Project Title:

Flexible Floor Plans – A Modular, Reconfigurable, & Sustainable Floor & Wall System

Principal Investigator:

Jin Wen and Eugenia Ellis

Co-Investigators:

Jared Langevin, Sam Steffes, Adrian Lu

Funding Agency:

Green Building Alliances

Funding Period:

2006-2008

Abstract:

A modular wall and floor system that is sustainable and appropriate for residential settings will be designed and experimentally tested in this project. Existing building constructions do not allow their occupants to easily reconfigure the floor plans, even though peoples’ needs constantly change during their lifetime. People often have to either renovate their houses or to move to a larger one. Large quantities of material and energy are wasted during a renovation process because old wall and floor materials are difficult to be reused. Research studies have demonstrated that modular wall and floor systems can provide flexible floor planning, better indoor air quality, and improved energy efficiency. In this project, scientific approaches including theoretical simulation, prototype construction and testing, as well as life-cycle analysis, will be adopted to design and test an innovative modular wall and floor system for residential buildings. More specifically, the proposed system will 1) be lightweight and reconfigurable by regular residential occupants; 2) allow customized finishing materials; 3) be soundproof; and 4) maximize the usage of local materials to achieve a more sustainable solution. The final deliverables include a prototype modular wall and floor system, final report, user manual, and design guidance.

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