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More on Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf

Link to More on Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf

I wrote about info_smallOskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf's info_smallSystem3 last week. It will be included in The Museum of Modern Art's Home Delivery exhibition.

The two designers have been working in the prefab arena since 1996. Past models include:
• info_smallSystem 01 and info_smallSystem 02 based on "elements"
• info_smallSu-Si, info_smallFred, info_smallHouses A&B based on "units"

The System3 home merges the idea of "units" with that of "elements":

Due to the separation into serving units and "naked elements", the building process is optimized.

  1. The serving unit is a completely prefabricated box including all installations. All different trades, such as electrician, plumber, etc. do their work at the service unit factory and do not have to do any on-site work....

  2. The solid elements such as wall, floor, and ceiling are made of solid slabs of wood. The producer uses CNC-technology to cut out all openings.

  3. ...the window producer prefabricates all windows.

  4. ...the skin producer prefabricates the building's skin that includes thermal insulation, waterproofing and vapor barrier.

To me, it seems logical: keep the production of the technical pieces, the "serving units", in the factory where quality control can be tighter; let on-site work be limited to assembly and nothing more. This approach would save both time and money, limiting the trades and expertise needed at the home site; it reminds me of info_smallKieranTimberlake's info_smallLoblolly House, which we covered last June:

The assembly process begins with off-site fabricated floor and ceiling panels, termed 'smart cartridges.' They distribute radiant heating, hot and cold water, waste water, ventilation, and electricity through the house. Fully integrated bathroom and mechanical room modules are lifted into position. Exterior wall panels containing structure, insulation, windows, interior finishes and the exterior wood rain screen complete the cladding.
(KieranTimberlake's Cellophane House will also appear in the MoMA show.)

Such a mixed-method approach compares to the two major types of prefabrication that we cover on Prefabcosm: SIPs (used by companies like info_smallCleverHomes and info_smallJensys Buildings) and complete modules (like those from info_smallOMD and info_smallweeHouse). Using just SIPs leaves the majority of the skilled work for the site, e.g. installation of utilities. Complete modules are both expensive and difficult to get to the home site. Merging the two methods allows for greater flexibility, less cost, higher quality, and shortened construction time.

With 10+ years working on prefab, Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf are worth watching. While they have yet to translate their experiments into a mass-market product, their work lends much understanding to how the home-construction industry might best take advantage of prefabrication.

Related Posts:
   1. System3 from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf (Jan 18, 2008)
   2. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
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System3 from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf

Link to System3 from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf
from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf

info_smallSystem3, from Austrian designers info_smallOskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf, will also be showcased in MoMA's Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwellings show:

The system is based on the separation of a building into "serving space" and "naked space".

The "serving space" is a completely prefabricated serving unit that provides all staircases, kitchens, baths, installations, electricity, heating, and cooling systems for the entire building. The "naked space" (space that is only defined by the placed furniture, such as living or sleeping rooms) is formed by "naked elements": solid slabs of, skin. All "naked" elements are also prefabricated and are delivered directly from factory to building site, where everything can be assembled in a few days.

Each unit fits in a shipping container, giving it the characteristic "long and narrow" format. Several units can be placed side by side: system3_combo2
Or stacked:

Overall, an intriguing approach that I can't wait to see realized at MoMA. Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf have been experimenting with prefab since 1996. We'll look at their past work in more depth soon!

model: info_smallSystem3
style: modern
how: complete modules

Related Posts:
   1. MoMA's Home Delivery gets a glowing review from the NY Times (Jul 18, 2008)
   2. KieranTimberlake's Cellophane House (Jul 14, 2008)
   3. Home Delivery update: install videos to drool over (Jun 26, 2008)
   4. MoMA's prefab homes nearing delivery (Jun 09, 2008)
   5. Home Delivery blog goes live! (Mar 25, 2008)
   6. More on Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf (Jan 23, 2008)
   7. BURST*003 from SYSTEMarchitects (Jan 11, 2008)
   8. The m-ch (micro compact home) (Jan 10, 2008)
   9. Lawrence Sass and yourHouse (Jan 09, 2008)
   10. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
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