Hybrid Mass Timber + Additive Construction: Projecting an Urbanistic Building System for Social Housing | The Plan Journal

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Yong Huang
Jack Collins

Mass timber construction has been cultivated as an environmentally sustainable and cost effective approach for housing typology. However, repetitive and regularly shaped timber structural systems for larger scale affordable housing applications tend to be homogeneous, lacking unique and personalized spaces for both individuals and the collective, hindering the progress of more diversified and inclusive living communities. Concurrently, rapid additive (3D-printed) building construction has begun to emerge in the single-family housing market due to its benefits of mass customization, reduced onsite labor costs, and time efficiency. However, present production and building typology at a single-unit-scale are still limited for complex social housing projects. This research aims to integrate mass timber and rapid additive construction into a hybrid system. Hybrid affordable housing, through mass timber construction and additive manufacturing processes, is intended to evolve into environmentally conscious architecture as an extension of nature. It not only provides healthy and adaptable physical spaces but also supports everyday urbanism as a response to diversified personal needs and desires for a more sustainable future.