Josh received a masters in Architectural Engineering and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He currently is a postdoctoral fellow at the Webber Energy Group and Energy Institute in Austin and enjoys mountain biking and rock climbing on the weekends.
My main focus on the NexusHaus has been to help with the construction of the deck. Being modular, the deck is made of standardized units that were rather labor intensive. When constructed, the deck will be one of the primary visual focuses of the home and an awesome space in which to hang out – keeping with the Austin vibe that the project is going for. However, in the processing of building the deck each unit was taking about an hour to build and there were over 30 of them. So I decided to use a little ingenuity and build a jig that allowed for each of the identical modules to be constructed in less than 15 minutes. Once the jig was constructed it was no longer necessary to measure each piece individually, or measure its location in each module. Each board simply fit in predetermined slots and held by fitting pieces which allowed for the individual connectors. Labor and time on the deck modules was drastically reduced and, since the deck is one of the largest components of the home, the overall construction time of the house was reduced as well while maintaining a very high quality.
This way of construction follows with the overall vision of the house being modular and easily replicable as a prototype for an accessory dwelling unit in Austin. When the NexusHaus is completed and the competition is over, the house will return to Austin to become affordable housing in Austin’s Alley Flat Initiative, a program that is looking to provide a new sustainable, green, and affordable housing alternative for Austin. One of the future ideas of this program is to mass-produce affordable houses for those living with reduced incomes and thus the NexusHaus is a little taste of the possible future.