UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Wood-based 3D printing for space innovation in emergency and social housing production Cepeda, Rodrigo


Since the 1900s, urban population settlements have experienced explosive growth. To respond to this urban population growth, suburban areas and industrialized housing production were developed. However, today, a series of negative impacts from these solutions has been detected. While suburban areas create big morphological changes to the city, causing problems of transport, fragmentation, and social connectivity, industrialized prefabrication methods result in a mass repetition of identical houses that elicits social and physiological problems of individuality and community belonging. The case of Chile is notable because of its 86% urban population and its stable social housing response to homelessness. In addition, the country is subjected to frequent natural disasters, and the government has to respond quickly with emergency and social housing solutions. However, calls to the attention that being an exporting country of forest products, wood is not considered a building material solution for long-term houses. This research analyses the historical and current development of emergency and social housing in Chile, the country’s forestry production, and the characteristics of local wood products. Advantages and disadvantages are examined along with highlighted case studies, and a new emergency and social housing architectural strategy is proposed. To meet this need for massive emergency and social housing, a flexible, fast, and optimized building system is required. Digital fabrication technologies are presented as a basis for rethinking mass housing production, focusing on a prefabricated full scale 3D printing process; a parametric manufacturing relationship between structure, thermal performance and material composition is proposed. In the initial stage with structural simulations, this research explores the optimization possibilities of the architectural elements with the relationship proposed, and suggests possible applications and future developments.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International