A Research Series Conclusion: Examining Our Contribution
By: Natalie Browne | April 1, 2020
Beyond an understanding of what is deeply necessary for the sustainable growth of our cities in the big picture, R-Hauz has embraced a comprehensive approach to product design that is entirely considerate of the diverse needs of modern-day individuals and families. Development processes for the Six Storey Avenue Townhomes and Two Storey Laneway Suites involved extensive collaboration amongst established developers, builders, engineers, architects, city planning experts and other relevant outside consultants. Importantly, these converging points of expertise have ultimately resulted in highly original and refined housing solutions – thoughtfully crafted for humans and our planet. Put simply: comfort, safety, liveability and an overall embodiment of sustainability are central to R-Hauz’s mission.
Ease in Development
In exploring some of the features included in these two families of housing products, it is clear that there is a sustained focus on modernized, intelligent and healthy living. Optimized to seamlessly blend into the surrounding urban fabric, the products share an overarching design that is unique in both layout and ownership. Since these housing solutions need to work for a diverse array of people and families, the potential for customization has been key in the development of these models. Finishes and other functional and aesthetic choices can be made by customers ahead of prefabrication.
Stepping into the future, homeowners will be able to curate sleek, modernized housing solutions remotely. Once selected and finalized, new homeowners can enjoy the benefits and implications of a condensed construction time (something it seems like their neighbours might enjoy as well). Prefabrication with factory-built panels means an extremely low-risk construction process and a quicker move-in date for customers – the panels are delivered directly to the lot and construction can be completed within months. Hopefully, this facilitated construction process can result in improvements for both city officials and urban residents alike.
Altogether, the thoughtful design and collaborative efforts behind all R-Hauz housing products have been made possible through the ongoing use of two important systems: Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). As an intelligent 3D modelling system, BIM (as well as parametric modelling) provides for effective facility management during the entire building lifecycle. Exact details can be planned and documented with BIM, ensuring design comprehensibility for potential buyers and an infallible end-product for homeowners.
On the other hand, the advantages of BIM and parametric modelling for homeowners can offer a multitude of benefits city officials as well. Building elements can be reviewed in the context of all surrounding parameters and can be accessed very easily. As an example, when city planners are making their comments, they can see if or whether another element will be implemented. Here, the city captures important data that benefits the overarching operations and maintenance activities in Toronto – facilitating the repeatability of these housing solutions for city officials. BIM could also provide a comprehensive database for information about homebuyer preferences (i.e. market pulse), which is subject to support important city characteristics, environmental performance and social sustainability in the housing industry.
Adapting to New Technologies
The use of BIM can also effectively support collaboration through an IPD methodology, which leverages early contributions of knowledge and expertise through the utilization of new technologies. Team members will be able to better realize their highest potentials while expanding the value they provide throughout the project life cycle – with everyone able to see the encompassing product and others’ comments during the development stages.
Challenges, however, remain in dealing with the social and cultural limitations in the adaptation of advanced technologies in the building industry. Consequently, progressive changes within the municipal government and throughout the city planning process are necessary. Sitting right on the cutting edge of new housing technology, R-Hauz’s innovative solutions are both effective and refined.