working in construction/development, looking at lots of framing, I don't know how or why, but I thought of an idea that would be cool if you could pull it off.
Basically, it would be cool if you could build a house/house frame that would collapse if just one certain pin was pulled or one member was
broken. Almost like a house of cards
This would actually be quite an engineering challenge to do it with house framing.
To lay some rules down, the house does have to be able to withstand the local seismic forces (wind, snow loads, dead and live loads). It does NOT need to be able to be put back up again, though that would be cool too.
Now perhaps it would be necessary to make a rule that the frame only needs to be able to do this WITHOUT the sheathing. There is no feasible way to make the frame collapsible WITH sheathing, the whole point of the sheathing is to tie all the members together. I mean, it could in theory be done if each outer wall entirely fell over, or large pieces of wall like that did that, but that would be too easy.
In that case, the rule would be that the frame need to be able to handle seismic loads ONCE SHEATHING IS APPLIED.
Obiouvsly, one way to do this is to use hinges instead of nails to join framing members together. When built, they rest freestanding on each other, like a joist on a column, or anything, but in the other direction it swings freely. And then you take advantage of that. That's just one starting idea how it could be done.
Part of the rules we may also need to ban simple central-column lean-to's. Perhaps the rule would be the (outline pad of the) house needs to be made of straight lines at right angles.
And the mechanism to initiate the collapse doesn't HAVE to be the pulling of a pin. Could be breaking one small member, could be hitting one spot with a sledgehammer to shake everything, or cutting of a rope, anything. I do believe it would be possible to not have a hard rule for this part.
Different engineering teams from different schools could participate, and there could be some kind of prize, or just recognition.