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.