WZMH Develops Modular System to Save Partially or Fully Destroyed Structures

WZMH Develops Modular System to Save Partially or Fully Destroyed Structures

Today’s cities have been substantially reshaped to correspond with environmental and social needs or to reconstruct themselves after natural disasters or war. Whereas master plans and regulations take years, millions of people remain trapped in the crossfire and urgently need aid in their cities. With this pressing issue in mind, WZMH Architects developed a prefabricated- modular system for salvaging thousands of structures across Ukraine that have been partially or fully destroyed during the war. This system aims to integrate building technology into new buildings to create more sustainable communities.

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Courtesy of WZMH Architects

In 2022, more than 100 million people were forcibly displaced because of conflict. That represents thousands of square meters to be rebuilt, in addition to the climate crisis, where the building sector is responsible for 27% of annual carbon. In an effort to deliver a fast, sustainable, and livable solution for both crises, WZMH Architects has taken Ukraine conflict for a case of study, reconstructing “Khrushchyovka”, a type of low-cost, concrete-paneled or brick five to nine-storied apartment building that helped solve the USSR’s housing crisis during the Cold War.

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Courtesy of WZMH Architects
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Courtesy of WZMH Architects

Speedstac is a prefabricated/modular building block construction system made of ISP (Intelligent Structural Panel). The ISP panel is fabricated off-site, installed on-site with a minimal workforce, and is 100% complete once it's ‘plugged’ in. Many of the components that are traditionally installed after the structure is in place (i.e. mechanical, electrical, IT, etc.) are integrated as part of the ISP panel.

The ISP “boxes” slide units in the existing building and replace the damaged section with new residential units in record time. The concrete modules are designed to significantly reduce applied finishes (i.e. gypsum board, carpet, tiles) and include a special ‘sandwich’ layer that eliminates the need for bulkheads. High-strength concrete drives common acoustical and fire separation issues by assembling panels on all four sides of a unit while addressing durability and lifecycle. This represents market speed, material use reduction (20% to 40% less carbon emission), and potential cost savings versus a complete rebuild.

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Courtesy of WZMH Architects

The main difference between rebuilding with the soviet construction method and Speedstac is a connector that works as an outlet. This component facilitates the process of stacking buildings together, speeds up the construction times, and makes this innovative system solution cost-effective. This is a key factor because in units where load-bearing walls are the façade (as many khrushchyovka) they cannot be replaced for maintenance or reconstruction.

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Courtesy of WZMH Architects

The concept has been endorsed by the Embassy of Ukraine in Canada in collaboration with WZMH Architects, Eric Sommer, Stephenson Engineering Ltd., and Quasar Consulting Group. Another example of Crisis-driven innovation is the modular temporary housing system by Kyiv-based practice Balbek Bureau. The system adapts to different types of terrain and settlement density while being deployed in a short time frame. Also, Drozdov&Partners, together with Replus Bureau and Ponomarenko Bureau, have begun refurbishing shelters for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Lviv and its region, using school campuses and other large-scale facilities as temporary housing.

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Shigeru Ban and VAN Install Paper Partition Systems in Emergency Shelters for Ukrainian Refugees. Image © Serhii Kostianyi. Image © Serhii Kostianyi

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Cite: Paula Cano. "WZMH Develops Modular System to Save Partially or Fully Destroyed Structures " 20 Sep 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/989207/wzmh-develops-modular-system-to-save-partially-or-fully-destroyed-structures> ISSN 0719-8884

Courtesy of WZMH Architects

拯救被损坏的结构,WZMH 研发模块化系统

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