The WikiHouse project is intended to create an open-source set of construction information for building components that can be downloaded, manufactured and assembled using commonly available materials and equipment, at low cost and with little need for training.
Anyone can download designs from the WikiHouse open library, or add designs for new components to by following a simple set of guidelines. A WikiHouse plugin for Google SketchUp enables users to generate cutting files for components that can be manufactured from standard sheet materials such as plywood using a CNC (computer numerical control) router. The components can then be assembled, forming joints with pegs and wedges. The resulting frames can be raised and assembled by hand and then cladding panels can be attached and services, windows and so on installed.
It is claimed that the ‘chassis’ for a single-storey house can be built in a day.
WikiHouse co-designer Alastair Parvin said, "The open secret is that in reality almost everything we today call architecture is actually design for the 1%....The challenge facing the next generation of architects is how, for the first time, we will make our client not the 1% but the 100%."
To date, completed projects have tended to be small, single-storey prototypes.
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