Prefab Wood Frame House Design for Standardized Rural Residences in China

By: Weizhou Fu

Architect, Canada Wood China

Amidst China’s rapid development over the past few decades, the housing sector has undergone profound transformations. Particularly, rural housing has taken on a significant role in China’s housing landscape. The dynamics of the housing market, demographic shifts, and transitions between rural and urban populations have all exerted substantial influence on strategies for rural development, encompassing housing provisions and policies.

Furthermore, the interplay between the Hukou system (China’s household registration system) and housing reforms has steered the course of rural housing policies. Aligned with China’s comprehensive Rural Revitalization Strategy—a cornerstone of the government’s endeavors to achieve balanced economic and social development while tackling poverty—the provision of cost-effective, swiftly constructed, safe, and comfortable rural housing has become a pivotal necessity. This is further underscored by the fact that millions of Chinese individuals opted to remain in rural areas for employment post the coronavirus pandemic, as official data illustrates. The confluence of an aging population, escalating living costs, and the rise of ventures like livestreaming e-commerce has catalyzed a reversal of the trend toward urban centers, which had characterized China’s economic growth in previous decades.

In the midst of these intricate dynamics, the visionary developer of this project envisions the creation of a standardized light wood residential system tailored for rural housing in China. The primary goal is to address the self-housing requirements of rural inhabitants. Recognizing the compatibility of light wood structures with rural environments compared to urban settings, the developer seeks to overcome the current prevalence of self-constructed rural homes made from concrete, which lack aesthetic appeal and comfort. To address this, the developer has engaged a professional architectural design team to pioneer the inaugural pilot product. The objective centers on leveraging this pilot project as a vehicle to uncover a secure, inviting, visually pleasing, cost-effective, and consistent solution for self-built rural housing.

Situated in Rudong County, Nantong City, Jiangsu Province, the pilot project encompasses an approximate construction area of 94 square meters, featuring a primary framework of a single-story light wood structure. Canada Wood China plays a pivotal role by offering indispensable technical support for the pilot project, spanning from design guidance to construction training. The SPF lumber material is generously supplied by Canfor. Upon the project’s completion, it is poised to serve as a blueprint for the developer’s foray into the market, shaping future research and development endeavors. Furthermore, this venture could potentially pave the way for a novel market segment for Canadian SPF products.