Woodenmodulare units by Aleksi Peltomaa

Woodenmodulare units

By Aleksi Peltomaa

The basic idea of my design is to use wooden modulare units to build two new levels for blocks of flats made of concrete. These modulare units can be constructed elsewhere and then transported by truck to the construction site. Therefore, the normal negative effects of construction sites -- like noise, dust and complicating other peoples’ lives in the area -- stay at lower levels than usually. The problems of variations of the existing buildings, such as architecture, locations of elevators and stairs, and floor area shapes, can be solved by the transformability of modulare units. Façade material of the modulare units is also easily variable and it can be chosen or modified for the existing buildings to carry out the existing culture and architecture. Because the maximum measurements of the transportable modulare units, they form popular and cost-effective apartments with an area of 30 m2, or 60 m2 if two of these elements are connected together.

The steps of constructing the expansion can be separated in three different phases. At first the old roof covering needs to be removed till the existing concrete vault. Then the groundings can be done: the anchor bar connections and casting the insulated cast-walling blocks to the height of 1.2m to the structurally carrying lines and around the stair and elevator room. The height of 1.2m is required because of the need to modify the existing ventilation and rain water sewer system in the roof of the existing building, and adapting the HPAC-equipment, which is brought through the concrete vault and connected to the HPAC-systems of the new building.

The second step is transporting the modulare units and connecting them to the groundings. Modulare units’ maximum strategic measurements are 12m*4,2m*3,2m, so that they can be transported by truck. All what is needed to complete this step is a couple of men in the roof and one crane. The modulare units can be lifted and installed quite fast so the negative effects for other people are quite minimal.
The third step is finishing indoor work and the installation of HPAC. The hardest part will be raising the existing elevator two floors higher and integrating it to the expansion.

The expansion between the old and new buildings always causes problems and issues that need to be taken care of to achieve a functional structure. Here are some design basics, which my plan b will fulfill: the water insulation of existing building must be fixed after bringing the HPAC and elevator through the concrete vault. By using insulated cast-walling blocks the HPAC-equipment in the ground floor will not freeze during the winter time. New floors water sewerage systems will be taken as directly as possible in the ground floor, where is enough space to move them sideways. The fire protection and soundproofing are designed according to the Finnish building code.

Wood itself is an ecologic product and by using it in modulare units, and that way reducing construction site effects, we can build more cost-efficient and environmentally beneficial living spaces for people. By building expansions in the heights, it is possible to utilize solar energy. Modulare units allow the pre-installation of solar panels on the roof and integrated window solar panels which make it possible to reduce energy consumption.  

City Above the City architecture competition

Plan B : City Above the City architecture competition 

Metsä Wood challenged architects and students around the world to push the boundaries of modern wood building design in the urban environment. Entrants from 40 countries created their Plan B to urbanisation using wood (Kerto® LVL – laminated veneer lumber) as the main material. The task was to design a wooden extension to an existing urban building. The entries were designed to 69 cities worldwide.

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