FWPA Building Innovations

House chassis with furniture fitout

A design concept borrowing from innovations in the automobile, electronics, aviation, and ship building industries. Here, buildings are designed based on using an integrated “chassis” whereby the shell of the building is constructed and then the rest of the building is treated as flexible (or decoupled) infill, thus enabling the concept of mass customisation. The concept proposes (intensified) use of ‘furniture’ or cabinetry within the shell of the building, as a replacement for normal approaches to infill. This could include walls, skirting, doors, wardrobes, drop ceiling panels and even floor panels. This approach would enable the use of web-based automated design/decision making tools (including BIM) to create an agile and efficient means for mass customized multifamily housing. The furniture making industry employs sophisticated, automated computerized numeric control (CNC) technologies capable of doing this, using highly efficient “batch quantities of one,” but currently most furniture companies limit their production to kitchen and bathroom cabinets installed into conventional construction. The emphasis of this idea is to expand its usage to create new versions of integrated interior infill.

Benefits

Increased flexibility and adaptability of use; potential for simple re-usability and reconfiguration of components with minimal disruption; customer driven design. Finishes on walls can be demountable to allow for easy access to plumbing, heating, and wiring. The fitout can be gradually added after handover, as customer finances permit. Greater ability to adopt DIY (similar to IKEA furniture).

Limitations

The concept in Australia requires entrepreneurship, collaboration and vertical integration among housing designers, developers and contractors in the supply chain. In coordination with this, there must be a greater commitment to the use of CNC technology and exploiting the design possibilities therein.

Website

www.architecture.mit.edu

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About FWPA

Forest and Wood Products Australia Limited (FWPA), a not for profit company, is the Australian forestry and wood  products industry’s service provider, investing in research and development, and providing research results and generic promotions to the Australoian industry. FWPA aims to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the Australian forest and wood products industry through innovation, investment in effective and relevant R&D and communication of the results to stakeholders. Read more about FWPA at www.fwpa.com.au

Contact FWPA

Forest and Wood Products Australia
Level 11, 10-16 Queen Street
Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia

Phone: +61 3 9927 3200
Fax: +61 3 9927 3288
Email: info@fwpa.com.au