WikiHouse partner with private, public and third sector organisations to help them transition towards sustainable, digital building models. They are currently doing this at three levels in the stack:
- Development and diffusion of open source sustainable hardware solutions that any company or organisation can adopt and use. Technologies such as WikiHouse can be digitally fabricated, and rapidly assembled, lowering the barriers of time, knowledge, skill and cost for everyone.
- Development of digital supply chain platforms that combine automation and the web to make sustainable, circular, data-driven construction simpler for everyone.
- Development of new public web infrastructures to underpin an open, circular construction industry.
Our generation faces a huge building challenge. Between now and 2050, the pace of urbanisation is equivalent to building a carbon-zero city the size of London every 5 weeks. At present, our construction and development industries are far from being capable of meeting this. Buildings remain the single biggest consumer of energy and materials, and the single biggest source of waste. Meanwhile, the models we use to design and procure them prohibit innovation or investment in whole-life performance. This is not because better solutions don’t exist, but rather because they remain too difficult and too poorly diffused: it is a systems problem.
With their partners, WikiHouse Foundation are prototyping and piloting a number of circular-by-default systems which aim to use digital innovation and the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ to address this. For example, construction technologies that use only dry assembly methods, so all parts can be re-used or recycled.
WikiHouse Foundation is conceived as an R&D lab that works for everyone. They work with businesses and organisations to understand, prototype and deploy new kinds of digital technology that advance an open, circular digital building ecosystem.
These can range from small to large scale pilot projects and building programmes, to building local digital supply chains that make low energy, sustainable building solutions highly replicable.
In some cases this involves the digitisation and automation of existing products, services and data – for example building customisers that allow designers and customers to instantly see the impact of their design decisions before they build. Tools that make complex knowledge simple to access and use, even for small businesses and citizens.
On the long run, the Foundation are looking to form partnerships around designing and building key pieces of digital infrastructure required to support a circular industrial ecosystem for buildings.