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接纳预制技术,并没有那么困难第1张图片


“如果建筑有着自行车般的配置理念会怎样呢?”
"What if houses were designed like bikes?"

由专筑网卓拉,李韧编译

Phineas Harper说,在庆祝工业制造“未来之家”住宅50周年之际,人们是时候对建筑制造业进行彻底的反思。

英国政府正斥资数十亿英镑建造预制建筑,但反对者却对大规模生产住宅的前景嗤之以鼻。

在过去,有远见的设计师看到了工业制造的潜力,早期实验失败并不重要,为了应对诸如全球变暖和人口变化等当代挑战,人们也许应当重新接受预制装配。

1968年,芬兰设计师Matti Suuronen为大规模生产的建筑“未来之家”住宅设定了诱人的宣言。该项目由窗户制造商Polykem制造,这家工厂生产的玻璃纤维和聚酯微型住宅有着折叠楼梯和Jetsons风格的家具,建筑内部设置有快速供暖系统,并且不受地形的限制,同时还可以拆卸成16个部件重新安装,它甚至可以绑在直升机上,运输至不同地点。

“未来之家”住宅最初是一个多功能滑雪小屋的委托项目,但Suuronen计划通过预制方式进行设计建造,同时满足不同的气候地形环境。这座碟形住宅有着太空时代的魅力和未来主义形体。

然而现在,当庆祝该项目50周年时,只有不到70座“未来之家”得以幸存。因此,现在正是批判性地反思人们过往对于预制装配的不重视现象。


为了应对当代的挑战,人们也许应当重新接受预制装配

政客们首次在英国发起行动。今年7月,英国上议院科学技术委员会(House of Lords' s Science and Technology Committee)发表了一份报告,希望建筑界能够广泛采用工厂预制策略。与此同时,政府为房地产建设基金进行了30亿英镑的投资,而投资的重心则在于“现代建筑”,这其实是对预制装配技术的委婉表达方式。

然而建筑业内态度和公众仍然存在着矛盾,一定程度上是由于预制技术的历史背景。

上世纪60年代初,保守派住房部长Keith Joseph做出了令人瞩目的承诺,即每年建造40万套市政住房(如今公共部门每年仅管理3280套)。为了满足这一惊人的雄心壮志,Joseph计划运用预制系统构建新技术。要让住宅和公寓迅速投入使用,工人们采用了在工厂中铸造的混凝土面板,在现场进行大量的混凝土面板组装,但这一举措会引发一定程度的不良后果,委员会通过补贴来激励开发商建造高层建筑,并将项目外包给大型私人承包商,而直到后来才发现这些承包商走了捷径。

Adam Curtis在1984年的纪录片《英国住房大灾难(Great British Housing Disaster)》中描述了在许多系统建造的街区中发现的刑事过失,这些街区的几吨重的面板上连接的结构纽带太少,或者根本就没有连接体系。

然后在1968年,伦敦东部的Ronan Point的一座系统建造大楼发生瓦斯爆炸,导致4人死亡,于是,议会决定拆除几年前建造的预制房屋。


系统建设的失败已经影响了人们对预制建筑的第一感受

系统建设热潮的普遍失败已经渗入到预制建筑的名声中,给它带来了恶劣的影响。暂且不论当前预制建筑的盛誉是否良好,但建设行业自身成为了预制生产的最大阻碍。

如今,标准化CNC数控设备可以在2.4米长的胶合板上快速切割出复杂的形状,其公差为0.1毫米。然而,对于一堵简单的2.5米高家庭围墙,国家房屋建筑委员则建议其公差要低80倍,接近1厘米。这一显著的差异突出了现代工厂与现代建筑相比可实现的精度差异。

也许在今天晚上,你会用一块纳米级精密的电路板,把你工厂制造的手机电源插到插座里,上面有一块面板,专门用来掩盖墙上的不同孔洞。这些精密的制造技术涉及到我们生活的每一个部分。

在BBC 2014年的纪录片中,理查德•罗杰斯(Richard Rogers)回忆起早期的Team 4项目。在一次实地考察中,他发现那些不择手段的工人用砖瓦来替代防潮层,罗杰斯认为,在施工现场中,此类现象层出不穷,同时导致了劣质的施工效果。于是,他开始了对预制技术的探索,并在其后来的作品中结合高科技策略。


除了家庭织物,这些精密的制造技术涉及到我们生活的每一个部分

尽管高科技运动取得了成功,并在制造技术上进行了惊人的创新,但大多数建筑,尤其是国内建筑,其建造方式有时仍然有些过时,油漆、灰泥、灰浆等材料仍然普遍存在于项目工地中,虽然它们的原材料很丰富,但是会遗留下大量的建筑垃圾。

