Floor plan

VUILD’s new platform “NESTING” digitally manufactures a house in Japan

Prototype vuild nesting house 0001

Japanese technology start-up in architecture VUILD has completed its first digitally fabricated prototype lodge using their ‘NESTING’ home building platform. The in wood house, titled NESTING 0001, was built in 2021 in the city of Teshikaga in Hokkaido, Japan, alongside the launch of the beta version of the new web platform. Compared to traditional Japanese wooden construction, the house consists of a thick wooden frame with high thermal insulation performance despite the harsh and cold climate of the region. The project also uses the “Stick” system, a new construction method designed by VUILD to significantly speed up the construction process and reduce costs.

With NESTING, the start-up aims to challenge and improve the current process of building houses in Japan, and ultimately to facilitate design and planning, and to build more efficiently and at lower cost.. NESTING allows everyone to freely design their own building, and based on this first prototype of a house, the platform will provide a real-time estimate of a given design and will actively update according to the different options chosen. Over time, the startup aims to evolve the app so that it can be used simultaneously for everything from land acquisition to producing detailed quotes and city plans.

VUILD Completes Pre-Fab Enclosure Prototype Digitally Using Its New NESTLING Digital Platform

all images courtesy of the author

Kickstand system for faster and cheaper construction

For this NESTING 0001 house prototype, the client worked on the design under the supervision of VUILD designers. The residence is configured in an L-shape, with a large terrace located at the southern end facing the main residence. While the living, dining and kitchen areas have been optimized for the requirements of this specific site and the client’s requirements, the floor plan can be modified and customized for different uses and needs with the NESTING app.

The Japanese architectural start-up developed and used a new democratized construction method, the “Crut” system, to create a faster construction process, significantly reducing costs. This new system allows items to be cut by Shopbot machines and assembled by a small team, and can be lifted and set up on site in a single day. It takes three additional days to install the load-bearing walls and frames between its main structure.

For NESTING 0001, a glued laminated timber crutch system is used, in which warp-resistant 3×6 plywood is loosely cut to shape, bolted to laminated and standardized solid wood sheets, and then assembled to form the structure. The length of the sheets is limited to 2.5 meters, which means that many joints are ultimately necessary to create a single frame.

vuild completes its first digitally fabricated home prototype using its nesting 7 home-building platform
the wooden frame was made with the new Kickstand system from VUILD

effective thermal insulation

The house is located in the city of Teshikaga, which is surrounded by nature with Lake Mashu, Lake Kussaharo and Akan Mashu National Park covering about two-thirds of its area. To adapt to the cold climate, with an average annual temperature of 5.4°C that can reach -20°C in winter, the timber frame house reaches G2 of HEAT20, the thermal insulation performance standard.

Compared to conventional Japanese timber construction, the walls of NESTING 0001 are much thicker, with enough insulation to help achieve such environmental standards despite the cold climate. For additional external insulation, the architects use wooden window frames, high-performance triple-glazed windows and hot spring water as the heat source to achieve thermal comfort with low energy consumption. The architects are also installing solar panels and storage batteries so that all electricity can be supplied off-grid.

To verify its effectiveness, simulations have been conducted to confirm that the use of a single AC/heating unit will create an ideal thermal comfort environment. With the Crutch system, it becomes easier to identify areas where gaps are likely to occur in the structure and mitigate those areas to build a highly airtight home in a shorter time and with less carpenters on site.