Building System

Meeting with the homeless in San Diego

Newood News : Newood en Californie !

Au mois de janvier dernier Willem van Willigen, gérant de la SARL Fondamental et fondateur de la technologie Newood a été reçu à l’Université de Californie San Diego par M. Joel Conte, Professeur d’Ingénierie structurale et Directeur de la grande table vibrante de la NEES qui a qualifié la technologie Newood « de la plus importante innovation dans le domaine de la construction bois depuis un siècle » (lire sa lettre ci-après)

Joël et Willem at the NHERI shake table, San Diego, California

About self-building

During pre-history, small groups of human beings built their shelters by and for themselves. Everyone brought their abilities.At the time of the settlement of the first farmers, the same was true in the Neolithic era. And it was with the appearance of the first civilizations that the leaders (sultans, kings, emperors, pharaohs) decided self-proclaimed rules to build the first cities. You’re going to put me a pyramid or hanging gardens here or there !

In rural areas, construction continued to be improvised without rules other than common sense. When Jean not wanted to build too close to Pierrot he was going to convince him to dismiss his construction for the good reason that the passage would be insufficient to pass with his cart. We can talk about social control. The inhabitants arranged each other for a good general functioning. Admire the improvised beauty of Santorini that has enough of tourism. All you have to do is to demolish everything and build crazy high rise buildings and tourism will cease. Tourists come to see a small town where low buildings are supported against one another and improvised along paths that follow the level curves whose widths vary according to the topography. What pleases and what we lost.

Santorin the beautiful.

In the Middle Ages and until the beginning of the 20th century, in the countryside everyone built for himself and his family. It is true often helped by a man of art, a confirmed mason, paid to ensure that the construction will be solid and in conformity with the intended use. Construction generally followed the level curves. From earthworks they did as little as possible and were limited to foundations. Nowadays one moves if necessary (or imagined) an entire mountain with bulldozers.

In France, until 1950 – 1960, in the rural world, we built as much as we wanted. People said we are building a new house more than they were asking for a permit. The city council decided. Subsequently, with the organization of the Departmental Directorates of Equipment, the regulations have become exponentially stacked. According to a specialised lawyer, there would be more than 70,000 construction rules in France that no specialist would know.

Saint Thomé d’Ardèche

In small towns and villages there was a great deal of self-building. Everyone saw building and if needed often self-build with help. The atavistic instincts of building his own shelter continued to express it selves. François Fontès, architect and urban planner, up to his neck in contemporary construction, loves to talk about when, as a child, he built cabins. Cabins, which to say it bluntly, demography compels (?), have become post-war hutches. To better crowd human beings and then exploit them.

Today it is interesting to see that there is still a fringe of the population whose atavistic instinct works and who is passionate about self-building. From a philosophical point of view, self-building is excellent for personality formation.

With computing, it is now possible for everyone to draw and build their own houses. The law allows, in France, to apply for a personal building permit without going through an architect. A last rampart for self-construction limited to 170 m2 habitable and soon more than 150 m2. Still enough for a family.

There are 1.6 billion people living in slums around the world today. The demographic forecast shows that it will be 2 billion in 2030 and 3 billion in 2050 (an increase of about 5%/year). It goes without saying that all the construction companies of the world, even united, are unable to build the homes needed to house them. These people only ask for one thing: to be able to have the means (materials) to build themselves. 1.6 billion people represent 3.2 billion hands waiting for this. And even if there are only half of the hands strong enough it makes it possible to be housed with dignity.