A building system of urban housing, with special reference to Iran

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


This thesis takes a holistic approach to the development of a building system that responds to the socio-economic, cultural and climatic parameters of urban Iran. The scheme developed is a system of precast (prefabricated) concrete panels that are connected to prefabricated wet core modules, abbreviated "pancore.” Specifically, pancore meets the needs of a rapidly emerging nuclear middle-class family structure, which is concentrated in the urban centers of Iran. Up to the present, the limitations of time and lack of skilled labor in Iran have hindered attempts to provide adequate housing on a mass scale. Now that the pattern of family living has been undergoing change, there is an ever-increasing demand for a different style of urban housing; that is, individual apartment-type dwelling units on a large scale. The proposed scheme not only responds to the above-mentioned criteria, but also surmounts the dependency on skilled labor, since major building components can be produced in the factory.

The design process has emphasized the application of the systems approach, both at the micro and macro levels of analysis. Matrices have been developed to evaluate and optimize the design concepts. The optimization and trading off of the design ideas have been uniquely made during the early design development, hence incorporating systems ideas in the building design. The proposed scheme is a result of the application of a holistic approach to architectural systems design. Criteria such as user needs, environmental parameters, and traditional design procedures have been utilized to formulate the design goals.