View our video: A former apprentice turned quality manager in Wokingham has revealed the idea behind a unique brand-new home - with exposed walls - which is educating home buyers, pupils and tradespeople.
Bovis Homes' Emily Arnold outside the Unwrapped Home
Emily Arnold, quality control manager at Bovis Homes, led the housebuilder’s Unwrapped Home project, which recently saw a three-bedroom exposed property unveiled to the industry.
The Unwrapped Home, at Bovis Homes’ Emmbrook Place, off Queens Road, has part of the walls and ceiling taken away, showing pipework, joists and wiring.
Emily, 31, said: "The Unwrapped Home is unique and I believe unmatched by any other property in the industry and our region. It is special as it gives housebuilder colleagues the insight into how their home is constructed and gives full transparency into our building methods and quality.
“The house provides an honest journey of the build. It also provides support and guidance to those who may be entering the industry for the first time, who can use it as a perfect training tool. Visitors will be taken room-by-room through the housebuilding journey, ending up in the final part - a fullydressed bedroom and bathroom, which is a great selling point!
"I created a vision list for each room and thought about how I could showcase each stage of the build journey, considering especially the key areas of construction that our new home buyers may wish to view. Everyone always sees the freshly-painted walls but there are so many elements in the construction process that create a home.
"I worked with our technical team, who liaised closely with our architects, to ensure the key areas were exposed without compromising on the structure of the build to ensure this was a safe environment for all audiences. Our commercial team worked on orders for our contractors, sales colleagues made sure it is in line with the external environment and the build team guaranteed, with contractors, the vision list was achieved.
“As my role is quality control, I wanted to make sure the Unwrapped Home replicated our quality standards in-line with the regional expectations from our contractors, and the National House Building Council.”
Watch our video of the Unwrapped Home:
A new Education Centre has been built behind the Unwrapped Home – which is a Spruce house type - providing information and statistics for pupils, students, teachers, housebuilder colleagues and all those who want to know more about the build process. The centre, which includes kitchen and toilet facilities, can be used by schools, colleges and universities as a space for learning.
The Spruce is part of Bovis Homes' new homes collection and properties within the range are
named after British trees and focus on well-proportioned exteriors with a real sense of light and flow on the inside.
Members of an advisory homebuyers panel, set up by Bovis Homes in 2017, praised the
Unwrapped Home initiative.
A spokesperson for the panel said: “Absolutely love it. I think it’s brilliant, it really opens your eyes as to what is behind that pretty exterior that you see within the show homes. It gives you an idea of how much work actually goes into a house. Just the amount of wiring and parts that are behind those walls.”
Inside Bovis Homes' Unwrapped Home
Emily, who has worked at Bovis Homes for two-and-a-half years and previously in social housing for a decade, added: "The Unwrapped Home has plaques on the walls, similar to those on display in museums, which provide key information and describe the specification and the method work involved. Visitors would not normally be able to see a home at these stages unless they work within the industry.
“There is also an Education Centre, which students from schools, colleges and universities can visit for educational purposes. The centre creates another environment to learn more about the Unwrapped Home and build process.
"The Spruce is part of the new homes collection and this house type had not been built by our contractors before. Another challenge was having exposed areas that we wanted to showcase but we needed to ensure this was a safe environment, so Perspex has been used to create a viewing panel and placed over the electrics and plumbing too."
Emily started as an apprentice, aged 18, and secured a position with a well-known social housing provider in the maintenance and surveying team. She worked her way up to larger projects and became a maintenance manager, with a patch of 1,500 properties.
She had a team of contractors to deliver repairs and maintenance. Emily started at Bovis Homes as a quality control inspector and has been in her current role for 12 months.
House hunters are able to view the Unwrapped Home and Education Centre by appointment.