Research Project for a Thin-Wall Energy-independent House in Bio-based Composites
with J. Ko, E. Nelson and J. Atkins, J. Honsa, T. Sheridan


This multi-year research project was inspired by discussion with material scientists at the University of Delaware about possible architectural applications for bio-based pulltruded composite materials. The permutation here describes how formed thin-shell panels could be configured for structural and self-stabilizing capacities, with involutions at their edges to create a snap-in assembly that takes advantage of the material's capacity for air and moisture tightness. In comparison to conventional low-rise framed construction, there is a 90% reduction in material intensity and an extremely high potential for reuse of materials. To allow for freedom of configuration and to resolve problems of ballasting, the floors are timber framed. A central core contains PCM blocks (phase change materials) which support on-site thermal energy collection and balance.

Ongoing research currently focuses on joint configurations in composites relative to strength, flexibility, fit, etc.

Date of Completion: 2009-

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