Critical WikiHouse

Connecting GIS data to site and tiny home design.

  • Rishabh Parmar University of Arizona
  • Susannah Dickinson University of Arizona


The construction industry is one of the largest consumers of natural resources in the world, being responsible for 50% of the carbon emissions recorded since the 1950's (Adriaanse et al.,1997). While the information age has brought us tremendous amounts of environmental data and design computational ability that can be leveraged to create advanced sustainable design solutions in architecture, the dissemination and implementation of the tools and techniques of sustainable design are limited to a small fraction of the construction industry with architects designing only 2% of the total building construction worldwide (Parvin 2013). With the world population projected to rise by billion in the next 15 years, mass sustainable housing systems are going to play a crucial role in achieving sustainable development (Gerald 2014). This research suggests that the increasing availability of environmental data, combined with the ease of access to powerful computational capabilities and low costs of customized digital fabrication are the modern resources that can direct architecture in a way that is environmentally stable, resource conscious and ultimately sustainable. The research examines open source and easily accessible methods of employing these resources, connecting GIS data to BIM systems to create customizable design solutions optimized for sustainable development. 1 This paper focuses on the application of environmental data and the adaptation and expansion of an existing open source WikiHouse platform. Currently it is a global, open-source, digitally de-centralized small home system, which is fairly autonomous; i.e., it has few connections to its specific environment and site. It can be customized for size, but lacks the ability to leverage environmental data for optimized form modifications. The research adapts this system to various natural forces and conditions, creating a new wiki design methodology, which incorporates various open-source inputs to create a more sustainable, adaptive design solution that responds to natural environmental conditions.

How to Cite
Parmar, R., & Dickinson, S. (2018). Critical WikiHouse. ARCC Conference Repository.