Live Date: March 11, 2013
Presenter: Peter Muessig, Assoc. AIA
Moderator: Stephen Schreiber, FAIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video | Q&A
Although prefabrication is not new to the practice of architecture, its full potential, particularly in residential design and construction, has yet to be realized. The time for architects to take the lead in realizing this potential is now. New concepts and technologies in prefabrication are creating exciting new architecture and opening the opportunity for architects to influence a larger segment of the construction industry. Not only will prefabrication expand architects' influence, it will also help revitalize residential neighborhoods, influence sustainable design, and provide lower-cost home-ownership alternatives.
In an effort to realize this ambition, Andrew Daley, Jason Fleming, and Peter Muessig (all recent M.Arch. graduates of the Rice School of Architecture in Houston, TX) set out to design and build a pre-fabricated, consolidated kitchen/bath/mechanical “core” tailored specifically for renovation of existing homes. Having just successfully installed their first fully working prototype, the three will present their project as a case study of the opportunities and challenges inherent to pre-fabrication. Specifically, their talk will examine the advantages of prefabrication, including the time and material savings realized through careful oversight and the resulting reductions in cost either passed along to the consumer or re-invested in the forms of increased quality of construction and finish. They will also examine the challenges and constraints faced by residential prefabrication, particularly the necessity of transport and the ever-present dilemma of what to complete in the factory and what to complete on-site. They will share their experience in order to highlight alternative and innovative responses to these constraints, including the use advanced design, analysis, and construction techniques. Finally, they will highlight the potential to pair prefabrication with existing homes as a means to leverage existing neighborhood infrastructure and culture.