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A sustainable manufacturing process of building modular elements

Country of Origin: Italy
Reference Number: TOIT20170118001
Publication Date: 18 January 2017


An Italian company specialized in Screw Pile Foundations (SPFs), a light building technology for easy and fast foundation, leads a lab working group composed of architects and engineering professionals that designed a sustainable manufacturing process of building modular elements using local workers and materials. Companies interested to adopt such construction methodology and to use of the related building elements through licensing and financial agreement are sought.


An Italian company designed a sustainable manufacturing process of building modular elements. This is the first bottom-up construction model of a shelter made of concrete materials that guarantees full construction with human and material resources found locally. The modular building is the first process and technology based solution to provide a shelter that is a home, giving a complete response to practical, psychological and social problems of the global housing needs affecting people living in conflict zones, migration routes, crowded urban and poor rural areas. 
Unless other shelter solutions, the building process of the modular element is characterized by the complete bottom-up approach, based on the possibility to build the living units starting from the local resources as needs, both in terms of materials used and of persons involved in building works; this allows the inclusive involvement of beneficiaries and local partners along with a significant reduction of emissions caused by the normal shipping of prefabricated systems like wooden or steel shelters. The model embraces all the characteristics to be the first system through which it is possible to build a shelter that has all the features of a real house, maintaining the provisional concept thanks to an easy installation joined to a quick removal and repositioning of all modules (concrete panels, SPF and bent plate structure). Thanks to the fact that the SPF system doesn't leave any residue in the occupied ground, the most comprehensive and environmental resilience of the soil is ensured.
Indeed, the Screw Piles Foundation technology developed by the Italian company and protected by utility model patent, provides a certified alternative method to the concrete foundations method, guaranteeing high resistance to important stress and highest stability in case of aftershocks during earthquake swarm. This specific technology guarantees the installation in any type of terrain, easy and quick removal or displacement (only three days), no impact on the land occupied, further isolation and decreasing the loss of heat and energy. Being a solution feasible with any concrete composites materials (concrete, cement, clay, perlite, gypsum, straw or wool mixtures, and others), the modular element holds the higher resistance performance to shocks, external attacks or bullets respect all the other shelter solutions and for this reason it's the best option in warfare contexts.

Advantages and Innovations

The modular building is conceived as a modular element as basic form, from which starting to give the shelter the more useful and congenial shape thanks to the creation of concrete panels in series and adapting the shape to the housing or sheltering needs.
Thanks to the possibility of wrapping the modular element with a homogeneous and continuous air layer on six faces, any heat and acoustics losses are eliminated. The shelter is lifted from the ground (on screw piles foundation). The insulation is continuous and homogeneous around the structural “box”: the cover, the sides and the intrados of the ground floor completely eliminating thermal bridges are isolated. Non-autoclaved cellular concrete panels with very low density (130 kg / m3 - λ= 0.045 Wm/k°) that replace insulator traditionally consisting of extruded polystyrene (EPS) allow very high energy performance and efficiency that make the modular building fall in the energy category A+. It's designed to be equipped with photovoltaic panels for energy use, functioning as passive houses with high energy performances.
Easy to manufacture, assembly and disassembly: the screw piles foundation make it potentially mobile and itinerant; the solution can be designed in easily and widely available cement materials and it requires only two simply transportable installation mixers; moreover, for the realization of the in-folded sheet structure it's necessary a simple bending machine to form the panels sheet, as the supporting frame is bolted and thus doesn't require welding. The assembly process is very quick, using a simple mechanical arm. Disposal: full removable panels and recyclable SPF.
The presence of the "prefabrication" concept and the principle of "short chain" in the materials procurement, make the project of particular interest in terms of cost savings and reduction of environmental costs.

Stage Of Development

Prototype available for demonstration

Requested partner

- Type of partner sought: 
Engineering companies in construction sector interested to use the building modular elements and methodology.
- Specific area of activity of the partner:
Construction engineering; materials, component and systems for construction; installations related to construction.
- Task to be performed by the partner sought:
Technical partnership (material and component provisions) for the adoption of the construction system using the modular elements for new or existing installations and projects and financial partnership to further develop the business. Joint venture agreements with construction companies are also considered

Dissemination Countries

Albania, Armenia, Argentina, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Belarus, Canada, Switzerland, Chile, Cameroon, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Egypt, Spain, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, India, Iceland, Italy, Jordan, Japan, South Korea, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Moldova, Montenegro, Macedonia, The former Yugoslav Republic of, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Paraguay, Romania, Serbia, Russia, Sweden, Singapore, Slovenia, Slovakia, Tunisia, Turkey, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam

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