IBA Digitally Fabricated Micro-Home

The Institute for Computational Design and Construction at the University of Stuttgart have furthered the quest to develop viable yet low-cost solutions to housing construction by way of digital fabrication. A company of designers from the Stuttgart Institution designed the Timber Prototype House as part of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) currently on show in Apolda.

The IBA Timber Prototype House was designed to explore how open source architecture and digital fabrication could help tackle the global housing crisis and make affordable, adaptable, and sustainable homes more globally accessible. The air-tight micro-home was built using low-cot timber and consists of a series of staggered upright spruce timber frames with thin slits that serve as stress-relief cuts to prevent splitting. Dead-air chambers were constructed to increase insulation values without compromising structural capacity.

Digital fabrication and five-axis CNC milling also allowed for the creation of precision-cut airtight joints for connecting the timber elements so that no metal fasteners or adhesives were needed in construction.

The tiny building’s curved walls and roof are also a result of digital fabrication, while simulations of the home’s energy efficiency have indicated that the prototype should perform up to PassivHaus standards even during cold German winters.

The IBA Timber will remain on display in Apolda until September 29.

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