Although our daily life is quite different in times of Corona we still keep working on our projects. Next to our professional projects we are working on several research projects and one of them is developing shelters and short term housings made out of paper.
Basic idea is to have a modular prefabricated system that can be quickly assembled by two people. The single elements can be combined in different ways to build a variety of different housings from tiny shelters to larger units. The elements can be prefabricated on stock and in case of emergencies like earthquakes etc. be sent around the world. The wall and roof elements are made of 75 laminated layers of different papers/ cardboards that fulfill different requirements (load bearing, fire rating, water protection...).
The project is funded by Forschungsintitiative Zukunft Bau by the german governement and partners include TU Darmstadt ISM+D, Katz Group, SWAP, Smurfit Kappa, Unger Diffutherm, Transsolar, Ingenieurbüro Langner, Eurowell, bauverein AG, Easy2Trade and Yamaton. So we have a very good setting with lots of competence to achieve our goal to build sustainable shelters!
So far the main goal was to investigate on the configuration of the different layers, the detailing of the connection of the elements and testing structural strength and fire resistance. Apart to that one important thing is to optimize manufacturing processes and find the proper tools for it. Elements are milled and yet there is no special drillhead for milling paper this thickness. The next step will be building a 1:1 test case section of the wall and finally building one complete test unit that will suit as student housing in Darmstadt to test under real life conditions.