Report from the Field: Ahmedabad, India
KieranTimberlake Research Group Director Billie Faircloth and Fabrication Studio Manager Peter Curry went to Ahmedabad recently to conduct a site visit and workshop with the goal of building a full bay prototype of the Ideal Choice Homes structural system.
Over the three-day workshop, the scope, specifications, evaluation criteria, and construction management plan for the prototype were developed under intense coordination with local design, engineering, and fabrication partners.
Concrete design, quality assurance, and evaluation methods were among the topics of discussion, and much time was devoted to vetting the detailing of doors, windows, infill panels, and connections. Typically in India, such components are not prefabricated—the normative practice for fabricating windows and doors is to template the building after construction and make everything to fit.
Also informing the detailing of the infill components are the fabrication and erection tolerances for the precast concrete panels. Because Ideal Choice Homes is a modular construction system that is set up on a grid, it demands more precise tolerances. In the workshop, a plan was initiated to determine the tolerances for Ideal Choice Homes and what can be expected given the available fabrication technologies and construction methods.
Part of the work session involved a site visit to review several precast panels that had been transported to Ahmedabad from their point of manufacture in Pune, India. One of the goals of the prototype is to test different concrete mixes and panel thicknesses with the intention of making the system easier to install.
The visit included a tour of housing communities developed by a local partner in order to learn about current Indian construction methods, materials, and housing conventions.
The Ahmedabad workshop successfully set in motion a series of action items to maximize what can be learned from building the first prototype. A team from KieranTimberlake will return to the site during construction to evaluate and document the process.