Publications / 2002 Proceedings of the 19th ISARC, Washington, USA

FutureHome - A Prototype for Factory Housing

R. Wing, B. Atkin
Pages 173-179 (2002 Proceedings of the 19th ISARC, Washington, USA, ISSN 2413-5844)

The manufactured housing project FutureHome, which received major funding from the European Commission, has developed the engineering know-how to create affordable, high quality, cost effective manufactured housing, with a customer focus that takes account of diversity of styles, designs, materials and locations. The provision of housing to an acceptable standard is becoming an increasingly serious problem worldwide, and the widening gap between supply and demand points to manufactured solutions as the most viable way forward. FutureHome has developed systems for product and process analysis suited to manufactured and prefabricated construction solutions, and these have led to design prototypes. To mark the end of the research phase of the project, one design has been built to full scale as a demonstrator. The research has led to leaner design and construction processes that focus on value for money, improved productivity, maintainability and sustainability. It has also focused on basic engineering requirements such as fast connectors, and automation solutions for materials handling and assembly. Further aspects of the research programme have considered how the product can be adapted to areas of high seismic risk, and has developed software solutions for design and management from a virtual-reality customer interface to cyber-agents for logistics. FutureHome is expected to have benefits through savings in construction costs and time, significant reductions in defects on completion, and will enable industry to be more competitive overall. Other benefits include improving the quality of life, social fabric and health of the European economy through a more efficient and effective construction process.

Keywords: housing; manufacture; construction; automation; process