Folded sandwich structures retain the streamlined construction of existing prefabricated systems but can additionally be fabricated with non-specialist and low-cost manufacturing plant. Such a system would enable the establishment of a distributed local manufacturing network across regions previously affected by natural disaster, to enable investment in their long-term economic recovery while responding to the short-term infrastructure needs of recently-affected communities.
The ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award #DE160100289 (2016-2018) has enabled a new study into the structural design and distributed fabrication of folded sandwich structures, to support their use for resilient community infrastructure. As of 2017, a new prototype Plate House has been succesfully developed using new digital fabrication techniques for FRP-timber construction and using new findings into the structural mechanics of press-fit timber connections. PhD Candidate Yousef Al-Qaryouti has submitted the new design to win the coveted Dow Sustainability Innovation Challenge Award (SISCA) and $25,000, to develop it into a commercial product.
The Plate House is the first application of a new, folded shell structural system developed at the University of Oxford. It is an origami-like plate assembly constructed from repeated modules, with a triple-layered shell providing strength and thermal insulation. The modules can be constructed from any convenient sheet material, with joints digitally fabricated directly into the sheet during fabrication, so that no tools or additional connection components are needed for assembly. The structural form is also highly flexible and highly redundant, so plates can be manufactured, replaced, upgraded, or repurposed on site. A full-scale arch was constructed from 3mm thick cardboard layers and had a 4m span and 2m height. The Plate House was a UK regional finalist in the James Dyson Award 2013. More information is available here.
Please complete the following details to download Plate House (Type A) core, top face, and bottom face plate designs.