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I recently spent a weekend talking non-stop to an architect and Fab Lab enthusiast.  He introduced me to the idea of the Wiki House:

WikiHouse is an open source construction set.

The aim is to allow anyone to design, download and “print” CNC-milled houses and components, which can be assembled with minimal formal skill or training.

Here’s Alastair Parvin:

Architect Alastair Parvin presents a simple but provocative idea: what if, instead of architects creating buildings for those who can afford to commission them, regular citizens could design and build their own houses? The concept is at the heart of Wikihouse, an open source construction kit that means just about anyone can build a house, anywhere.

TED Talks

Wiki House

 

So what if we could take the ideas of the Wiki House, the knowledge and experience of some architects trained in one of the foremost schools of architecture in the world (and who already understand and use Fab Labs) and come up with a downloadable design for producing an energy-efficient (both in terms of running costs and building costs) and easily and quickly built Fab Lab (and/or Fab Cafe)?

We would want to include some solar power: maybe not quite as extreme as this:

… but we can learn from their experience.

And the roof needn’t be so conventional.  In the past factories had saw-tooth roofs: the steep side was to the north, and allowed in light.  They needn’t look old-fashioned or ugly as this Swiss house, or this renovated factory in (of course!) Barcelona.