就英国而言,建筑业产生了59%的垃圾,约为1.2亿吨。这种令人震惊的结果来源于对湿法贸易的依赖,而湿法贸易只能适应破坏性过程。砖、瓦和配件有些过剩,那是因为在拆除或翻新时它们会被强行拆除。模块化系统、非现场制造和通用的建筑标准可以从根本上减少浪费,提升建筑的场地适应性。

如果建筑有着自行车般的配置理念会怎样呢?自行车有很多款式和规格,它们可以轻易地定制,全新的配件与旧框架兼容,便宜的零件和昂贵的零件相匹配。你可以从日本购买一辆竞赛专用自行车,亦或是英国手工制造的铝箔构件,你会发现,它们都与你的水瓶支架相匹配。

自行车有着工业标准,使大规模和手工生产能够使用单一的制造语言。

有些公司的做法是正确的。在德国,Huf Haus使用大量工厂生产定制房屋(尽管仍在现场组装),早在2002年,丰田就在日本Kasugai的一家工厂进行了大规模生产3500套住房的试验项目,甚至连宜家(IKEA)也加入了这一行列,其平装收容所是预制建筑在解决深层次需求方面取得进展的典型案例,但是人们所面对当代建筑仍然存在着诸多挑战。

James Woudhuysen在《为什么建筑如此落后?》一书中表达道,这一问题的解决方案也许需要将规划与场地分隔开,并且着重思考建筑类型,如果某种建筑类型能够得到全面的规划许可,那么它在建筑领域便能得到长远研发与投资。


认真对待与研究建筑,同样需要认真对待大规模生产

一款日本新型汽车的研发大约需要170万小时,随着100万辆汽车的投产,每辆汽车的研发成本仅为425美元,但每个买家都能从整个170万小时的设计阶段中获益。新建筑比汽车贵得多,因此更应该享受其设计。

要认真对待建筑研究改进建筑,人们同样需要认真对待大规模生产。

对建筑制造业进行彻底反思的可能性来源于建造形式的转变,雄心勃勃的建筑师、承包商和社会活动家们应该引导大众舆论,让人们从内心接受预制建造技术。

Phineas Harper与Interrobang一起担任奥斯陆三年期博物馆的首席策展人,并担任建筑基金会的副主任。同时,他也是《建筑素描(Architecture Sketchbook)》(2015)和《木器民间人类史(People's History of Woodcraft Folk)》(2016)的作者。2015年,他与人合作创立了“背叛者(Turncoats)”组织,这是一个以设计为基础的辩论社团,如今在四大洲都有分会。

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the factory-built Futuro House, it's time for a radical rethinking of architectural manufacturing, says Phineas Harper.
The UK government is pouring billions into pre-fabricated architecture yet naysayers turn their nose up at the prospect of mass-produced homes.
Ingenious designers of the past saw the potential of industrial fabrication. It doesn't matter that early experiments fell flat. To tackle contemporary challenges such as global warming and mass population changes, we must fall back in love with pre-fab.
In 1968, Finnish designer Matti Suuronen created a seductive manifesto for mass-produced housing – the Futuro House. Manufactured by window maker Polykem, this factory-made fibreglass and polyester micro-home sported a fold-down staircase and and Jetsons-style furnishings. It was quick to heat, able to perch on any terrain and could be dismantled into 16 components for relocation. It could even be strapped to a helicopter and flown between sites.
The Futuro began life as a commission for a versatile ski cabin, but Suuronen began to see is as part of growing movement of pre-fabricated deployable housing solutions which could provide shelter in any environment. The saucer-shaped dwelling lunged at the the shape of the future with space-age charisma.
However now, as Suuronen's creation celebrates its 50th anniversary year, fewer than 70 Futuro Houses survive. It is a timely moment to critically reflect on the lost possibilities of pre-fab.

To tackle contemporary challenges, we must fall back in love with pre-fab
Politicians, for once, are taking a lead in the UK. In July, the House of Lords' Science and Technology Committee published an uncompromising report calling for the widespread adoption of off-site manufacturing in architecture. Meanwhile, a core objective of the government's £3 billion housebuilding fund is investment in "modern methods of construction", a thinly-veiled euphemism for pre-fab.
Yet construction sector attitudes and public perceptions remain stubbornly ambivalent, partly due to pre-fab's troubled history.
In the early 1960s, Conservative housing minister Keith Joseph made a remarkable pledge: to build 400,000 council houses a year (today the public sector manages just 3,280 a year). To meet this astoundingly ambitious volume, Joseph turned to the new technology of pre-fab system-building. Houses and flats were rapidly commissioned utilising concrete panels cast in factories and assembled on site in huge numbers, but the initiative would turn disastrously sour.
Councils were incentivised with subsidies to build high-rise and outsource delivery to large private contractors, who it was only later discovered cut critical corners. Adam Curtis' 1984 documentary The Great British Housing Disaster describes the criminal negligence found in numerous system-built blocks, with several-tonne panels attached with too few structural ties, or none at all.
Then in 1968, a gas explosion in Ronan Point, a system-built tower in east London, caused a structural collapse killing four people. Councils started knocking down the pre-fabricated homes they'd put up just years before.

