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Ideal Home Show House: Modular Thatched House

Early in 2017 we were involved with constructing a thatched modular house, to our knowledge the first of it’s kind. The steel structure was built and thatched off-site in a factory in East Sussex. In total six separate sections, of which four had sections of thatch. Lifted onto five artic lorries, the modules were driven into central London, perhaps the first time that a thatched cottage has driven around the M25! Eventually ending up at the Olympia exhibition centre, the house formed the centrepiece of the Ideal Home Show.

This project raised several challenges, chief among which was devising a method of joining the sections of thatch, in both horizontal and vertical planes. Transporting the modules was also an unknown quantity. Thatch tends to be excellent at shrugging off pretty severe wind conditions, but nevertheless we were hugely relieved when all four units arrived at Olympia in pristine condition after several hours out on the open road.

Despite the technical difficulties and tight deadline, we were extremely satisfied with the final result, and glad to have been part of this unique project. An old thatcher once told me that “a day out of Dorset is a day wasted”. In this case, I would have to disagree!

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