Neighbourhood Construction CIC is a community interest company based in Bristol, UK.
We’re researching and developing an open source framework of systems to created to support the design, planning and delivery of successful home renovation, maintenance and improvement projects. It‘s a knowledge-led, people-centred approach, which is based on a deep understanding of traditionally-constructed buildings. The materials used are generally natural and hygroscopic, but all interventions are focused on reducing the demand and consumption of energy whilst effectively resolving problems associated with moisture. The use of the NC framework of systems can empower every individual that engages with it.
The framework recognises and embraces the importance of no-cost and low-cost interventions. Everyone involved develops an understanding of how the home performs and how energy and moisture-managing improvements can be tackled in isolation, room by room, or as part of a whole-house refurbishment.
A user-centred problem-solving tool, the framework empowers the individual through cooperative working and collaborative learning, building a more cost-effective, efficient project. A network of practitioners, predominantly in the Bristol region, provides peer-to-peer on-site training, structured tuition and cooperative learning. The common language of cooperation continually critiques and updates the systems. Constant improvements are made through peer support and peer review.
The NC approach applies to all stages of the renovation, maintenance and improvement work. That is the diagnosis, brief formulation and preparation, the building works and building operation; before, during and hereafter. Lewis and his team have identified a fractal process, agile working protocols and easily understood scientific principles, that underpin each stage. As something that can be self-organising and continuously evolving, this approach encourages personal development as well as ownership of the model.
Beginning with the no-cost and low-cost interventions, the process, protocols and principles learned are transferable, informing how to tackle more extensive interventions with a knowledge-led approach. The process, protocols and principles are sympathetic to the value of traditional buildings, featuring specific renovation measures and technologies. The projects and interventions are as much focused on managing moisture as on thermal comfort and energy-efficiency.