Monomer House

A D Lab

The Monomer House is a collaborative project initiated by the architects A D Lab Pte Ltd, and involving 20 like-minded collaborators of different disciplines in the construction industry who share a common vision of wanting to find a leaner and more sustainable solution for building design and construction. It is a self-organised and self-funded initiative to test the possibility of lightweight, prefabricated, prefinished and lean modular assemblies that can be customised and erected rapidly into many different building types, forms and sizes.

The Monomer House is a two-storey micro dwelling consisting of two prefabricated, prefinished modules measuring 2.6m by 5.2m per module. They are stacked in an L-configuration to maximise usable floor area. The modules use light-gauge steel and lightweight finishing materials such as aluminium, lightweight boards, wood and PVC to keep the overall weight under 2.5 tons per module, and thus making transportation and deployment easy.

The house is integrated with vertical landscape, smart furniture systems, and photovoltaic cells to make the dwelling unit environmentally friendly and self-sufficient. This, along with the easy assembly method of dry construction with no welding and no wet-works on or off site, allows the building to be quickly erected in a wide variety of site conditions. The overall objective is to advance the industry toward adopting DfMA (design for manufacturing and assembly) in the design and construction process, as well as to make DfMA processes and capabilities accessible to small-to-medium-scale projects.

Through this project, A D Lab is promoting what they believe to be the most sustainable form of design and building for our cities. It is a reaction to the standard practice of top-down development and promotes the democratisation of architecture. The Monomer House concept allows for design adaptability and a build-as-you-go incremental approach to development projects. As such, wastefulness through redundancy and over-supply can be reduced.

Photography: Courtesy of A D Lab.