Think Up Project: Big Rig: Low Carb

Image of the Big Rig, a three-storey scaffolding frame

Low Carb was a two-day construction event designed to encourage unskilled and unemployed Londoners to make the most of the employment opportunities in the burgeoning low-carbon construction sector.

Image showing three briefing packs for the Big Rig event low carb in plastic wallets
Big Rig Low Carb briefing packs

Forty-five participants, split into two teams, were given an array of low-carbon technologies – solar thermal water heaters, PV panels, super-insulation – and brief to a low-carbon shower unit.

Eight people huddle round a table to plan the shower system that they are going to build
Participants organised themselves into teams, some more effective than others!


As well as giving the participants valuable work experience, they also had the chance to meet representatives from local FE colleges to find out how the skills they need to get employment in the burgeoning low-carbon construction sector.

Two people crouch around an insulated rain butt; in the background an infographic explains the principles of water efficiency
People at the Big Rig can refer to information panels to help them understand how to use low-carbon technologies to build their shower system.

Low Carb, designed for Podium Skills London, was hosted in the Big Rig, a three-storey scaffolding cube conceived by Think Up as a flexible and robust environment for action-based learning. For this event, the Big Rig was plumbed up to spray water – rainwater for the participants to capture and feed into their shower systems.

Four people crouch around a wooden palette which they are turning into a stand for a solar panel
Four participants build a stand to support their solar panels on the roof of the Big Rig


The event was run in conjunction with the National Construction College, Newham. The visual identity for the Big Rig was designed by our sister company thomas.matthews, whose work included designing the Big Rig’s information panels and briefing packs.

Project Link

Link to Big Rig: Low Carb