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The Gallery | Prototype self-build, two storey 'Wikihouse' erected in two days

On display outside London’s Building Centre, the structural frame of the world’s first two storey Wikihouse was erected in just two days last week by a team of volunteers drawn from structural engineer Arup and architect Architecture OO.

It will be open to the public until 26 September.

Aimed at self-builders, “Wikihouse 4.0” used open source design software downloaded from the internet. Individual structural elements were digitally cut from 2.4m by 1.2m sheets of 15mm thick oriented strand board (OSB) impregnated with fire retardant.

Some 9t of elements went into the two-story frame, which forms the basis for a two bedroom, 75m2 house that the promoters claim can be built for under £50,000.

This latest version of the Wikihouse concept dispenses with metal fixings to connect elements together, using a wedged joint design instead. Up to eight volunteers were involved last week, but the promoters believe a team of four would be adequate.

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