2013001, Semi-detached
houses with hybrid
timber frame/masonry

This design isn't very interesting from an architectural perspective, but it is for technical reasons. The design is loosely based on typical Dutch semi-detached houses from the 70's, who where built by Groothuis Woningbouw in the eastern part of the Netherlands. Architecturally, they're very typical for the time, but the technical execution is unusual. Someone I know in my home town lives in such a house, and once told me that the floors are made of wood, but that they aren't comprised of traditional floor joists with boards.

The floors are triplex-ribpanels, a prefabricated floor type related to timber frame construction, which is built-up as a kind of stressed-skip panel. The joists are thin but tall in height, and are spaced about 400mm on centers. There where also prefabricated ceiling panels to complete the system. I found information about this system in an old Dutch (Jellema) building engineering book, and it says that the system was less than ideal.

The Jellema book says also that the panels where glued (no nails where used at all) and that it could handle reasonably large spans (up to 5500mm) and that the thickness of the triplex decking board was about 16mm. Also the panels where not allowed to get wet during construction, which was an issue in combination with traditional masonry construction. In the past with traditional floor joists, the joists are placed, and are temporarily covered with scaffolding boards. The final floor boards would be installed later when the roof was completed to prevent them from getting dirty and wet. This is not possible with stressed-skip panels and I guess that they where covered with plastic foil.

I found many photo's of these houses on the Dutch real estate site Funda, and studied many of the images for clues about the construction method. This leads me to believe that they where at least partly built using timber frame construction methods. Also, the interior partitions on the first floor are presumably made of timber. This mixed construction approach speeds up the building process considerably.

It is known that the builder of these houses still uses a lot of prefab today, often combined with some traditional masonry construction in order to optimize certain things in the building process.

The structure as how I applied it in this model may not be completely accurate to reality, it is my interpretation of this system, based on photo's.

side elevation

rear elevation


ground floor

structure attic

floor structure

mansonry structure with floors

timerframe structure

masonry structure

timerframe facade

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