05/05/2020

Unconventional homes around the world

In the UK, bricks and mortar are standard materials to build a home, yet there are many other options for construction teams to work with.

Kevin McCloud has bought many less conventional builds to our television screens with Channel 4’s Grand Designs. We’ve seen reinforced steel and state-of-the-art technology alongside straw bales with sandbag cladding; there have been homes shaped from concrete-filled polystyrene blocks and others designed from second-hand shipping crates.

In other parts of the world, bamboo and timber construction is far more common than bricks and mortar. Stones have been widely used as a building material, and a Dutch company even developed the modular ‘Wikkelhouse’ from layers of corrugated cardboard.

As we move towards sustainability, there can be some fascinating combinations; traditional cob houses might incorporate advanced renewable technologies. Many homes are also being primarily constructed off-site in ‘flat-pack’ form, before being shipped to site for assembly. These prefabricated homes can boost site efficiency, yet they can present project management challenges.

Does unusual construction inspire you?

Those interested in a career in Construction need to be aware of traditional, contemporary and unconventional construction materials, principles and techniques. Working from architect plans, they must be sufficiently prepared to translate 2D drawings into 3D homes. The result must match client expectations while ensuring full compliance with legal and regulatory frameworks.

If you wonder at the structure of Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpar and other ground-breaking skyscrapers; if you are intrigued by the unusual design of Birmingham’s Selfridges or Waddesdon’s Flint House (2015 RIBA House of the Year); if you are fascinated by the use of traditional materials, such as ‘yakisugi’ charred timbers, in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium, construction could be your profession.

Studying Construction at the University of Bolton

The University of Bolton has introduced Construction Degree and HNC courses. We have worked alongside industry to develop relevant learning and development opportunities.

On our courses, students gain experience of traditional construction, digital innovations and Building Information Modelling (BIM). Equally important is knowledge of site investigations, procurement, building regulations and project management. In short, our courses will equip you with firm foundations on which to build your construction career.

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Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
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