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Prefabrication: The Latest Architecture and News

Probably the Largest Brick Beam to Date: An Impressive Feat at the Danish Crown Headquarters

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Brick beams have been widely used in construction due to their strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal. By embedding steel reinforcing bars into a series of bricks arranged in a specific pattern, these elements form horizontal load-bearing structures that distribute the weight and forces that act on a building. However, it is difficult to find brick beams with excessively large spans, in order to avoid long-term structural problems. Instead, they mostly come in the form of simple lintels, which can be easier to handle.

With a length of 16.2 meters and an impressive clear span of 15.8 meters, CEBRA architects have collaborated with the Randers Tegl group, the largest brick supplier in Scandinavia, to complete the construction of probably the longest brick beam to date. This exterior beam is accompanied by a 13-meter-span interior "sister" beam and is located above the main entrance to the Danish Crown's new headquarters in Randers, Denmark, extending freely between two of the building's wings. The longest beam is made up of almost 4,200 bricks – its height is made up of 25 rows of bricks, equivalent to 1.6 meters, and its edge consists of 4 bricks.

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Should We Consider Timber in Social Housing Projects?

Housing is a fundamental aspect of architecture, providing shelter, which is essential for everyone. In urban environments, addressing the housing challenge is both urgent and complex. Social housing initiatives aim to provide a substantial portion of the population with access to this fundamental architectural concept: a home.

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OMA / David Gianotten and Circlewood Develop a Modular Wood System to Create Flexible Schools for the City of Amsterdam

As part of the Circlewood consortium, OMA’s David Gianotten and Michel den Otter have developed a modular system to build schools that can adapt and transform throughout their lifecycle. The system was selected by the City of Amsterdam to be employed to build multiple schools in the coming ten years, as part of the Innovation Partnership School Buildings program. The citywide initiative aims to build nine to thirty “high-quality, flexible, and sustainable” schools as a way to contribute to the city’s goal of becoming fully circular by 2050.

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What Is the Difference Between Precast and Prefabricated Concrete Structures?

The precast and prefabricated elements made of concrete (such as slabs, pillars, beams and walls) are part of the constructive process known as modular construction. A construction methodology carried out in stages, based on the standardization of the parts that make up the building, with its modules produced on an assembly line, transported and assembled to shape the architecture.

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Architecture Classics: Habitat 67 / Safdie Architects

Habitat 67, designed by the Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie as the Canadian Pavilion for the World Exposition of 1967, was originally intended as an experimental solution for high-quality housing in dense urban environments. Safdie explored the possibilities of prefabricated modular units to reduce housing costs and allow for a new housing typology that could integrate the qualities of a suburban home into an urban high-rise.

Reflecting on the project’s significance in “A look back at habitat ’67” Safdie stated that “Habitat ‘67 is really two ideas in one. One is about prefabrication, and the other is about rethinking apartment-building design in the new paradigm.” [1]

Architecture Classics: Habitat 67 / Safdie Architects - Exterior Photography, Apartments, FacadeArchitecture Classics: Habitat 67 / Safdie Architects - Exterior Photography, Apartments, FacadeArchitecture Classics: Habitat 67 / Safdie Architects - Interior Photography, Apartments, Stairs, Facade, HandrailArchitecture Classics: Habitat 67 / Safdie Architects - Exterior Photography, Apartments, FacadeArchitecture Classics: Habitat 67 / Safdie Architects - More Images+ 28

Architecture With SIPs: Fast-Build, High-Performance Prefabricated Homes

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are self-supporting panels that consist of a rigid foam core sandwiched between two structural coverings, typically OSB boards. These panels are lightweight and durable, and they are produced in a controlled factory environment before being transported to the construction site. They can be quickly assembled to form floors, walls, and ceilings, creating a tight thermal and acoustic envelope. The panel's thickness is determined by the combined thickness of its components, and its weight should not exceed 20 kg per square meter.

Glass Windows and Doors in 5 Prefabricated Projects

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The benefits of prefabrication are by now well-documented: prefabricated construction is cheaper, faster, better for the environment, and more consistent than traditional forms of architectural construction. At the same time, it can be used for a wide range of unique designs, calculated to meet a client’s specific needs. To take advantage of these many benefits, however, the prefabrication systems and products themselves must meet a certain standard of quality and flexibility.

Below, we consider five architectural projects using custom glass windows and doors by Western Window Systems, each designed to maximize utility for prefabricated and modular construction logics. Beyond their suitability for prefabricated construction, these products also maximize views, aesthetics, and functionality, blurring the line between indoor and outdoor living.

"Traditional Construction Is Doomed To Disappear:" Interview With the Portuguese Office Summary

Contemporary challenges and developments in technology inevitably trigger changes in the way we design and build our cities. SUMMARY, one of ArchDaily's Best New Practices of 2021, is a Portuguese architecture studio focused on the development of prefabricated and modular building systems. Striking a balance between pragmatism and experimentalism, the firm develops prefabricated solutions in order to respond to a driving challenge of contemporary architecture—to speed up and simplify the construction process. Founded in 2015 by the architect Samuel Gonçalves, a graduate of the School of Architecture of the University of Porto, the studio has presented at prominent events such as the 2016 Venice Biennale. We talked with Samuel about the firm's practical experience in prefabrication and modulation, as well as their experiments and forays into research.

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3D Printing, Prefabrication, and Interior Design: Construction Trends for 2022

Jorge Drexler sings, in one of his songs, that “we always look at the river, contemplating the other riverbank”. Beyond understanding everything that was done, looking back at the past year can serve to get some clues about the future. This 2021, we published more than 160 articles in the Materials & Products section, covering a wide range of topics. From complex concepts such as 4D printing or very little processed materials such as hempcrete and bamboo, drawing a retrospective of the covered themes and understanding what interested our readers the most is an interesting exercise to foreshadow some trends in the future of the construction field. Looking at our most viewed articles, three large themes are evident: 3D printing, pre-fabrication, and interior renovation. Below, we present a compilation of each topic, reflecting on what we can dare to say about the trends in the construction industry that should consolidate in 2022.

Building Houses With Giant Blocks: U-Build and the Future of Self-Construction

It is difficult to find someone who never played LEGO as a child. What if, like LEGO's, we thought of buildings as great assembling games? U-Build is a modular wooden construction system developed by Studio Bark to be easy to build, pleasant to inhabit, and simple to deconstruct at the end of its useful life. The system removes many of the difficulties associated with traditional construction, enabling individuals and communities to build their own homes and buildings. The system uses precision CNC machining to create a kit of parts, allowing the structure of the building to be assembled by people with limited skills and experience, using only simple hand tools.

Modular Components in Industrial Architecture

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Industrial architecture usually requires fast installation, low-maintenance components, and flexible spaces that can be used for different purposes. Therefore, modular solutions are very common in this type of construction, also adding a powerful visual language to the building.