Thursday, November 6, 2008

Retrospective: En Route to Vienna

We headed to the ELK factory after we left Judenburg, after a super amazing home cooked dinner with Mark's childhood friend and wife.

So we piled into the Focus and the Mondego and drove to the boonies, where we toured the ELK Factory. They pre-fabricate homes so you don't have to. Here's some videos of the factory bustling with activity.

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Moving a wall over to another belt.
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Using a vacuum to pick up wall elements.
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Flipping!
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Pan of the final factory area, where the finished walls are loaded onto trucks and sent off.
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When we finally arrived in Vienna, we met up with Professor Hubert Riess who designed this project below:
This was a housing project in Vienna, the Residential Project Spottlegasse, built between 2003 and 2005. It's a complex of 150 subsidized apartments, and is built mostly out of wood, in fact, out of KLH panels. The use of wood was hoped to promote the use of wood in multilevel construction, to make it more acceptable, and to prove that it could comply with Vienna building code, which only allowed wood buildings to be up to 4 stories.

The KLH panels, due to cost, were used as load bearing elements but not always exposed to show that it was bearing the weight. Cladding for low energy requirements covered up the KLH panels in most places, taking away the ability to see the wood and its strength in holding up the building. Nonetheless, the fact that the structure was entirely made of wood shows new possibilities in timber fabrication and new thoughts about how we in the United States could potentially use this material in our projects.

The prof also gave us the most delicious apples that I have ever eaten, and will probably be the best apples I will ever eat in my entire life. I regret that I didn't eat more of them...

Tons of wood jokes were made during this trip. Holz-o-matic.

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