Hello from The Netherlands 🇳🇱

Hi Everyone,

My name is Nick and I’m from the Netherlands. I haven’t properly introduced myself on this platform, on which I have been viewing many topics over the past year(s). I’ve been interested in the WikiHouse concept since I went to college (about five years ago) and about one and a half years ago I came across SKYLARK and all the awesome work you people are doing here! My current profession is BIM-coordinator/ BIM-engineer.

The reason I dove into the world of WikiHouse in the first place is that I’m overall fascinated with disrupting the construction sector. The fact that the amazing people from WikiHouse have created a building system that is fully open source, possibly biobased, modular, easy to manufacture and easy to assemble is beyond amazing. Beside all those points, my own profession (everything about BIM) is dealing with structured data, 3D modelling and information management. I really think that this is one of the only modular building systems on the planet that lends itself perfectly to digital construction. Every component used in the system can be defined in a digital workspace, even before construction.

About one and a half years ago (when I came across SKYLARK) I went full throttle and contacted my regional chapter of WikiHouse. I contacted WikiHouseNL and had some meetings with one of the founders. The focus in the Dutch chapter of WikiHouse was mainly focused on the SWIFT building system (which is also still awesome, everyone who has the chance should definitely check it out!) but unfortunately there has been no further investigation into using SKYLARK in the Dutch construction sector. Nevertheless, I continued to delve into the SKYLARK files to make them “BIM”-ready.

I noticed that my spare time wasn’t enough to satisfy my WikiHouse hunger. I decided to introduce the concept WikiHouse to the company where I work. After introducing WikiHouse and the SKYLARK building system to the company where I work, my company embraced the idea and gave me the time needed to investigate the concept further. The next thing I did was introduce SKYLARK to the college where I graduated in 2019. I still had some contacts there. The college found that the open-source character and all the other spearpoints of SKYLARK where perfect for a specific project with some students. This project has come a long way since I introduced the concept, and we are now on a point where we are preparing for construction. We are actually building an “demo-setup” which will introduce the students to building with SKYLARK. After this demo, the plan is to build a small pavilion (approximately 5.4m x 6m x 5m). Those plans are currently under construction. I will make a separate post for the challenges we’re currently facing.

My apologies for the long post, but if there are any more questions about my profession, why I’m loving the SKYLARK building system as an engineer or any tips and tricks on designing/ modelling with the system, please feel free to ask. I’ll be happy to answer! I hope I can contribute to this platform with my experience in building and designing with SKYLARK.


Hey @NickG – great to hear more about what you’re up to. I too am very interested in the possibilities of defining every component before construction. Would love to hear about what process you’re using to map the Skylark info into whatever application you’re using for design. I know the Wikihouse team has put together the airtable for tracking the components, but one of the things that strikes me as a need is how to have a dynamic database that can react to the updates of the system and/or real world feedback of people modeling with the components. Not sure if that relates to what you’ve been working on, but interested in hearing your thoughts.

Hi @ivy4cat,

Currently I’m using Autodesk Revit to model each individual part of the blocks and the blocks themselves. I’m aware that Revit is not an open-source application, but I see it as a necessary evil. I’m using Revit to model de components and export them to IFC, a proper open-source file format for BIM. With custom software I’m adding the data from the Airtable to IFC. In this way I can ensure the data added to the blocks is always up-to-date. An other way is to add it within Revit, which is also a pretty viable option. One of the advantages of Revit is that I can make production drawings (CNC cuts) within Revit and easily export it to AutoCAD. I got about 60% of all the SKYLARK250 blocks done in Revit, mainly focusing on the “L” and “XL” blocks.

I have a love hate relationship with Revit, but I’m pretty skilled with it so for me it’s a necessary evil. I could strongly recommend to use Blender(BIM). I think this piece of open-source software is more than great to use for designing/ digital construction of WikiHouse. It will only get better in the future. Unfortunately, I haven’t got the need nor time to deepdive into the software. If I get the chance to, I would certainly do it though!

Besides that, i believe that the current technology of airtable is very nice! Maybe a possible solution to your thoughts could be to implement a comment fiel in airtable of some kind?

Hopefully that answers your question(s)?