WikiHouse 4.0 Project, Building Centre Installation, London Design Festival, LDF

WikiHouse London Building Centre, UK

London Design Festival Building, UK – by Arup and 00 design

15 Oct 2014

WikiHouse4.0 at London Design Festival 2014

DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb™ advanced breather membranes
fitted in the world’s first two-storey, open source WikiHouse

Design: Arup / 00 design

WikiHouse at the Building Centre

October 2014 – Forward-thinking construction techniques require pioneering solutions. That’s why DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb™ Housewrap – an innovative breather membrane designed with both safety and sustainability in mind – was chosen for an exciting collaborative project. Built to coincide with the London Design Festival 2014, WikiHouse4.0 became the world’s first open source two-storey house, the basics of which can be accessed and assembled within days – for under £50,000.

The installation, led by Arup, The Building Centre and 00 design, was intended to raise awareness about housing issues and the potential application and intervention of ingenious new solutions. Designs will be free to download and can be adapted before being ‘digitally’ manufactured.

The WikiHouse 4.0 project by The Building Centre, Arup and 00 design for the London Design Festival featured DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb™ advanced breather membranes to protect the structure.
WikiHouse London Building Centre
photo Margaux Carron for The Building Centre, all rights reserved

Alastair Parvin, WikiHouse 4.0 co-designer at 00 design studio says, “We are trying to spark people’s imagination as to how technology can now enable almost anyone to afford their own custom-built house without the need for conventional construction. We don’t believe that WikiHouse is the only solution to the current housing crisis, but we do want to host a disruptive debate and to challenge landowners, urban planners and policy makers to think differently about the barriers – such as land or building costs.”

The WikiHouse 4.0 frame is a modular construction system made from SmartPly OSB boards that have been CNC machined into numbered parts. It is assembled with wedge and peg connections rather than bolts and with the final panels held into place using ordinary screws. The 70 square metre structure beautifully demonstrates how a simple, easily assembled wooden frame becomes air-tight, waterproof and secure.

DuPont Building Innovations was keen to support the project with an appropriate membrane solution, fitted behind the fibre cement board façade to seal the timber ‘chassis’ and protect the structure from fire, climate and interstitial condensation. The main part of the build was undertaken in six days – and the DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb™ membrane was easily and correctly installed in under 3 hours, with prior technical advice from DuPont and clear instruction guidelines.

DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb™ is a key development that adds superior flame retardant performance to the highly valued properties of the renowned breather membrane – such as reliable long-term weather protection, effective vapour diffusion and greater energy efficiency. Using innovative technology to reduce the flammability of polymer-based substrates, DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb™ potentially limits or stops the spread of fire through the external envelope.

WikiHouse London WikiHouse London
photos Margaux Carron for The Building Centre, all rights reserved

Rather than use halogens, the technology employs a phosphorous containing agent that forms a ‘char’ layer at the surface when it is in contact with an ignition source. This thin layer of carbonized polymer is highly flame retardant and forms a barrier, slowing the release of flammable materials. Starved of fuel, the flame spreads over the membrane more slowly or not at all – and if the membrane does ultimately catch fire, it produces less smoke – another vital advantage for human safety. Rigorously tested, DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb™ Housewrap has a fire rating of class B-s1,d0 according to EN13501-1.

Energy-efficiency was also crucial to the WikiHouse 4.0 concept, thus a weather-tight seal that would enhance both thermal performance and interior comfort was the optimal system – qualities embodied in DuPont™ Tyvek® membranes and tapes, which are offered in range of formats to suit
every type of build. Durability is also a key consideration for the project, for even though it can be assembled very quickly, a WikiHouse is intended to last.

Nina Tabink, Arup, Senior Structural Engineer commented, “A digital world is emerging where people can connect with anyone around the globe through a simple click. Arup believes in the potential of digital fabrication and open source technology and how this will provide an alternative collaborative way of working, bringing increased efficiencies. WikiHouse has proven to be a perfect partner to explore these new technologies.”

WikiHouse London
photo Margaux Carron for The Building Centre, all rights reserved

Jenny Watt, PR & Marketing Manager, The Building Centre said “WikiHouse 4.0 opens up the potential of digital technology to change how we might design, make and construct buildings. The added value of building technology such as DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb™ breather membranes was most welcome to the project.”

The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, WC1E 7BT, London

To learn more about DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb™ technology, please visit

For more commercial and technical information about DuPont™ Tyvek® in the UK please visit: www. or call 01275 337 660 (087 922 2740 in ROI)

About DuPont™ Tyvek® ( – Invented by DuPont research and development laboratories in the late ‘60s as a premium material for personal protection and packaging, DuPont™ Tyvek® is manufactured using a unique, proprietary technology, and has, over time been discovered and developed as ideally suited to a variety of further applications and markets. Around 1990, it was first adopted as a breather and waterproof membrane for roofs and walls for building construction in certain countries in Europe.

Between 1990 and 1995, it was introduced to the Nordic Countries (Scandinavia), Switzerland, Germany and then to the United Kingdom. Today, DuPont™ Tyvek® is marketed in 35 countries in the Europe Middle East and Africa region, in addition to the USA, Canada and many other countries in the other regions. In 2005, the entire range of DuPont™ Tyvek® membranes achieved CE certification, the first to do so in the building membrane market.

About DuPont Building Innovations – DuPont™ Tyvek® is a product of DuPont Building Innovations. From innovative energy-saving systems to beautiful and long-lasting surfacing solutions, the extensive offering of DuPont Building Innovations delivers safety, durability, beauty and energy efficiency, providing a major contribution to the modern built environment – across the spectrum of building and architecture, roads, bridges and other infrastructure and also to landscaping and gardens, as well as to the preservation or the renovation of contemporary and historical constructions.

The main products and brands managed by DuPont Building Innovations are DuPont™ Corian® (, DuPont™ Tyvek® and DuPont™ AirGuard® (, DuPont™ Energain® (, DuPont™ Typar® ( and DuPont™ Plantex® (

About DuPont – DuPont (NYSE: DD; has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, non-governmental organizations, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment.

WikiHouse London images / information received 151014

Address: The Building Centre, 26 Store St, London WC1E 7BT, UK
Phone: 020 7692 4000

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