May 3 - Danish architects are building a digitally fabricated house printed from a computer file - a new concept they say minimizes waste and simplifies the building process. Matthew Stock has more.
It's creators call it the house of the future..a sustainable and inexpensive alternative to conventional housing. The home is being piloted in Asserbo, some 60 kilometres north of Copenhagen. It has not been built in the usual way. No cranes or heavy machinery were used. Instead, to create the building materials, all that was needed was a computer and a printer. For designer Nicholas Bjorndal from the 1:1 Arkitektur firm the design process begins with a 3D model based on the developer's specifications. He then sends the file to a computerised drill - called a CNC machine which cuts the wood into the shapes and sizes, required for for assembly. SOUNDBITE)(English) ARCHITECT AT 1:1 ARKITEKTUR, NICHOLAS BJORNDAL, SAYING: "It's a computerized milling machine, which cuts out parts for our components. Here we have a stack of plywood, which are then fed into the machine. Basically like a printer - you feed it with sheets of paper, we feed this machine with sheets of plywood." The plywood comes from sustainable forests in Finland - and is cut into jigsaw-like pieces that emerge ready to be slotted together. Called "Villa Asserbo", the completed structure was built in around four weeks. Bjorndal's colleague Frederik Agrup says the aim is to make maximise efficiency and minimise environmental impact. (SOUNDBITE)(English) FREDERIK AGDRUP, ARCHITECT AT 1:1 ARKITEKTUR SAYING: "Well a goal in this project has been to try to make the most CO2-friendly house possible, and we have done that by several aspects. One thing is that we don't use any concrete. Another thing is that we only use one material which is wood. And by producing on a CNC-machine we can also keep the amount of waste very low." Solar heating and minimal amounts of structural steel add to the building's green credentials. It also has raised foundations, so it can be moved and relocated with little environmental disturbance. For Anders Thomsen from Denmark's Technological Institute the concept is revolutionary. (SOUNDBITE)(English) ANDERS THOMSEN, CENTER FOR NEW INDUSTRIES, TECHNOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF DENMARK SAYING: "This house is not only Danish - it's global And the reason why is, that you have every information: design, interface, everything in a digital platform. And you can just deliver that file to Norway, to China, to the countries that you want to export this concept to - and they can adjust it to the market there." All they need, say the architects are the raw materials, the computer equipment, and a printer. Matthew Stock, Reuters.