Thursday 8 February 2018

Visiting The Trivselhus Factory

Tom and I had the great fortune to represent our members on a recent Trivselhus factory visit to Sweden. It was quite something to see the size of the "hanger" that had our frames under construction, and receive a warm welcome from our hosts. This is house building like you have never seen before!

The walls and roof trusses for our houses are made in the factory in Sweden. But the translation from Swedish construction practice to the way in which we do things in the UK is not straightforward.

Most Swedish houses are timber clad and the cladding is fixed to the wall panels in the factory. But we prefer a brick finish so the first difference is that the timber cladding is left off. But whereas Trivselhus design their house elements in increments of 10cm, this does not tie in with the brick module of 22.5 cm long and 7.5cm tall, so all the wall sizes and window positions we need for our UK brick clad houses require every design to be special and non standard.

Holes for electrical switches and sockets, and conduit for cables, are all incorporated in the Swedish factory. In Sweden all these items have circular back boxes within the wall; logical when you can simply cut a circular hole with a holesaw. But of course in the UK, our heritage is rectangular back boxes, which are easily cut in brick with a hammer and bolster, but require a different technique in timber.

The UK is seen as a significant growth market for Swedish factory built houses, so Trisvelhus burnt the midnight oil, overcame all these annoying differences and have delivered frames which will give us a warm, cosy, airtight, shell that we will benefit from in years to come.

So will the building market see more of this modular build technology? We hope so. The fast construction on site could certainly help with the swifter delivery of homes in the UK!

Ian Collins