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4 April, 2006 - 17:22 By Staff Reporter

Eco-friendly builder sparks ‘Auf Wiedersehen Pet’ in reverse

Baufritz, a pioneering German company specialising in building eco-friendly timber homes, is launching into the UK from a Cambridge springboard.The company has chosen Girton, near Cambridge, as location for its UK head office. It plans to bring revolutionary alternatives to the current conventional housebuilding process, offering specialist timber frame homes built to individual specification and focusing on healthy living.

It will start its local operations with a small team – exact numbers are still being decided – and says it intends to expand rapidly from a standing start.

In a neat role reversal from the building site scenario of ‘Auf Wiedersehen Pet,’ the origins of the business in Cambridge are more a case of ‘Guten Tag Mein Liebling.’ Baufritz intends to start the UK operation by bringing over German builders “to ensure a seamless transition.”

But a company spokesman added: “It is planned that over time the German builders will train local tradesmen to take over and meet anticipated increasing demand. We definitely expect significant expansion in the UK from Cambridge.

“The market is growing and Baufritz aims to match its German status as a leading timber house constructor in the UK.

“Demand in the UK market for bespoke, eco-friendly, high quality housing is set for significant growth, especially as property magazines and television programmes continue to raise awareness and inspire home buyers and developers to choose this self build option.”

Using only timber constructions, with a purely ecological, healthy living focus, Baufritz chose Cambridge for its headquarters based on the area’s infrastructure and central location to both the north and south.

Baufritz is working closely with the architectural division of Cambridge interiors firm breathe to introduce the ‘German style of housebuilding’ to the front of the UK market.

Already established as one of the leading timber builders in Germany, Baufritz creates each house to the client’s individual specification, with no two the same. Each property features an abundance of natural materials and a healthy room climate.

As managing director of the UK division, Oliver Rehm will be heading up Baufritz’s expansion. He is a German trained architect and engineer with over eight years experience in the UK market alone, working for Cambridge based architects RMJM, Wrenbridge and breathe.

He said: “It is a very exciting time for Baufritz and we are delighted to be evolving into the UK.

“It is our aim to provide a unique solution to the current self-build housing market frustrations, which include fragmented and lengthy building processes.

“We feel this is an excellent opportunity having recognised the potential of the Cambridge area, which continues to rapidly expand its offerings with additional transport links and facilities.”

The company opens its first UK showroom at its headquarters in May.

Baufritz was established in 1896 and can design rooms for sufferers of specific allergies; selected rooms can contain untreated furniture or the world’s first external blinds with integrated pollen protection. The basic framework of each house is manufactured off site in just one day.

Once delivered, the initial structure can be put together in as little as two days. The process from planning right through to completion can take just five months, a third of the time taken to build a traditional house from bricks and mortar.


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