Loblolly House transforms the way we make architecture, compressing the construction timespan and making use of technology to create a truly sustainable, aesthetically moving shelter. Most houses are built from thousands of parts, which are transported separately to the construction site and pieced together by hand—a process of extraordinary duration, cost, and environmental impact.
With Loblolly House, we wanted to use integrated assemblies of those parts, fabricated off site, to build a house in an entirely different way. The conception and detailing were formed about four new elements of architecture: scaffold, cartridge, block, and equipment. The connections between elements were designed to be made using only simple hand tools.
Each element was first digitally modeled to an exquisite level of detail. The assemblies were then fabricated off site, anticipating their attachment to an aluminum scaffold system. Unlike a traditional building process, in which construction must happen sequentially from the ground up, with Loblolly House, the various elements could be prepared at the same time, shifting 70 percent of the effort to the factory.
All of the house’s systems were pre-integrated into the floor and ceiling panels, termed “smart cartridges,” to distribute radiant heating, hot and cold water, waste water, ventilation, and electricity throughout the house..