Rescaling Urbanism: Fostering Low-Tech, Digitally Fabricated, and Transient Structures Through Innovation in Local Renewable Material

Date
2016-05
Authors
Valenti, Joseph
Contributor
Advisor
Stilgenbauer, Judith
Department
Architecture
Instructor
Depositor
Speaker
Researcher
Consultant
Interviewer
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Volume
Number/Issue
Starting Page
Ending Page
Alternative Title
Abstract
This dissertation presumes that innovation in design and sustainable building practices can alleviate environmental and socio-economic issues within cities. Exploration of small-scale design and intelligent systems reveals a connection between local resources and new technologies that advance yesterday’s way of building. The study focuses on the challenges of a vulnerable island community, addressing Hawaii’s major housing crisis and the effects of impending climate change. Isolation and a global market has encouraged dependency on imports and deterred the state from achieving sustainability. At the intersection of localized materials and global technologies, this project argues a simple and practical solution. Through a series of case study investigations and applied research on innovative design strategies, it establishes the framework for an alternative building model of less permanent and more process-based structures. Rescaling Urbanism reveals the potential for a system that can challenge the existing methods of Hawaii’s building industry. The project embraces the use of local material with new technologies in digital fabrication to create a streamlined approach for building sustainably in Hawaii. To compliment new statewide green initiatives, we must learn to embrace the use of vernacular materials, renewable energies, and closed-loop systems. Hawaii’s surplus of invasive tree species bears the potential for local renewable building materials. This study examines the use of lumber from the highly invasive albizia tree as a building v material through application of wood engineering. By reconceptualizing the tree from invasive to useful, a problem becomes a viable solution to Hawaii’s housing deficit and outsourced building industry. This project integrates the design and construction process by proposing a structure that is composed almost entirely of albizia and digitally fabricated from computer numerically control, or CNC routing. Engineered wood is a resource-light material that supports rapid on-site construction. CNC routing is being increasingly utilized with engineered wood to streamline the entire building process. Merging these two principles enables fabrication of sustainably sourced, high-precision, and easy to assemble building components. The outcome reveals a process that can radically lessen the threshold of scale, cost, and construction time.
Description
Keywords
Citation
Extent
191 pages
Format
Geographic Location
Time Period
Related To
Rights
Rights Holder
Collections
Email libraryada-l@lists.hawaii.edu if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.