Wim Debacker

Wim Debacker

PhD research

Design and environmental load assessment of multi-use construction kits for temporary applications based on 4Dimensional Design

Date2005 - 2009
SupervisorW. Patrick De Wilde

HENDRICKX (VUB) and VANWALLEGHEM invented a design approach that includes a dynamic view on the built environment. By designing adaptable construction systems, which are compatible with each other, a dynamic answer can be given to an unexpected and unpredictable future. These construction systems are made of a minimum number of basic elements and a set of combination rules. They allow the conversion of each artefact to a different configuration, by means of adding, removing or transforming the basic elements which it is made of. It offers a high potential of recycling and (direct) reuse. The outcome can be compared with the Meccano building set, which, in this view, encloses all materials and techniques, and is applicable to all scales.

The goals of this PhD research are to study the technical feasibility of this new design approach and to assess its environmental benefits and impacts on construction, building component and material level . These goals are to be accomplished through the design and environmental assessment of 2 practical case studies.

The design cases are limited to temporary applications, such as transitory dwellings in Belgium and infrastructure for foreign relief situations (accommodation, shelter, offices, canteen and storage place). Although the focus is set on these short term applications, the 4D design principles must also been viewed in more permanent structures.

A sample of the PhD thesis can be obtained via VUBPRESS Brussels University Press Ravensteingalerij 28 B-1000 Brussels Tel: ++32 (0)2 289 26 50 Fax: ++32 (0)2 289 26 59 E-mail: ISBN 978 90 5487 548 2

Master’s thesis

Duurzame ontwikkeling van de materiƫle cultuur benaderd door het systeemdenken

Date? - 2003
SupervisorW. Patrick De Wilde