Expanding Modular Design: All-Rise Mass Timber Residences in Hawaii

Cruz Ortiz, Marcos Rafael Puakea
Walters, Lance C.
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The building construction industry is on the verge of a massive transformation of construction practices set forth by continued pressure to evolve and adapt to rising global and urban challenges. While an array of recently developed construction practices and technologies now exist, two prefabrication methods tackling these issues that are now seen as plausible alternatives of building construction are modular construction and mass timber construction. With current building methods compelled to change, questions begin to arise of what the future of construction looks like and which systems can adapt to local environments with distinct conditions. The research provided focuses on Hawai‘i’s urban challenges and the need to adopt new methods of construction to confront the housing demand of 64,693 additional housing units by 2025, as well as meet the state’s clean energy initiative by 2045. An evaluation of prefabrication methods with emphasis on modular and mass timber construction is conducted to understand the benefits of the recent developments and determine its appropriate feasibility for urban Honolulu, Hawai‘i’s capital city with the largest housing demand. The benefits of both methods are summarized to then be implemented with a proposed residential building model expressing the local conditions that may be faced. The resulting building design proposes to use a hybrid model that combines both modular and mass timber construction methods to resolve various issues while simultaneously taking advantage of the both prefab types’ reduced construction times and environmental benefits. The design proposal closely follows local building codes in addition to the revised 2021 IBC that identifies mass timber construction as Type IV to ground the model with real world constraints. In reaction, the development of a varying, “light” module is also proposed with the hybrid building model that implies modular construction’s increased flexibility and the potential for further exploration and applicability to other building typologies. The concluding design scheme offers a glimpse into what Honolulu’s future construction methods could be to effectively support the city’s housing needs and local environmental issues, while the collected research can be expanded upon with other emerging prefabrication methods, to continue to pursue construction practices that address the global urban issues unique to the 21st century.
Architecture, Design, Architecture, Hawaii, Honolulu, Mass Timber, Modular Construction, Prefabrication
156 pages
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