4)

Atelio at uk construction week (4)




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Readers' comments (5)

  • Oh Dear! Oh Dear! Oh Dear!

    Those flowing lines, such beauty, such brilliance - magnificent creativity. Awesome and humbling. Posterity will surely owe the creators of these stunning structures a great debt.

    Panels!!! Who'd have thunk it??

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  • Images look more like a new model for Center Parcs

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  • We need contributions from all quarters, and this looks good? Use in different combo’s? Semis, groups, 2 or more High? Number of bedrooms? A plan would be useful. Garden? Units/hectare?

    Why do things have to be so dark and boring these days? The black rain of October. Or Colours? Red,Green,Blue,Yellow, Magnolia, London Stock? The model looks good in white!

    How much/unit? Land prices will vary. Where and when is the first development happening?

    We wouldn’t expect anything less from the Brothers and Sisters of Grimm!

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  • No brick exterior = no one will want them

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  • Chris Rogers, it might be even worse than that.
    The last flat I rented was in a building with a curtain wall exterior. I was on the second floor. Because the walls weren't stone, concrete or brick the Halifax wouldn't consider me for home contents insurance!

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