Gablok: Building Dreams with Revolutionary Insulated Wooden Blocks
Gablok is an innovative construction company offering a new system of modular, insulated blocks for quick and easy self-build projects. The blocks neatly interlock together without the need for cement or mortar. This allows structures like houses, garages, garden sheds and more to be rapidly assembled by the owner themselves with basic tools.
The blocks are made of OSB wood panels enveloping graphite EPS insulation. This delivers excellent thermal performance, with U-values as low as 0.15 W/m2/K. The company currently produces the blocks at facilities in Belgium for the European market, though they hold an international patent and plan future global expansion.
There are 8 different block types in the Gablok system:
– Connecting Elements called “chevrons” that link the blocks vertically and provide space for utilities and insulation.
– Floor Elements made of interlocking joists and brackets rated for heavy loads.
– Beams, also made of laminated timber, to support floors across large spans if needed.
– Insulated Blocks for the wall structure in 3 sizes – 300mm x 300mm x 300mm, 600mm x 300mm x 300mm and 900mm x 300mm x 300mm.
– Insulated Starter Blocks to begin the first course on the foundation.
– Top Rail and Bottom Rail made of laminated veneer lumber that anchor the walls.
– Prefabricated Interior Partitions.
The starter blocks fit on wooden foundation rails embedded into a concrete slab. The first course is laid, then rafters inserted to tie the structure together. General blocks are stacked, with floors and beams added as needed. The top rail completes the shell.
Gablok provides the architectural plans adapted to the block system. They also assist with the slab and first course to get the project going. After that, the modular nature makes assembly simple, without specialized labor. This makes Gablok ideal for owner-led construction.
The company was founded by Gabriel Lakatos, drawing inspiration from childhood building toys. His goal was to create a sustainable, optimized construction process accessible to regular homeowners. The blocks are fabricated locally in each region to reduce transport impacts.
Gablok handles everything from initial design through to material deliveries. Their staff can also provide guidance for newcomers to self-build. Customization is easy – blocks can be cut and adapted as needed. The system is highly scalable, allowing basic small structures as well as multi-story homes.
Gablok offers a lightweight, energy efficient, customizable construction system that can be erected rapidly by homeowners themselves. By empowering people to self-build, they aim to make personal, sustainable housing an achievable reality for all.