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Småhusbyggande i Sverige och i USA: Vad kan vi lära oss av varandra?
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Our surrounding world is constantly changing, where different societies are communicating with each other and sharing ideas at a rate that historically would seem impossible. At the same time, building construction remains a thing that we prefer to keep doing the traditional way by ourselves. Sweden and the U.S.A. are two countries that in many aspects have a lot in common, but have completely separate building trades. The differences could create future opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences, to reduce the number of construction defects, and to create improved methods and technology for the construction of buildings. This report is a literature review, to see the differences between construction of one- and two family homes in Sweden, compared to the U.S.A., to see what differs, and to see if we can learn anything from these differences, to influence future construction to a new direction. When it comes to houses built as one- or two family homes, the methods used for construction are traditionally the same in the two countries, but have developed into two separate standards over the years. Despite this, defects in the construction that could affect the residents’ health, emerge in similar ways in both countries. The worst health risks in buildings are usually connected to moisture, with links to microorganismic growth, such as mold. The defects cause increased healthcare costs, and a large part of the problem is that the habitants are not aware of the risks. The situation is similar in both countries, but in the U.S.A. there are also many houses with so severe flaws that they should not be used, which risks affecting poor people, who do not have any other choice than to remain using the houses. Primarily, the defects are present in older houses, and with today’s construction methods, the risks have been significantly reduced. Repair actions should therefore primarily be focused on the older housing, but newer buildings and those built with experimental methods, should not be forgotten as even these are at risk. It is possible that the recently exposed moisture problems with undrained EIFS façades in wooden constructions in Sweden could have been avoided if knowledge about the similar problems with houses in U.S.A had been transferred to Sweden. One- and two family houses are in most cases constructed using wooden frames, but the means of construction differ. Houses in the U.S.A are in 96 % of the cases purely site-built. In Sweden, the most common construction method is to use factory-prepared wall and roof components that later are assembled to a house at the building site. The building regulations are more detailed in the U.S.A., where the rules sometimes govern details of the construction, compared to the broader Swedish regulations, that instead place larger responsibilities on the constructor. When the building regulations are violated, the consequences also differ slightly, where serious violations in the U.S.A. could lead to criminal charges, with imprisonment or fines, compared to municipal penalty fees in Sweden. In the U.S.A., it is possible to enact ex post facto laws regulating buildings, which means that existing buildings may need to be improved to meet newer standards, primarily connected to the safety of the people using the buildings. In Sweden, the main principle is that an already constructed building will continue to be legal, even if the laws and regulations are changed. Currently, fewer houses are being built compared to the previous years, mostly due to the recent economical crisis. At the same time, both countries are facing large challenges inside the building trade to meet future demands and desires on future housing. This creates a perfect opportunity to introduce new home features, materials and construction methods, along with possibilities to cooperate with the surrounding world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 82 p.
Keyword [en]
Keyword [sv]
Teknik, Småhusbyggande, litteraturstudie, träbyggnad, Sverige, USA, bygglagstiftning, konstruktionsregler, byggteknik, byggfel, kvalitetsproblem
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-57199Local ID: de328cc9-c64a-412c-87df-3d03a7433f7bOAI: diva2:1030586
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Architectural Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20130701 (global_studentproject_submitter)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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