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to the first fabprefab e-newsletter. Our aim with these periodic updates
is to keep you informed of developments in modernist prefab.
1. OA-SYS: A Systems approach.
In this issue we take a look at OA-SYS (Open Architecture System), which is a collaboration between the Austrian Architect Oskar Leo Kaufmann and the modern timber construction company Berlinger Holzbau, based in Vorarlberg, Austria.
OA-SYS is a complete modular prefab system. The suite of defined components can be combined in numerous ways to create a range of structures. This ‘systems approach’ is somewhat akin to Lego in its flexibility although the modular elements are completed panels and ‘planes’ rather than building blocks.
If custom architecture is like à la carte dining, then a system like OA-SYS is a buffet (and fixed-design modular kits are a fixed menu). OA-SYS provides an array of elements that can be mixed and matched into a design that meets the needs of the client.
One benefit this systems mode of prefab has over fixed-design modular kits is that some economies of scale in production can be realized while still allowing for design flexibility. You get kit economy without kit homogeneity.
The process of designing and constructing a building can appear somewhat arcane to the uninitiated. Design possibilities and process complexities can be disconcerting for a first-time client. One cited promise of prefab is that it has the potential to demystify or simplify some of the process. In this sense OA-SYS is understandable: at a basic level everyone can comprehend that floor + walls + roof = volume. OA-SYS offers program simplicity without being technically simplistic in execution.
We are presenting, exclusively for fabprefab readers, a translation into English of the German language web site www.oa-sys.com. This translation reflects OA-SYS web site content as of October 1 2003. Hopefully the OA-SYS site will remain unchanged for at least a while…
A system like OA-SYS is technically capable of supporting 3rd party modules (add-ons/plug-ins) from multiple vendors. Is encouraging participation from other vendors a defined strategy for the vendor, Berlinger Holzbau? Also what is the plan for marketing this system? Will the vendor use a network of 'system-certified' architects as a 'solutions delivery channel' (much like the Value Added Reseller model in the business software market)? These questions and more will be addressed in an upcoming newsletter which will feature comments from the vendor Berlinger Holzbau.
We invite your comments on this system in the fabchat area. You will see a forum titled "Newsletter 01" under the "Newsletter Forum" category.Please share your thoughts on OA-SYS and this mode of systems prefab.
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