Page B1.1 . 14 February 2001                     
ArchitectureWeek - Building Department



A Tecnopod for Many Uses

by Sacha Noordin

The architecture firm ZLG Sdn.Bhd., of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has developed a prototype for a lightweight, movable building called the "tecnopod." The main criteria for its design were that it be modular, easily transportable, and able to be erected within a day.

The idea of a prefabricated, modular structure is nothing new. What is new in the case of the tecnopod is the application of such a structure in Asia, home to half the world's population, of which half is displaced or without adequate shelter.

The humanitarian ideal, to provide quick and simple shelter for the growing population of Asia, was the original motivation for the tecnopod's development.

The rapid assembly of a tecnopod is possible because of its component-based design, which allows the elements to be efficiently fabricated, packed, and shipped out.

Once it is at its destination, the assembly process begins with the alignment of a set of footings, which do not require deep foundations. After placing these four base elements, the assemblers then bolt together the main frame, which comes in three large sections.

They then apply the side panels, floor, and glazing. When these elements are assembled, the "accessories" like the door, steps, and electrical connections are attached. The whole assembly process should take no more than a day.



ArchWeek Photo

The "tecnopod" is a modular, lightweight prototype building developed by the architecture firm, ZLG Sdn.Bhd. of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Image: ZLG Sdn.Bhd.

ArchWeek Photo

One application: a booth at a trade show.
Photo: Megat Ariff


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