Architect Gilles Guerry set up the Blockwood company last July. It specialises in the construction of ecological housing with very high energy efficiency, a project that he has been considering for five years.
He has designed an innovative system to assemble the structural elements of a modular house. The structure consists of timber rafters flanking particleboard panels into which insulation is injected once the walls have been erected.
Digital 3D modelling is used to produce computer images, all the technical documents and a list of all the components in the building. He also designed a machine tool capable of producing and drilling all the structural elements, including the floors, handrails and interior partition walls.
The construction is simplicity itself. It consists of merely assembling the structural elements, like a giant Meccano set. The only tool is a screwdriver. Moreover, the absence of measuring, cutting and drilling on-site considerably reduces the time taken for the building work and avoids any errors.
Blockwood has been designed initially for individuals wishing to extend their house or purchase a holiday home. The modules are manufactured and assembled in the factory and delivered ready for use. At a later stage, Gilles Guerry’s aim is to develop a network of tradesmen carpenters to carry out the assembly work.
The company won a Novosphère award and operates from a site on Rue de Lorient in Rennes provided by Rennes Métropole. The first live-in module will be erected on the land in late summer. Functional and movable, this initial construction will contain the company’s office and act as a showcase. The project received assistance from Rennes Atalante in its start-up phase, especially in the areas of marketing and project finance.”