New possibilities offered by recent modelling software allow the design of organic shapes that are appealing to architects and engineers but may encompass serious issues such as an overconsumption of materials. In this context, there is a renewed interest in systems allowing the materialization of curved surfaces such as timber gridshells, which can be defined as shells with their structures concentrated in strips. However, gridshell design becomes highly challenging if complex grid configurations and new material possibilities are combinedly explored with form generations. These upheavals highlight the need for a classification system to seize the potential and the limitations of timber gridshells to address complex geometries. The classification of 60 timber gridshells enables a critical examination in the course of the ceaseless quest for complexity in architecture by evaluating current building possibilities and predict future building opportunities in terms of form, structure, and materiality.
This research is about the design process, development and fabrication of a free-form structure in crosslaminated timber (CLT) panels. Since sustainability, ecology and structural design are now relevant in any building project, the purpose of this research is to demonstrate that CLT panels can be used as an ecoresponsive strategy based on a building form. This paper presents the use of a tessellation construction system for designing and producing a freeform surface in CLT for a specific regional and industrial context. The research/creation process and the retroactive simulation generated by the parametric modelling software enabled the development of a singular architectural project where the structural aspect and the manufacturing are the inherent part of the integrated design process. Finally, the cutting files can be generated automatically for an easy transfer to CNC machine tools.
The design-build of a Wooden Adaptive Architectural System is part of a larger research-creation project on Adaptive Architecture (AA)  exploring the entire design process leading to a fully adaptable three story high 1:3/4 wooden structure. This system allows the easy manoeuvrability by the occupants of walls and floors in x, y and z directions in order to adapt the space to their environmental and functional needs. The omnidirectional mobility criteria challenged conventional building techniques and led to an innovative all-wood rigid node. Extensive prototyping using digital fabrication allowed the team to optimize the node assemblage and precision through parametric experimentation before proper production. The Wooden Adaptive Architectural System, made of 2000 prefabricated sticks measuring as little as 1 ¾” x 1 ¾” x 24” provides fully adaptive space configurations and be easily deconstructed, transported, and reassembled in totally new building shapes.
Air leaks have a considerable impact on the energy load and durability of buildings, particularly in cold climates. In wood construction using cross-laminated timber (CLT), air leaks are most likely to be concentrated at the joints between panels and other elements. This study used simulations of heat, air, and moisture transfers through a gap between two CLT panels causing air leakage in winter conditions under a cold climate. A real leakage occurrence was sized to validate the simulations. The aim of this work was to assess the impact on the energy loads and the durability of an air leak, as either infiltration or exfiltration, for different gap widths and relative humidity levels. The results showed that infiltrations had a greater impact on the energy load than exfiltrations but did not pose a threat to the durability, as opposed to exfiltrations. Gap sizes in CLT may vary, but the effect on the energy load was sensitive to the leakage path in the rest of the wall. As expected, a combination of winter exfiltration and a high level of interior relative humidity was particularly detrimental.