21 Jul 2017

RUSS launches crowd-funding appeal for self-build training facility

RUSS launches crowd-funding appeal for self-build training facility

The Rural Urban Synthesis Society (RUSS), a volunteer-led Community Land Trust, has launched a  Spacehive crowd-funding appeal for a self-build training facility in London.

RUSS hopes to raise £57,000 to build the Knowledge Hub, the first of its kind in London, in Ladywell, Lewisham.

The training facility will be designed and built by RUSS and will be situated on its Church Grove site, a project which will see 33 new self-build homes built from 2018.

RUSS’s model aims to create truly affordable homes for people in housing need locally, with the aim to roll out this out to other London boroughs.

The self-builders’ training unit will be a single-storey property, utilised during the main construction process of the Church Grove project.

The facility will be the base for regular workshops, events and build-days, and will serve as a showcase for natural building materials, including timber systems and straw bale.

RUSS will use the facility to test ideas and consult with the local community on future community incentives.

Would-be self-builders will have opportunity to gain first-hand experience of building a property, gain knowledge of what’s involved with the construction of a new home, and join together with the wider community.

The facility, which will double-up as a community centre for locals and residents of Church Grove, will be a base for knowledge sharing, in hopes of inspiring future projects.

Kareem Dayes, the chairman of RUSS commented: “Lewisham has a history of self-building. In 1985 a group of council tenants with no previous building experience built their own homes on land provided by Lewisham Council. They were led by architect Water Segal, who developed a simple and cost-effective building design that anyone could self-build.”

As part of his recent support for community-led housing, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has pledged £30,000 to RUSS to help it meet its financial target.

Words: Jen Grimble

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