Investigating design and construction opportunities for Medium Density Housing on hillsides using concrete pre-fabrication

  • YEAR
    Wilhelm, Hans-Christian
    2018 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science, Construction and Technology
    Conference Papers


Medium Density Housing (MDH) is one of the strategies to address problems within New Zealand’s housing situation, namely the shortage of affordable urban housing. Land shortage and/or increasing land cost, overall low productivity and high production cost in the construction sector have been identified among the main drivers of this situation. This paper addresses MDH from a perspective of dwelling design, by adapting typologies to specifically suit hillsides, which tend to be less expensive land types; further it focusses on options to increase construction productivity by way of pre-fabrication, and it explores concrete based construction systems for increased building performance and productivity within the NZ context. This is of particular relevance to the implementation of MDH as a denser typology of dwellings, which often entails the use of higher performing components. Generic hillside MDH typologies and a MDH case study design were developed for a Wellington site, by way of cross-referencing construction systems, performance requirements and hillside typologies. The case study design was further examined with options for site logistics. Trade-offs between productivity (small vs. large prefab panels) and complexity/cost of site logistics became obvious and led to a proposal for a multifunctional stay-in-place formwork system, which could increase performance and productivity in NZ housing construction.


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