London is in the grip of a housing crises. 50,000 new affordable housing units a year are required, and our construction sector is at capacity, producing nowhere near that number. The solution lies in industrialising construction which can be decentralised and allows the erection of multi-storey housing faster and with a reduced number of people and specialist skills.

We have developed a kit of parts approach to residential construction that is based on this concept, which uses the power of parametric design to ensure a maximum of flexibility for each project while achieving the necessary design resolution that allows prefabrication of predominantly flat pack elements for frame, walls and envelope, to tight tolerances for simple and fast erection on site. Utilising the existing supply chain but cutting out the loss of resolution in the handover from designer to contractor, the proposed approach will radically change the way we are designing and constructing residential buildings without being locked into the repetitive stereotypes of modular construction.

Dr Al Fisher – BuroHappold Engineering

Dr Al Fisher is an associate at BuroHappold Engineering, focusing on the application of novel approaches to design computation across projects. A structural engineer with a background in computational design, he has particular interest in the geometry of freeform architecture, where engineering efficiency and form are so inextricably linked. His research is now focused on realising truely integrated multidisciplinary computational engineering.

Previously Al studied for his masters and PhD in Civil and Architectural engineering at the University of Bath, completing his thesis on generative complex geometries, applying his work to both structural analysis and computational fluid dynamics.

Wolf Mangelsdorf – BuroHappold Engineering

Wolf Mangelsdorf was born and grew up in Germany.

After graduation in Architecture and Civil Engineering at Karlsruhe University and a research stay at Kyoto University he moved to Britain in 1997.

Since 2002 he has been with BuroHappold, where he is a partner. He is project principal for a number of major projects with leading architects both in the UK and internationally and responsible for structural engineering globally.

He has been teaching at the Architectural Association since 2000, and has been a guest lecturer and tutor at universities internationally.

Rethinking Modular Housing