Despite the current building sector slowdown in Italy, timber housing industry market is growing. But its growth has been limited mainly by the high costs of ad-hoc full-customized buildings and the lack of customer appreciation for mass-produced buildings. In order to satisfy the current demand for affordable customized housing, building industry should focus on solutions based on the combination of personalized and mass-produced parts. In this way, clients would have the chance to personalize crucial parts, and building industry can limit costs by the mass-production of the others. This combination between mass production and customization involves artefact flexibility and robustness with regard to the designer’s viewpoint. These requirements are set in the conceptual design phase, but in this stage architect’s decision making is not adequately supported. Since Axiomatic Design (AD) is able to support the analysis of designs with respect to the specified requirements, AD is applied to the review of prefabricated housing archetypes and current timber construction systems. This study shows the effectiveness of applying AD to prefabricated building design: crucial design decisions that affect the specified requirements are identified; inputs limiting their fulfilment in the timber building prefabrication are highlighted, and recommendations for developing adequate systems are provided.

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