Brief: To create a sustainable modular building kit that can be assembled onsite by unskilled people quickly and with relative ease using only basic tools. The brief called for a building system that is able to be erected onsite efficiently and with minimal impact to existing flora and fauna, disappear into the landscape whether urban or rural, be fabricated from renewable materials efficiently and with minimal wastage, and able to be dissembled, reconfigured, added to, subtracted from or flat packed for storage. Providing full flexibility to the occupants. Crucially the overarching intention for the design is to embed quality architectural thinking into a building kit, so that through economies of scale and automated fabrication techniques, good design can be made accessible to the wider public.
Challenges: Integrating principles of architectural design such as maximising natural light, cross-ventilation, vistas, sight-lines, scale, form, volume and height, into a building kit that responds to Exempt Development requirements to streamline the approvals process, and that is able to be dissected into components that are efficient, sustainable and affordable to fabricate in a factory environment.
Solutions: IMBY™ stands for In My Back Yard. It is a building kit that encapsulates the simplicity and elegance of ancient woodworking techniques with the efficiency and sustainability of digital fabrication and renewable resources, to provide occupants with an easy to assemble and low cost space solution that you can configure, and re-configure, to respond to what life throws your way. The IMBY™ aesthetic is unique and captivating, more than a style it is the raw expression of its materials and how it goes together. The structural frame of the IMBY™ is modular, extendable as spatial needs dictate, and made up of interlocking mortice and tenon joints. These joints form an integral part of the intuitive assembly process, a major objective of the IMBY Kit; to empower people to build their own flexible, easy to assemble and beautiful architecture…in their back yards….on a farm….in the bush…..in the city…..
Fabricating building parts offsite in a factory environment rather than onsite achieves a higher level of control over the efficiency and accuracy of the building process. Machine efficiency is utilised to carry out repetitive tasks, this creates material and cost savings unparalleled by insitu construction. By “nesting” multiple parts on a 1200×2400 standard building sheet such as sustainably grown plantation pine plywood, we achieve maximum use of the material, which is good for the pocket as well as the planet. At the heart of the IMBY™ is a structural module (or “bay”) made up of FSC Certified plantation pine plywood layered up to form a series of portal frames that support the roof, wall and floor claddings and linings. The bays can be added or subtracted as spatial needs dictate, or multiple IMBY’s can be placed side-by-side to extend floor area even further, or arranged around an outdoor space or courtyard to create a series of pavilions. Interlocking timber joints form an integral part of the IMBY™ aesthetic as well as provide the backbone for the kit’s intuitive assembly process, enabling people without construction training to rapidly assemble the main structural elements.
Screw pile foundations are used as an affordable low-impact footing system that makes installation, re-location and re-configuration of the IMBY™ simple.
Highlights: Combining computer aided design and fabrication, architectural agency, and resolving how a single material (plywood) can be made to resolve design challenges.
FIND out more
Read about our recent win at the Australian Timber Design Awards
See also a recent feature article by Sue Williams in SMH Domain
Get you hands on one: We are working in collaboration with IMBY Kit Pty Ltd to supply these extraordinary little buildings to the public. Please visit the website for more information: Imby Kit
IMBY Drone Footage