The primary objective of the Residential Building Technology is to create very high quality housing using local designs and improved productivity to lower costs.
The technology is designed to have infinite flexibility to respond to local and cultural architectural expressions. The technology does this by producing universal, floor to ceiling building modules which are small enough to be flexible in design and yet large enough to be cost efficient. The modules are manipulated (like "Lego" blocks) to create an infinite variety of floor plans and exterior forms. They act as the structure, create all of the interior partitions and give very high quality pre-finished interior surfaces, all using a single composite casting of concrete.
The modules are three dimensional and work as multi-purpose housing elements. They enclose residential functions such as closets, cabinets, bathtubs, counters, kitchen appliances, libraries, fireplaces and stairs, or enclose total rooms while acting as structural elements. Integrated within each module is a conduit network used for the distribution of electrical and communications systems. The modules are self-standing, which assists the manufacturing, handling and construction processes and their shape also gives a building the inherent lateral stability required in regions with high earthquake risk.
Substantial cost savings are achieved by using fundamental principles that are valid in any country. The technology was designed to execute local designs, use local materials and labour and achieve local affordability. The technology uses significantly less material and simplifies the total building process by eliminating layers of construction used by traditional methods. These reductions, when multiplied by local material and labour unit prices, result in less cost and higher productivity and efficiency. Lower costs increase the financial viability for owners and customers alike.
The technology is capable of very high volumes while producing consistent high quality. The high productivity is due to simplicity, as the technology uses only one universal module of five sizes which can be mass produced without regard to where the modules may eventually be used. Each module is interchangeable and can be used for residential or hotel functions, in a one storey or in a high rise building.
The high quality interior finishes are the result of the casting process and do not depend on highly skilled craftsmen or special materials. Locally available labour pours local concrete into the special forms and the result is a prefinished surface equal to the finest plaster, ready for final paint or wall covering. This eliminates the need for additional layers of finishes that require skilled craftsmen, time and money. The production can be done either in a local precast yard or at the construction site.
The technology is an "open" system and works with locally available building sub-components such as doors, windows, plumbing and heating systems. Interior doors, exterior windows and plumbing fit in the spaces between the modules. The module shapes mean that precast joints are not seen. Windows can also be installed in a unique casting of the technology that provides a decorative window frame as well as effective weatherproofing.
The height of the modules is normally one storey and the exact dimension is variable to accommodate any desired ceiling height. The technology uses precast concrete floor slabs of standard widths or uses special floor slabs that eliminate the exposed ceiling joints in a room. This eliminates the need for a concrete topping and permits direct application of carpet, wood or other floor covering.
In addition to the energy saving benefits of high thermal mass, due to the use of concrete, and the use of daylighting and passive solar energy, the modules incorporate piping for radiant heating and cooling, which can be fed from green sources of energy, such as geo-thermal, so they act as thermal mass energy storage batteries and radiators.
The exterior shape of the buildings is formed by the various modules but it is not left as exposed concrete. In cold climates, the exterior is insulated and clad with local materials such as brick, stone, stucco, wood or glass, respecting local architectural and cultural traditions. This method follows Canada's National Research Council recommendation that the structure be insulated on the outside, keeping the structure warm and preventing its expansion and contraction. In warm climates, and if no insulation is needed, the exterior concrete can be painted or textured with cement finishes.
In addition to the many benefits of the technology, buildings built with concrete have
the benefits of being permanent, durable, fireproof and have excellent acoustic qualities.
Concrete, as a construction material, is recognized around the world and the technology
has never required special approvals or building codes.
Canal 111, 48 Luxury Condominiums, Ottawa, Canada
Royal Highlands, Proposed Luxury Condominium, Florida, USA
Canal 111, Luxury Townhouses, Ottawa, Canada
Key Largo Yacht and Tennis Club, 750 townhouses, Florida, USA
Single Family House, New Town of Kanata, Canada
Kolomyagi Apartments, 600 apts, St. Petersburg, Russia (under construction)
Proposed Housing, 45 m2, South Africa