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CORNELL UNIVERSITY College of AAP, EPIPHYTE LAB, panel house, green prefab, solar power, daylighting, prefab,prefab friday, panelized house design, prefab house design, eco house, green home, plywood ribs

The house’s core feature is its set of structural members that support both the walls and the roof. The M-shaped “ribs” can be configured in a multitude of different angles. 3 strips of 3/4 inchplywood are sandwiched together and cut by a CNC machine based on CAD renderings to create the building’s flowing profile when assembled.

4 foot wide infill panels are inserted between the 16 inch deep ribs at separate depths, allowing the façade to gradually change form while limiting the level of insulation. The panels are made from stock construction materials, and since they are standard factory widths a minimum of materials are wasted. The panels are also easy to customize – windows can be set at various heights for views, daylight up high, or solar heat gain to the south. Built-in garden trellises on the ground floor and ample room for solar panels on top add to the functionality of the unique system.

The design’s splayed footprint is best supported by a pier foundation at each rib footing, which also minimizes the building’s site impact. Horizontal expansion is as simple as adding to either end, and since the house is made from discrete components it can be completely disassembled and reassembled in another location.