NBAU Blog Takeover – Week 8

Self Reflection

Over the course of the past nine weeks, I’ve learnt so much beyond my expectations. This experience has given me an insight to how the built industry functions on site, the unexpected obstacles that show up along the way and how we navigate through those problems. But beyond the architectural knowledge I have gained throughout the weeks, I have had the privilege to talk to professionals from various professions within the built industry; from engineering, electrical, and even the ethical sides of the profession, it was very insightful to hear and see all the facets of architecture you wouldn’t normally be exposed to. The mentoring sessions and workshops throughout the weeks have also allowed me to re-evaluate my goals and aspirations and what I should look for on my architectural journey, but also life in general.

As someone I looked up to once said “Don’t just make a living. Live to make something.” And I’m doing exactly that (and more), so thank you to Studio Bark for this opportunity!


Week 8 – Decking, Internal Walls & Kitchen

09/07/2021 – 13/07/2021

Monday -09/08/21

During the morning, we spent the first couple hours putting the internal wall boxes in, continuing the bolting of the roof boxes, and reorganising the kitchen appliances/ fixtures according to the floor plan.


Dian Small, regional director of RIBA London  came to the site to give us a talk and open discourse on the topic of diversity within architecture, but also on the wider spectrum of day-to-day life and how we should navigate around this sensitive issue. It was very eye-opening and insightful to hear Dian’s experience as a woman of colour within the building industry and how resilient and driven she is towards the goal of inclusivity, equality, and acceptance of all cultures. We all took turns to express our own unique backgrounds that define who we are, and are grateful for the platform Dian gave us to do so, as we began to see a different side to each of us and how our struggles and backgrounds have shaped who we are today. This small activity really helped gel our group even tighter than before, and offered us the opportunity to ask questions we would normally shy away from, at the thought of them being sensitive topics.


We carried on discussing the importance of diversity within the workplace and as a group bonding session, spoke of each other’s qualities but also self-reflected on our own perceived values which we bring to this eclectic group of twelve.


Tuesday – 10/08/21

For the upcoming days, we planned to install most of the window reveals, but before that we had to cut the foam off the edges of the windows and add more taping to ensure they’re fully water protected. The window reveals are yet to be installed, and had to be sanded down so water could slide off when it rains. Whilst a team sands down the reveals, that also meant the beginning of the sanding of the interior wall faces. Another team also helped finish tightening the bolts of the roof boxes and cutting and adding the insulation to the courtyard corner boxes. The rest of the group focused their attention on the decking, which was the main priority for this week, figuring and putting together the structural frames that would form the deck and cutting the pieces for the trellis.


Wednesday – 11/08/21

In the morning, Roly came to help with the electrics, installing sockets into the walls and sorting more of the electrical wiring. Shortly after, Wilf and Steph arrived too, to resume helping with the trellis. Dan from Atamate also came to help with the installation of the heating mats that will be used around the house. Window and door headers were also installed, as well as the window reveals. Whilst half the group were doing that, the other half focused on the interiors which included sanding the walls and coffered ceilings, installation of internal walls that separate the guest bedroom and study, and fitting the kitchen appliances.


Thursday – 12/08/21

Today was a continuation of many of the jobs we were assigned during the past few days. Ceiling panels were installed in the bathroom, study and the guest bedroom, so that internal walls could be installed later on. The decking team had fun using the nail gun and making the jig for it, setting out the planks of wood for the platform and really seeing the decking come to life. There were also other smaller jobs that had to be done; from batten cutting, window taping in the courtyard and internal sanding, today was a day of menial tasks that had to be completed and taken care of.


After work, Tom gave an insightful presentation on climate activism and the impacts of climate change and its relation to our daily lives, and how to navigate through this important topic with our connection to architecture. It was eye opening to hear Tom’s experience with activism, but most importantly how we may not all feel like we have any inputs on this matter aside from being conscious of our plastic uses, recycling, materialistic behaviours etc, but actually we collectively have a very big voice that can trigger a ripple effect that could make drastic changes and waves for generations to come. It was also very uplifting to see how we can contribute within our professions too — seeing how we can use our voices within the built industry but also actually using architecture to express our aims, such as the use of guerrilla architecture.


Friday – 13/08/21

With the weekend just in sight, we collectively mustered all our strength and energy to pull through the last day of doom (as Tom had put it). More focus was put into making good progress on the decking, with two teams doing the south and west elevations respectively. This involved cutting and setting out the planks of wood and fabricating the flooring. There was also another team responsible for the trellis. Continuing from the previous days, we also had the task of completing the installation of all the internal walls for the bathroom/ensuite area by the end of the day. This took a while, with some setbacks and difficulties along the way: lots of malleting, clamping and bolting pushed us to our breaking points, but we hung on relentlessly. Other jobs included installing the window reveals in the courtyard, covering the courtyard corner boxes, and chop sawing the battens for the decking. We finished the work earlier than usual, doing a final site tidy-up before the work week concluded.


We’re now in the final stretch…bring on the last week!



A note from Studio Bark

No Building As Usual is an ambitious student build project running for 10 weeks over the summer of 2021. The programme addresses the climate emergency, diversity in the built environment professions, and the need for cross-industry collaboration.

Many thanks to blog and NBAU project collaborator NMITE

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