Brockeridge Stair


Location – Bristol

Staircase & joinery design – Future Joinery Systems Ltd

Architect – CaSA Architects

Structural engineer – Mann Williams

Digital fabrication – FabLab Cardiff, Cardiff Metropolitan University's School of Art & Design

Joinery – Silverthorne Joinery & Carpentry

Wood supplier – Hanson Plywood Limited

Species – ash, birch

This prototype staircase is part of a UK government funded R&D project to enable digital fabrication directly from BIM modelling environments. The stair rises three floors and is cantilevered from flush mounted stringers. The parts were CNC machined and assembled onsite using standard tools. The new platform developed during research allows designs to be defined parametrically, enabling the user to configure bespoke objects to specific requirements. Parameters such as height, width, depth and material thickness can be user controlled. Digital manufacturing is enabled directly from CAD or BIM software via the platform which enables faster fabrication, better pricing information and reduces errors and waste. Items can be locally fabricated through a distributed manufacturing network model open to any CNC enabled workshop. The process greatly improves construction efficiency, supports COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, increases the type and complexity of work undertaken by smaller site-based joiners, and keeps the labour pool local.