Though the step-by-step directions from WikiHouse leave much to be desired, the idea itself is really quite promising:
WikiHouse is an Open Community Construction Set. Its aim is to make it possible for almost anyone, regardless of their formal skills, to freely download and build structures which are affordable and suited to their needs. you can download houses and components which are created and shared by an open community of designers from around the world. Individual parts can be combined or adapted using the free program Google Sketchup. When you click ‘Make this House’ from within Sketchup, WikiHouse generates a complete set of milling drawings from your model, which can be used by a CNC cutter to fabricate the house parts. An example project follows from this point forward:
- The parts are cut by a CNC mill using locally-sourced material. This is 18mm plywood, in the standard sheet size of 2440mm x 1220mm (8′ x 4′).
- Set out the parts for each section onto the ground, assembling it like a double-layered jigsaw. You won’t need any power tools.
- Bolt together the two layers to form a single section. Invite friends and family to help with the barn-raising!
- Stand the sections up vertically, positioning them approximately at 600mm intervals. Use the primary connectors to stabilize the structure.
- Fit the secondary connectors into the slots in the section. These should be staggered alternately. Use the mallet provided on the milling sheets to hammer these into place.
- Fit the internal and external cladding panels onto the structure. Internally these usually need to be screwed into place.
- The structure is ready for insulation, cladding, sealing, and services.
That last bullet is especially comic in its simplicity, but again the idea’s a good start. Here’s hoping we see more open-source plans for affordable architecture in the future.