Innovative Construction Systems: New Design Aesthetics Through Competitive Realization Processes

Innovative Construction Systems: New Design Aesthetics Through Competitive Realization Processes

Pierpaolo Ruttico (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3993-3.ch017

Abstract

With the emergence of a new materialism in architecture and as a result of the ongoing advancements in digital technologies, computer numerically controlled (CNC) fabrication and 3D-printing are rapidly gaining popularity within the building construction industry. Robots, CNC machines, and algorithmic programming allow us to create new construction systems and innovative designs that otherwise might not be possible. This chapter analyzes adaptive and flexible systems that facilitate the design and the production processes of mass-customized building components through digital fabrication and assembly. The aspiration is to achieve morphological complexity and performance in material constituents: an engineering computational design process that envisions a sustainable built environment, with higher-level functionality and higher-level integration between material system and environment.
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Introduction

This chapter describes the original contribution developed by the author with the help of his team (E.Gamba, M.Sangiorgio, D.Cucchi, M.Dragoljevic) regarding the digital design and production processes of three construction systems, specifically:

  • 1.

    Robotic manufacturing system for mass-customized insulated wall panels;

  • 2.

    Responsive louvers system for adaptive façades;

  • 3.

    Topology optimization system for spatial structures.

Several models and prototypes have been built in order to validate the assumptions. The experiments draw attention to how digital technologies generate the efficiencies for mass customization of real world building systems.

This research demonstrates how digital fabrication can establish a loop between physical performance aspects and the development of a custom design system.

By integrating digital fabrication technologies into the design and production process, novel forms of architectural materialization can be explored.

The chapter begins with a description of the state of the art regarding contemporary design, manufacturing and assembly strategies; it is subsequently organized in three sectors, describing each system.

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