The British housing sector is in a crisis. Not only have house prices in the cities risen by 53% since this time four years ago, but worryingly a report by the Independent Institute for Public Policy Research stipulates that there will be a shortfall of 750,000 homes across the country by 2025. Furthermore, 75% of the world’s population is estimated to be living in cities by 2050.
British architectural firm Facit Homes is championing the D-Process, a prefabricated house building technique. The homes are designed on a computer, with every tiny detail factored in, including the position of plug sockets, thus allowing the client and future homeowner to organize their space according to their personal specifications. A shipping container kitted out with 3D-printers is positioned at what will become the doorstep, and cuts the bare wooden walls to the precise size, creating the chassis, or rather a “big wooden Lego” whose pieces are complete with all the holes need for fitting electricity, insulation, and drainage system.
The D-Process scores points on almost every aspect of building. It is dramatically quicker to assemble; a four-bedroom house can be assembled in under a week. It needs fewer materials, meaning it is substantially more ecological. It requires a smaller work force, meaning it is considerably cheaper.
The D-Process is fundamentally about creating unique, custom-made homes, and not merely ‘cookie-cutter’ houses. It offers not only a sensible solution to the snowballing housing crisis, but also one that safeguards our ability to determine how we live.