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Design Your Own Modular Building System

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Newtools geometry has reorganized basic geometry to provides a new 'set of tools' for any builder to discover the modular building patterns embedded in fundamental structure. Naturalmodular building techniques grow out of the basic interconnectedness (synergy) of the structural and numercial constants that define the communication networks linking these integral parts.

Here, the interconnectedness (synergy) of the cube, tetrahedron and the coupler define the same structural integrity building patterns. Two tetras and three couplers define the outside limits of a cube. I use this combination to develop a new set of modular designs.

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I add the rhombic dodecahedron's structure to the mix. To augment the placement of windows on the side of this structure I added reflected light units. The blue 1/8 octahedron modular unit becomes our 'light well'. The three triangles on its underside are windows that allows light that bounces off any surface to be reflected off of its interior surfaces. This provides a soft ambient light all day long. This design provides a variety of surfaces to place solar panel increasing how much sunlight is captured throughout the day.

Naturalmodular building techniques uses whole systems thinking to find the interconnectedness of the parts that build basic modular designs. Rethinking what is an efficient floor plan, how to design a low-cost modular wall system, increasing reflected ambient light to illuminate spaces throughout the day with having to turn on lights and multiple surfaces for solar panel placement are some of the main areas naturalmodular is searching for new methods.

Most Effective Minimum Floor Plans
Hexagonal Floor Plans
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Fabiano Schwalb, the Brazilian architect and I are collaborating on developing a set of 'push-off-start' modular designs to stimulate new thinking about what is possible. All of these ideas are open source.  We have chosen the hexagon as our floor plan template.

With the ability to mass produce a 60 degree triangle grid we have a method of using the hexagon as the defining structure of our floor plans. Combinations of hexagons allow for interior gardens or light wells. Staircases generally take up a lot of usable space in a small house. Fabiano found a way to place it advantageously where 3 hexagons come together.

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Parts of hexagons play a role as well. It is possible to divide the functions of a bathroom into 3 different spaces allowing three people to use it at once. Getting away from thinking in rectilinear floor plans opens up many new areas of exploration.

The Hexapod
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The hexagonal prism was included in Newtools geometry's 20 most fundamental geometrical systems (polyhedra) because of its potential as a modular wall unit. To lower costs there needs to be all-purpose first floor pods made up of modular wall units. In this case, Fabiano and I defined the size of the rectangle that builds the hexapod as relative to whatever the ceiling height of the unit is. Say 3 meters is the height, multiply that number by the square root of 2 and you will always have the length of the rectangle.

Doors and windows can be installed in the workspace building the wall units. An interlocking post can be easily design allowing for a wide variety of combination. One of the prime directives of design-in-Nature is a balance of choice and usefulness with least amount of effort.

The next 2 sections will show examples of the First 12 geometrical systems with the hexapod to generate new possible modular building patterns. I am interested in knowing your ideas and designs; are these images helpful?

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