We’re getting volunteers together to build London’s first training facility for would-be community self-builders. The innovative building will be constructed in Ladywell, Lewisham on part of the land set aside for a new 33 home affordable self-build housing project.

The project will offer people the opportunity to get hands-on experience of building. The structure will showcase different natural building techniques such as timber, straw bale and cob.

We intend to source materials locally so that we support the local economy. We also aim to use as many reclaimed and recycled materials as we can and we’re interested in experimenting with off-grid technologies such as rain water collection.

The planning permission was granted by Lewisham Council on 7th June 2018. To read all details of our application please visit the Lewisham planning site. We are ready to start building the Community Space in the next few months.

Please get in touch if you have any suitable materials or you’d like to get involved in the planning or build process of this innovative self-build project – just fill out the hub volunteer questionnaire online form, and we’ll be in touch. Thanks! 

Proposed West Elevation, Ladywell Self-Build Community Space

Once built the space will host RUSS’s School of Community-Led Housing with the goal of becoming a knowledge hub to share and inspire other communities in self-building and affordable housing projects. We will also consult with the local community on our goal of creating a permanent community space that can bring new residents and the existing community together.

The project involves:

  • Designing and building a single-storey structure on the site in Church Grove, Ladywell. The building will be used during the main construction phase of the new homes – from mid 2018 onwards.

  • The structure will host a series of workshops and build-days where anyone can come and learn about the construction of the new homes.

  • The building will also be available to local people as a community space.

  • RUSS will also run a programme of events and workshops with other community partners on the theme of self-building and community-led housing.

RUSS led a successful crowd funding initiative in 2017 raising funds for the project from 320 backers. The Mayor of London’s initiative, Crowdfund London, provided top up funding of £30,000 to enable the scheme to meet its funding target.