The Tocci team saw the potential for modular construction and componentization as soon as we started implementing BIM (way back in 2006!).
But until now, digital prototyping an entire building has only been theoretical.
A few weeks ago, one of our R+D Associates, Val Tzvetkov, shared a Popular Science article about WikiHouse, an online repository for downloadable houses. WikiHouse has amassed an archive of building plans that anyone can download, print, and construct – all using WikiHouse’s plugin for SketchUp and idle CNC equipment.
As is always the case with our team, the discussion took off from there!
One point of view came from Jennifer Heikkinen, Director of Project Management:
- The variation in local codes and fear from building inspectors may keep this from gaining traction in the near future, but it seems likely that it could be adopted sooner in sheds and pool house applications.
- There are certainly interesting legal complexities as well. If the home were to fail, for example structurally, who would be responsible? WikiHouse? The CNC printer? You, as the erector?
- It does certainly have very interesting applications for providing more durable, modular, and safe housing in developing countries.
Ben Stephenson, the latest addition to Tocci’s VDC team, shared a TED Talk from WikiHouse founder, Alastair Parvin.
With all that in mind, we will be watching WikiHouse with interest! It will be interesting to see its trajectory, and if there are similar applications for commercial construction.
What do you think of WikiHouse? Does it represent a paradigm shift in our industry? And how do our roles change?
Click to check out LaRosa on Construction Trends.