Experiences with Prefabrication and Habitat for Humanity
Bilson, Carolyn Mary
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This thesis chronicles my experiences with developing a panelized wall system for use by Habitat for Humanity and with testing that system in the design and construction of a house. Presented as a series of narratives, it follows the progress of the project from August 2003 to December 2005. Described is my motivation to test my theories through design and construction, the applicability of prefabrication to Habitat for Humanity’s use of unskilled volunteer labour, the incorporation of panelization into the design of a house for the Waterloo Region affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, the prefabrication of preclad wood framed wall panels for this house by students at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, the erection of these wall panels on-site, and the completion of the house to a weathertight state. The thesis concludes with discussions of the understanding I gained through my experiences, the necessity for further development and testing of the panelized wall system, and the future use of prefabrication by Habitat for Humanity.