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Brunton’s Manor Self Build, Midlesbrough

Teesside in the early 1990’s was a place of high unemployment following the collapse of traditional industries, and also a town with a lot of unsatisfactory housing. The council took the bold step of promoting a community self build project which enabled 22 households to build their own homes.

We weren’t architects for the scheme, but instead project managed it for the group, and coordinated a programme of on- and off-site training. This began with the three-week construction of a simple community building which acted as a workshop and office during the construction of the houses - and a massive confidence boost for the group.

The scheme was completed within cost limits and around six months beyond the original programme - there were problems with group working which we helped the self-builders overcome - and all of the members moved into their new houses. These were larger than neighbouring spec housing, and had been tailored to each household’s needs - a real achievement.