WikiHouse: Design, Download, Print & Build a Prefab Home


Contrary to sometimes-mistaken popular opinion, architects are not artists who create a new each time from scratch – they work with a palette of materials, techniques and tricks of the trade that build upon one another and evolve over time.

Hence WikiHouse, an open-source approach to sharing designs that are envisioned in Google SketchUp and can be sent to a plywood printer for construction.

CNC (computer numerical control) milling machines  can cut what you need based on finished drawings exported from this simple and free 3D program.

The ten principles of the still-nascent WikiHouse project can be summarized as follows: be strategically lazy, building on and contributing to the work of others. Stick to efficient materials that are “cheap to buy, low-carbon and fully recyclable or biodegradable.” Use designs that are easy to construct without “formal skill or training” and don’t require power tools. Focus on year-round habitability, energy and water efficiency. Consider safety, security and health as well as climate, culture and economy. Share and share alike. Emphasize modular pieces and parts; design for mistakes, which are inevitable, during the construction process.

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