Nest House / No Building As Usual

Studio Bark, Herefordshire, 2021



Photos by Andy Billman and Jim Stephenson     Download Original

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Nest House is a single-storey timber home constructed using Studio Bark’s modular and demountable U-Build construction system.

Constructed in summer 2021 by twelve students as part of the pioneering build programme No Building As Usual (NBAU), it has created an accessible, humble and peaceful home for clients Francine and Stephen. In 2015 Francine and Stephen asked Studio Bark to design a new home on their rural Herefordshire land. Their aspiration was for an environmentally responsible design that would cater to their long-term physical needs due to disability. Nest House was granted planning approval in 2018. Unfortunately, in the following years, the client’s health declined as construction prices soared, meaning the much needed accessible home for the couple looked unattainable. Faced with this prospect, the client agreed to trial Studio Bark’s concept for NBAU - a not for-profit educational venture which offered financial viability. NBAU was developed by Studio Bark to offer a radical new approach to architectural education, teaching and embedding students in all stages of the build. The twelve students camped on site for the duration of the build, living and working in a uniquely immersive way. No concrete nor structural steel was used in the construction. The home sits on reusable foundations, with timber floor and roof beams designed by U-Build. The resulting ‘circular’ home is fully demountable at the end of its useful life. The project’s embodied and operational carbon counts are notably low due to fabric first principles, local and natural materials used, high levels of zero-waste insulation and airtightness, on-site renewables, and ‘‘smart’ infrared heating system. “I still am in awe of the experiences I’ve gained and the opportunities Studio Bark and the NBAU programme have given me. [...] This has paved the route for the next chapter of my journey in architecture.” NBAU 2021 Student.


  • Begun: Mar 2021
  • Completed: Dec 2021
  • Floor area: 127m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £280,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Jan 2021
  • Procurement: RIBA / Bespoke Building Contract
  • Address: Herefordshire, HR9, United Kingdom


Timber, U-Build

Professional Team