Project contact is Eric Wood at Morrison Hershfield
The project develops building archetypes, cost data and energy modelling to allow users to cost out mass timber buildings from basic, code-compliant buildings to high-performing, energy-efficient, low-emitting buildings. It will help quantity surveyors, designers, and other decisionmakers undertake business-case development by clarifying cost variables associated with mass-timber construction.
Properly designed wooden truss bridges are environmentally compatible construction systems. The sharp decline in the erection of such structures in the past decades can be led back to the great effort needed for design and production. Digital parametric design and automated prefabrication approaches allow for a substantial improvement of the efficiency of design and manufacturing processes. Thus, if combined with a constructive wood protection following traditional building techniques, highly efficient sustainable structures are the result. The present paper describes the conceptual design for a wooden truss bridge drawn up for the overpass of a two-lane street crossing the university campus of one of Vienna’s main universities. The concept includes the greening of the structure as a shading design element. After an introduction, two Austrian traditional wooden bridges representing a good and a bad example for constructive wood protection are presented, and a state of the art of the production of timber trusses and greening building structures is given as well. The third part consists of the explanation of the boundary conditions for the project. Subsequently, in the fourth part, the conceptual design, including the design concept, the digital parametric design, the optimization, and the automated prefabrication concept, as well as the potential greening concept are discussed, followed by a summary and outlook on future research.
According to Wortmann classification, the Building Industry (BI) can be defined as engineer-to-order (ETO) industry: the engineering-process starts only when an order is acquired. This definition implies that every final product (building) is almost unique, and processes cannot be easily standardized or automated. For this reason, the Building Industry is one of the less efficient industries today, and the productivity gap with other industries is growing faster. Since the 1940s, prefabrication and standardization of entire buildings or of complex components are effective strategies to push BI from an ETO industry towards an assembly-to-order industry (ATO). Although, prefabrication and standardization strategies provide effective solutions to improve process efficiency, they are not widespread adopted. The reason for this poor success can be identified in limits of customization that afflicts prefabricated and standardized products, which do not satisfy completely the needs usually delivered by customers. This paper presents a research activity aiming at enhancing Mass-Customization capabilities in the BI through Parametric and Generative design techniques in frontend activities of the value-chain system. Referring to a case study for Glued-Laminated Timber (GLT) products, a parametric algorithm has been programmed in order to satisfy two specific design intents: reducing the usage of unneeded high-quality raw material in final products and facilitating the manufacturing process of complex products, such as doubled-curved ones. Crossing capabilities of the parametric algorithm in Digital Fabrication strategies and capabilities of a standard production system of GLT, authors discuss whether Parametric and Generative Design techniques may enhance Mass-Customization capabilities in the BI, pushing the whole production system towards more efficient processes.