Sunday, March 31, 2013

Presenting our Research into Swedish Housing, continuing

Back in September 2012 Scott Hedges and I presented a summary of our research into Swedish building techniques at the Fall conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. That conference was focused on off-site construction. Part of the fall-out from that conference was an invitation to present at another conference, this time organized by Pennsylvania State University's Pennsylvania Housing Research Center and held towards the end of February 2013 in Allentown, PA, and at a Conference on Pre-Fab building in New Zealand in March 2013.

PHRC organizes several conferences each year, notably on Land Development and Housing. These conferences are attended by Developers and Builders, both coming to present their work and to hear about the work of others. This year PHRC for the first time held a conference on Residential Design & Construction which is where our research was presented. The subject matter was broad on all manner of research.

The conferences on Housing and Land Development were held concurrently at the same venue, and there was some mixing of the groups who were free to attend talks in the other events. And these events are annual, so the same kind of gathering will take place next year as well.

We posted a detailed summary of our talk following the September presentation in Philadelphia, so I am not going to re-post it here again. Instead I'll mention that the presentation was altered somewhat from the prior one. I omitted much of the background on the Swedish housing market, and instead incorporated a brief review of the wall systems and Swedish Platform Framing we have based on the Swedish techniques. And no need to review that as there are deep resources about these assemblies already posted here.

However, the PHRC has posted full Proceedings from this event, as well as from the Housing and Land Development conferences. If you are interested you can review the speaker schedules, and if any of the talks interest you the papers & presentations can be downloaded from each event to review the content. A complete summary of our presentation is incorporated into this as well. Start with the PHRC Conference Archive which will provide links to the details of each event. The Housing conference is at the top of the list.

Next, Scott headed to New Zealand to present our research at the PreFabNZ conference in Mid March 2013.

catalog of exhibit organized along with conference

New Zealand is a unique situation with regards to housing and off-site construction. They are under a fairly large building program to replace houses and buildings destroyed and damaged during the Christ Church earthquake in 2011. New Zealand has a robust off-site construction industry, and one that is not quite so conceptually narrow the way American off-site construction is biased towards Modular. In other words they are more open to new ideas surrounding techniques. And last, similar to the US and Sweden there is a large timber resource in New Zealand, with a great deal of lumber being sold off to China. This is an industry well positioned to benefit from developing greater value in their domestic material stream.

Lets boil it down. Need houses. Have wood. Like new techniques. Scott's presentation there was very well received, and he experienced a great deal of sincere interest in the techniques he showed to them. We think New Zealand may be better poised to make advancements than the US simply because their heads are in a better place.

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