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id sigradi2006_e081d
authors Hecker, Douglas
year 2006
title Dry-In House: A Mass Customized Affordable House for New Orleans
source SIGraDi 2006 - [Proceedings of the 10th Iberoamerican Congress of Digital Graphics] Santiago de Chile - Chile 21-23 November 2006, pp. 359-362
summary Dry-in house is a mass customized affordable housing system proposed for the reconstruction of New Orleans. The dry-in House gets the owner back to their home site quickly while providing the infrastructure an occupant needs (shelter, water, electricity). The owner is supplied with an inhabitable shell that is customizable before it is fabricated as well as onsite as the project is “fitted out” over time. The key concept is to allow families to participate in the design of their customized homes and to get people back to their home sites as quickly as possible and to give them the opportunity to finish and further customize their home over time. The project addresses inefficiencies and redundancies in emergency housing currently provided by FEMA. Primarily the dry-in House as its name implies provides a timely dried-in space which doubles as a customized infrastructure for the reconstruction of homes and neighborhoods. The project is designed to meet the $59,000 life cycle cost of the presently provided temporary housing, the notorious “FEMA Trailer”. However, the Dry-in House provides a solution that: a) Is permanent rather than temporary. The house will be finished and further customized over time rather than disposed of. b) Reoccupies the owner’s home site rather than a “FEMA ghetto” keeping the community together and functioning. c) Is mass customized rather than mass-standardized allowing the owner to have input on the design of their home. The design is a “starter home” rather than an inflexible and over-determined solution. This also has the benefit of giving variation to the reconstruction of New Orleans as opposed to the monotony of mass-production. d) Allows the owners to further customize their home over time with additional exterior finishes and the subdivision and fit out of the interior. By utilizing plate truss technology and associated parametric modeling software, highly customized trusses can be engineered and fabricated at no additional cost as compared to off-the-shelf trusses. This mass customization technology is employed to create the building section of each individual’s house. The truss is not used in its typical manner, spanning over the house; rather, it is extruded in section to form the house itself (roof, wall, and floor). Dry-in House exploits this building technology to quickly rebuild communities in a sensible manner. It allows for an increased speed of design and construction and most importantly it involves the owner in this process. The process has other benefits like reducing waste not only because it replaces the FEMA trailer which is expensive and disposable but also since the components are prefabricated there is more precision and also quality. The Dry-in House allows the owner-designer to “draw” the section of their new home providing them with a unique design and a sense of belonging and security. The design of the section of the house also provides them with spatial configurations customized relative to site conditions, program etc... Because of the narrow lot configuration of New Orleans, the design maximizes the roof as a source for natural ventilation and light for the interior of the house. In addition, the house is one room deep providing cross ventilation in all rooms minimizing reliance on artificial mechanical systems. The timely and efficient off site fabrication of building sections facilitate larger concentrations of volunteers on site at one time, thereby promoting a greater collective spirit among the community and volunteer workforce, a therapeutic event for the community as they participate in the rebuilding of their homes and city. With individualized building sections arriving on site, the construction process is imagined to be more akin to a barn raising, making possible the drying in of multiple houses in less than one day.
keywords mass customization; digital manufacturing; affordable housing
series SIGRADI
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