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  • Fabhouse

    Genetic Design, "Fabhouse." Photo: Margarita Issabel HUSZÁR.
    copenhagen DENMARK

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Genetic Design (Morten BÜLOW): Fabhouse is a digitally designed and fabricated house almost fully produced and assembled on site. Except for a few elements, everything is produced on a CNC router, including tables, sinks and molds for the concrete ramp. . . .

    The idea was to build Denmark’s first Fab-lab and to do so using the equipment related to digital fabrication.

    As a base of the project a 3-D CAD model was used to translate the initial design into a detailed, complex, parametric 3-D model. The model was used to for analysis in order to generate the building elements and it worked as manual for the construction. There were no traditional construction drawings, sections or plans produced prior to the construction process, as the complexity of the form had to be observed and understood in 3-D at all times. Instead there was a laptop on the site with the 3-D model, where the constructors could get all the information they needed.

    All the building elements are digital objects converted into physical building components through the CNC router, as every 3-D object was numbered and converted directly into 2-D production drawings. In that way we moved a lot of the crafting and detailing into to the digital process (production). Therefore the construction process is more comparable to assembling an IKEA product, rather than the traditional way of constructing a house.

    The bearing structure is made of CNC milled laminated wooden boards, and the frame structure is a wooden grid made out of OSB. One of the objectives with the project was also to test new sustainable alternatives to traditional building materials. Therefore the house is insulated with seaweed and the interior cladding is milled out of fiberboards made out of wastepaper. We used 6 tons seaweed for insulation, more than 200 milled OSB sheets forthe frame structure and facade cladding, 120 fiber sheets for interior cladding and 65 sheets of Kerto-Q cross-laminated wood for the bearing structure. To provide additional source of electricity, ten solar panels were placed on a warehouse nearby and since there is no sewer system a biological cleaning system was placed below the house trough which the waste water filters before it oozes into the soil below.

    Due to a low budget on the project, we were forced to take advantage of the evolution and accessibility of digital design and production tools. The CNC router used for the project is an open source homemade machine, by tweaking the design and modifying it, we were able to maximize the number of elements produced for the house on the machine.

    Windows were one of the major elements in the budget, as we weren’t able to produce them by ourselves, meaning that we had to keep the windows area as low as possible. Therefore we used the 3-D CAD model to make a solar analysis, in order to place the limited window area strategically. By using an evolutionary optimization process, we were able to place the windows in the areas, which would give the biggest amount of daylight in the building. The Fabhouse project was never intended to be a house in traditional terms, but rather a 1:1 scale prototype. The shaping of the form was intentionally challenging the possibilities of 2-D production and construction logics in order to show how far you can go with affordable software and machinery. It was a low budget project aiming to show that digital design, production and the accessibility of the tools have made complexity affordable and even easy to build.

    Additional credits and links:
    [genetic-design.com]
    [TEDX]
    [fabhouse.dk]
    [TWITTER]

    Architects: Genetic Design
    Location: Næstved, Denmark
    Architect In Charge: Morten Bülow
    Team: Marko Vukovic, Margarita Issabel Huszár, Giota Banioti, Chrisa Karakana, Javier
    González Rivero, Mohamad Ghamlouch and Andres Briceño.
    Area: 113 sqm
    Year: 2012
    Photographs: Margarita Issabel Huszár
    Engineer: Nielsen & Risager and Vortica.CED
    Client: Næstved Mucipality and Realdania

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