Prefabrication and Industrialization
By looking toward the automotive and aircraft industries and the way they employ advanced systems for manufacturing, we have discovered that the production of a home, especially when focused toward similar levels of complexity should employ similar attitudes and methods of construction. The factory process brings many advantages including lean and efficient production, optimal site conditions and quality control. Factory production also allows for the engagement of wide range of CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) and robotic processes.
With the FutureHAUS Dubai project we have developed an innovative construction process suitable for factory built homes, a process that fully engages Building Information Modeling (BIM) software with fully digital fabrication tools and processes including CNC routing and 3D printing. The process guarantees a high level of quality control and an innovative high performance materiality utilizing customizable components – all within a safe work environment for production. Our team recognizes a looming international crisis; a shortage in skilled tradespersons. Factory production addresses this problem by consolidating trades in regional facilities.
The “Cartridge” Concept
To build buildings like we build cars, we have divided the home into an assembly of parts. Beginning with a spatially efficient floor plan, prefabricated parts or “cartridges” deliver the program for the house. The assembly line for the final home happens at the site where the prebuilt cartridges come together, “plug and play” style. Site assembly is fast, highly improving the quality of the final product and ultimately reducing cost though industrial efficiency and onsite construction simplification. Our system is unique, we propose to ship technology to the site, not space. We have two types of cartridges. Cartridges that deliver architecture program and ones that deliver services.
The Program Cartridges
The Kitchen Cartridge — All the functionality of a smart kitchen including appliances, adjustable counters, water fixtures and food storage.
The Bathroom Cartridges — Two cartridges make up the master bath that includes full size vanity bath and shower, smart mirror and 3d printed sink
The Bedroom Cartridge — A compact wall that incorporates an automated murphy bed with lighting, side tables and wardrobe cabinets.
The Office Cartridge — This module incorporates two adjustable nesting desks and wall cabinets and lighting.
The Closet Cartridge — One of two “flex” walls that accommodates the wardrobe storage
The Entry Cartridge — One of two “flex” walls that incorporates home entertainment and seating
The Service Cartridges
The Spine Cartridge — The “central nervous system” of the home connects the dry mechanical room to the primary cartridge elements. This 33 foot long cartridge which sits over the central hallway contains all “home run” electrical and communication lines as well as all ductwork for the HVAC system. It is this critical component that makes the home installation simple, organized, and fast.
The Dry Mechanical Cartridge — This electrical room contains all electrical systems including the main breaker panel, the solar inverter, charge controllers. It also houses all HVAC equipment, systems controls, and communications tech. This compact, preassembled component marries to the spine for effective whole-house power, communications, and HVAC distribution.
The Wet Mechanical Cartridge — This cartridge contains the water distribution components for the home including the solar thermal integrated domestic hot water tank, heat exchanger, distribution pumps, and laundry room.
The Door Cartridges — These “Portals of the Future” provide plug and play automated door systems around the perimeter of the house. Each doorway opening of the home has three automated layers; one clear glass insulated door for enclosure; one frosted insulated glass door for privacy and sun control, and a third bug-screen to allow passive house operation. Each cartridge includes a gorilla glass wall integrated touch interface for control.
The Solar Cartridges — These five light gauge steel frames each carrying mini photovoltaic arrays become the core of the solar canopy for the home, casting full shade on the house below to optimize energy efficiency.
After many late nights, research, hard labor, and coffee runs, the FutureHAUS is complete! The competition called the Solar Decathlon is being held in Dubai from November 14th-29th, 2018...
On November 14-28, 2018, Virginia Tech will compete in the Solar Decathlon Middle East as the only U.S.-based team in a competitive pool of 21 universities worldwide...
Solar Decathlon: Dominion gets behind an employee who is working to lower electricity demand in houses
Imagine you are waking up in your FutureHaus, a smart, solar-powered, prefabricated domicile with 950 square feet of space that looks like it was made out of Lego blocks...