Facit Homes claims to build world's first "digitally fabricated" house
August 24, 2012
Facit Homes claims to be the first company in the world to digitally fabricate a bespoke home on-site. The company has developed a process (D-Process) whereby it delivers a compact mobile production facility (MPF) to the construction site, equipped with all the materials and machinery required to transform a 3D digital design into a physical building. “We are the first company in the world to have successfully trialed manufacturing a house on-site,” Managing Director of Facit Homes, Bruce Bell told Gizmag. “We bring our compact high-tech machine to site and make it there and then—its an amazingly efficient way of designing and making a house.”
Facit Homes first designs the house using a 3D computer model, which contains every aspect from its orientation, material quantities, even down to the position of individual plug sockets. The patented “D-Process” then transforms the 3D digital designs into the home’s exact physical building components, using a computer controlled cutter. These components are usually made from engineered spruce ply and are light and easy enough to then be assembled together on site. Since the components are produced on demand, costs are kept to a minimum and lead times are eradicated. “It's not a building system but a way of working,” said Bell.
This unique construction method provides on-site quality control, predictability, cost effectiveness, speed, a low carbon footprint and flexibility. In addition each project possesses an individual design and layout that reflects the needs of its future occupants.
Each Facit home incorporates a thermal envelope, where the home's “chassis” (more like a car than a traditional wooden frame) is airtight and stacked with insulation. This ensures that the home conserves energy and minimizes heat loss. “If you want to get geeky that's 0.14 W/m²/K heat-loss co-efficient for floors, walls and roof,” said Bell. In addition each home can be designed to feature a solar thermal system and photovoltaic panels.
Home owners Celia and Diana of Hertfordshire, UK, were the first to successfully have their home built using the on site D-Process. Their modern two story home features natural unfinished materials to blend in with its rural context and large south facing windows which are triple glazed to maximize heat retention in cold weather. Furthermore the entire 200 m² (2,153 ft²) house only requires a heating system with an output of just 4 kW, equivalent to a single radiator.
Facit Homes were also behind the design and construction of Villa Asserbo in Denmark, in partnership with Eentileen architects. This 115 m² (1,250 ft²) home was built from 800 sheets of sustainable plywood and features a series of angles, pitches and covered verandas which take advantage of natural light and the surrounding woodlands views.
Facit Homes is planning to establish a Danish branch, and has "lots more" homes planned for there and the UK.
The video below explains the D-Process further.