2005 // Upcycle House /
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The hybrid model
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Is it possible to look at the car industry as inspiration for designing a new sustainable urban planning strategy? Toyota Prius technology could be a good example. Its innovation is not just a cool designed automobile with an intricate engine part powered by electricity and part gasoline that saves energy, but also the potential to infiltrate the comfort of the consumer market that is dominated by gas powered vehicles. Utopic paradigm-shift models like fuel cell technology requires costly revamp of fundamental infrastructure for transportation services and its economy. By contrast, the hybrid technology was able to ease its way to the acceptance of the general public around the world. Its achievement is not merited purely by the technological advancement for energy efficiency, but also its effectiveness to be marketed to the mass culture by promoting the idea of sustainability.
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All Terrain Sustainable: performing the sprawl loop system
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Is the suburban sprawl a problem or a desire? As the single family housing market soars sky high (especially in American cities) and creating density by urban renewal is not always receptive by mass value, how can we as architects provide another solution for this condition? Do we dare to entertain this phenomenon by default as a starting point and then propose a new way of living with the goal of sustainability? Learning from the Toyota Hybrid model, this sustainable housing is a speculative study on the tactics of negotiability that performs to sustain multiple levels of ecology.
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With a built-in paper manufacturing mill, this part-building material nursery/part-recycling center home improvement facility is the focal establishment for planning this sustainable housing community. Paper waste can be up-cycled into building materials in this do-it-yourself factory. This sustainable housing engine is designed to generate production for a greener economy and, at the same time, promote township interactivity between human and habitation.
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The site plan layout is similar to many typical American middle-class suburbs but with the twist of providing an infrastructural apparatus that mandates recycling activities. The recycler machine is designed as a network that connects to waste management trucks more efficiently.
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This housing system considers responsive details for all climatic and celestial relationships. These prefabricated corrugated surfaces are made out of laminating waterproof wax paper and a radiance deflective foil membrane. The designated thickness for wall/roof and heat deflective foil membrane perforation size are there to help control regional heat gain for the building. Plug-in apertures can be installed by tenants.
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The building envelope is generated by folding a single sheet of pulp-based material for recyclable capability. Using a prefabricated, custom spec single sheet prevents the waste that normally is incurred from cutting standard size building material. The construction logic emulates the origami technology as tectonic research for producing highly modifiable spatial design. The adaptability of origami can produce multiple surface variations. The flexible surface could be designed to sustain its own weight by folding. The same material could be the skin and the structure of the building.
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For every floor plan option of the housing layout, the recycler machine centralizes the control from each compose-intake location. In this case, like the HVAC system with air flow, the flow of trash will be channeled through duct work from each outlet especially from kitchen and bathrooms to the central collector to be all sorted out and collected.
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Bonus! This lightweight paper material lowers the transport emission and assembly cost. This project attempts to map out a plausible and yet economical short-term building life cycle to optimize the condition of sustainability. The material developed for this housing type is not only recyclable but also highly perishable. With the fast pace for newness in our consumer culture, this sustainable system is meant to keep the recycle loop compatible with the hunger for speed. The paper product is not meant to last, but the system that provides the life cycle of the paper product is designed to sustain for a long time.
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Attention shoppers! All building components can be purchased through mail order or at any Auto-Sustainable building material nursery center near you.
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Project Team: Andy Ku, Kam Ku, Lionel Lambourn, Richard Yoo

             

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