Nine major contractors collaborate on the project to prepare for life on Mars

Nine leading construction businesses and SCF donated time, expertise and resources to the ‘Martian House’ project, preparing for life on Mars

The construction industry is gearing up for life on Mars as Southern Construction Framework (SCF) and a network of suppliers have supported the construction of a full-scale ‘Martian’ house, a two-storey gold-inflated house in the heart of Bristol, designed to revealed the possibilities for human life on Mars.

Nine main contractors and architects collaborated on the project

As part of a group of construction companies led by SCF Construct, BAM, Galliford Try, ISG, Kier, Morgan Sindall, Sir Robert McAlpine, Wates Construction and Willmott Dixon have generously donated time, expertise and resources worth around £170,000 to bring art project for life.

Companies sprang into action in support of the five-year project led by artists Ella Good and Nicki Kent after they asked SCF to help turn their vision into reality.

The project – based at M Shed Square in Bristol – has so far brought together space scientists, architects, engineers, designers and the public to explore how we live today and stimulate visions for new ways of living here on Earth and in March.

The team worked alongside scientific and engineering experts Professor Lucy Berthoud, Dr Bob Myhill and Professor James Norman from the University of Bristol.

The Martian house should be able to withstand the transit and inhospitable conditions

Designed in collaboration with Hugh Broughton Architects and Pearce Plus, the futuristic 53m2 house consists of two floors with an external staircase and a platform lift on the upper level.

The upper tier is powered by solar panels and is formed using a pressure-rolled, gold-coated sheet metal, making it light enough to be easily transported to Mars while also withstanding its conditions not welcoming.

The building considers what life on Mars would actually be like, with the lower level of the house designed to be built underground in Martian lava tubes.

Within this level there is a flexible, private living space that can be used as a bedroom, virtual reality (VR) area and an integrated ecosystem.

Preparing for life on Mars by looking at our lives

Emma Bull, SCF’s senior framework manager, who led SCF’s response, commented:

“Collaboration is at the heart of everything Southern Construction Framework does, so we are all delighted to have played a part in creating this truly exceptional The Martian House bringing together the main contractors.

“The way companies in the Southern Construction Framework’s supply chain have collaborated is also remarkable, and for nine separate bodies to come together in one artistic project seems to be unprecedented.”

The artists behind The Martian HouseElla Good and Nicki Kent, praised the contractors for their contributions and reflected on how the project can inform decisions made about Earth-based housing.

Nikki Kent said: “Considering how we might live on Mars helps us rethink every aspect of our lives here on Earth. Mars is a place where you will need to live carefully and sustainably and thus helps to bring sharp focus to the way we live today. Our project shows that we can all have input into how we think about the future. “

Building a Martian house is open to the public from 17 August to 30 October 2022 at M Shed Square in Bristol.

There will be a three-month program of workshops, talks and events for all ages, including a live panel discussion with the design team.

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