Beyond the technical aspects of construction, design development fundamentally addresses functional issues of living a modestly sized home: What do people essentially need for a satisfying lifestyle, despite limited income and space? How can we best apply ergonomic principles in an aesthetically desirable manner? What are the differences in needs for different occupant groups? For student participants coming from different fields of study, the project affords a unique opportunity to explore building design methods across disciplines in an integrative context that spans the entirety of the design process, from preliminary concept to full-scale prototyping and testing.
All the materials used in the construction system must be carefully selected for their combined impact on the building’s indoor air quality, dynamic thermal properties, and environmental footprint over the entire component lifecycle. Through our connections with Chinese manufacturing companies, we have excellent access to new technologies, exemplary products, and advanced systems for potential implementation in the prototype. These products and systems include engineered timber components, alternative insulation materials, integrated roofing and photovoltaic systems, high-performance windows, PCM’s, lighting and building control systems, energy-efficient household appliances, as well as ecologically designed furniture.
Our architectural aims are tightly aligned with what we consider to be the “unique selling points” of the prototype in terms of market appeal as a concept. More specially, the concrete prototype targets both single and coupled individuals who are looking to live in a house of modest size, in other words, it targets a currently very large and rapidly growing sector of the housing market around the world. The prototype is built of lightweight, wood-based construction components that can be assembled in various combinations as needed. We will provide a manual of model variations to demonstrate the concept’s potential range of applications for potential residents so that they can see how to apply it to meet their individual needs and desire.