The widespread failure of the system-building boom seeped into the reputation of pre-fabricated architecture at-large
The widespread failure of the system-building boom seeped into the reputation of pre-fabricated architecture at-large, tainting it with the worst resonances of inhumanity and danger. That reputation still lingers, but the construction sector itself is the biggest blockage to the wider potential of pre-fab.
Today, a standard CNC router can rapidly cut intricate shapes in 2.4-metre-long plywood sheets to a tolerance of 0.1 millimetres. Yet for a simple 2.5-metre- high domestic wall, the National House Building Council recommends a tolerance 80 times less accurate, of nearly a centimetre. This remarkable difference highlights the gulf of precision achievable in modern factories compared to contemporary construction.
Tonight you will plug your factory-built phone, with a circuit board made to nanometre exactitude, into a socket with a faceplate designed just to conceal the several-centimetres-wide, site-made messy crater in your wall where the mains electricity cable emerges. Sophisticated super-precise manufacturing touches every part of our lives, except the fabric of our homes.
In a 2014 BBC documentary, Richard Rogers recalled an early Team 4 project. During a site visit, he discovered the unscrupulous brick layers had substituted a damp-proof course for sheets of newspaper painted black. For Rogers, this dispiriting moment was emblematic of on-site construction: messy, unpredictable, prone to poor workmanship and frustrating delays. It began a life-long exploration of pre-fabrication which permeated the heady early days of high-tech and his later work.

Sophisticated super-precise manufacturing touches every part of our lives, except the fabric of our homes
Despite the success of the high-tech movement and astounding innovations in manufacturing technology since, most buildings, especially domestic, are still made and renovated with curiously antiquated imprecise techniques. Paint, plaster, mortar and grout continue to dominate construction sites despite their reliance on skills in dwindling supply and their creation of vast amounts of waste.
The construction sector generates 59 per cent of all UK waste: 120 million tonnes. This shocking situation is partly due to the reliance on wet trades, which can only be adapted with destructive processes. Bricks, tiles and and fittings are rendered redundant simply because they have to be violently torn out during a demolition or refurbishment. Modular systems, off-site manufacture and universal construction standards could radically reduce waste and facilitate the expressive adaptation of buildings.
What if houses were designed like bicycles? Bikes come in a vast array of styles and specs. They can be easily and expressively customised. Brand new accessories are compatible with old frames. Cheap parts marry with expensive ones. You can buy a factory-made fibreglass racer from Japan or a hand-made British aluminium fixie and be confident that both will take the same M5 bolts for your water-bottle holder.
Bikes are a triumph of industry standards, enabling mass and craft production to speak a single manufacturing language.
There are some companies that are on the right track. In Germany, Huf Haus produces custom houses using extensive factory production (albeit still assembled on site). In Japan, back in 2002, Toyota experimented with mass-producing 3,500 homes from a factory in Kasugai. Even IKEA has got in on the act – its flat-pack refugee shelter is an impressive example of prefab architecture making strides to address profound needs, although it is a long way from contributing to the broader challenge of contemporary construction.
James Woudhuysen, author of Why is Construction so Backward?, argues a solution could be to decouple planning permission from sites and attach it instead to architectural types. If a building type could be given blanket planning permission, it would justify scales of R&D investment never before seen in architecture.

To get serious about architectural research improving buildings, we need to get serious about mass production
Around 1.7 million hours of research and development go into launching a new model of Japanese car. With production runs of a million, the R&D cost is just $425 per vehicle but every single buyer benefits from the full 1.7-million-hour design phase. A new house costs far more than a car, but enjoys a tiny fraction of the design time.
To get serious about architectural research improving buildings, we need to get serious about mass production.
The possibility of a radical rethinking of architectural manufacturing is a potential paradigm-shift in plain sight. Ambitious architects, contractors and campaigners should choke down outmoded disdain for mass production and lead the pre-fab conversation. Back to the Futuro!

Phineas Harper is chief curator of the Oslo Triennale, with Interrobang, and deputy director of the Architecture Foundation. He is author of the Architecture Sketchbook (2015) and People's History of Woodcraft Folk (2016). In 2015 he co-created Turncoats, a design-based debating society, which now has chapters in four continents.

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