The ogel story so far…

Whilst at work one day me – my name is Gary Giles – and my old boss were trying to think of additional uses for a new piece of bagging equipment he’d just purchased. The idea was manufacturing reusable sandbags for flood defences.

A good concept, but it soon became apparent that while the reusable idea was great, we still had to figure out how to join the sandbags together if we wanted build a watertight wall. We’d arrived at the age old construction problem of horizontal and vertical integration…

So how do you build a lifesize wall without using something to glue or hold identical parts together?

This problem kept going round in my head and I quickly realised that building upwards is easy – thanks to gravity – as you can easily stack things. But joining pieces sideways was, as we were soon to find, the ‘holy grail’ of building conundrums.

A good friend of mine, Graeme Wilkinson of 6e Creative, and I worked on a lot of solutions… but none of them were quite perfect.

By this point I’d moved jobs… but the obsession had got the better of me.

So we hired a team of industrial designers, E3 Design in Newcastle, and following months of hard work, many design changes and numerous 3D printed prototypes… we cracked it… a wall with no connectors or joining agents.

And once we’d figured out how to build a simple straight wall, the improvements just kept flowing.

  • We could make corners.
  • Fit windows and doors
  • We could fill the wall with everything from concrete blocks to batteries.
  • We also had the ability to run cables and pipes unobstructed through the walls.
  • Also attach a roof and a floor

All from 4 basic parts and, in most cases, with no tools.

The scope of the things we could build was massive…

  • Flat pack houses
  • Flood defences
  • Internal walls in existing buildings
  • Humanitarian shelters
  • even floating homes!

We knew this was big so we had a patent search done and found that nothing remotely like this had ever been patented… brilliant!

So we filed a UK informal patent followed by a Worldwide PCT.

So what next?

Simply put… build it and they will come. And that is exactly what we’re doing.

Flood defence

Humanitarian shelters

Houses

Garden pods & sheds