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I. Paoletti P. Tardini

MASS INNOVATION - Emerging Technologies in Construction

MASS INNOVATION
Emerging Technologies in Construction
Ingrid Paoletti Paola Tardini

Table of contents
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1.1. 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8

Introduction Emerging Technologies in Construction


Industrialized Customization: System Design vs Product Choice Digital Fabrication for Architecture Cloud Design and Software Integration Materials on Demand Widespread Technology Transfer Self Design and Mini Factories On Site Robotics and Augmented Reality Inventive Rehabilitation

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22 40 48 58 68 78 90 102

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Mass Innovation: Drivers and Challenges


Bibliography

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KieranTimberlake Associates, Cellophane House Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Pavilion B, Fiera di Genova SHoP Architects, Porter House Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Oxley Woods Amanda Levete, 10 Hills Place Modostudio, Office Building and Logistic Center Cino Zucchi Architetti, U15 Office Building Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Central St. Giles Mark e Jane Burry,West Transept, Sagrada Familia Gramazio & Kohler, Gantenbein Vinery J. Mayer H. Architects, Metropol Parasol MUMA Architects, Glass Roof, Victoria & Albert Museum Future Systems / Andrea Morgante, Enzo Ferrari Museum Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA, Zollverein School HHF Architekten, Labels Berlin 2

10 20 28 36 46 56 64 72 82 88 98 108 118 126 136


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How to use this book


main theme
main concepts and theory

interesting projects

case studies key words

thematic matrix (pag.4)

credits (pag.148)

drawings, pictures and details

projects bibliography
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Thematic matrix
pag.10 Cellophane House pag.20 Pavilion B, Fiera di Genova

Industrialized Customization pag. 22


Endless possibilities of personalization

Digital Fabrication pag. 40

Cloud Design and Software Integration pag. 48


Use of BIM software

Materials on Demand pag. 58


NextGen SmartWrap

Widespread Technology Transfer pag. 68


Process from automotive industry

Self Design Mini Factories pag. 78


Possibility of self design

On Site Robotics Augmented Reality pag. 90

Inventive Rehabilitation pag. 102

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Metal manufacturing from motorcycle industry


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pag.28 Porter House pag.36 Oxley Woods pag.46 10 Hills Place

Industrialized panels with different dimensions Endless possibilities of personalization

Laser cut of metalic panels

Software integration from file to factory Custom-made design

Refurbishment and integration of a residential building


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Metal manufacturing from ship industry Industrialized panels with different shapes

Innovative faade for an old building

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pag.56 Office and Logistic Center pag.64 U15 Office Building pag.72 Central St. Giles pag.82 West Transept Sagrada Familia pag.88 Gantenbein Vinery pag.98 Metropol Parasol pag.108 Glass Roof, Victoria & Albert Museum

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Industrialized brise soleil with different perforations

Laser perforation of metalic panels

Use of parametric software


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Industrialized ceramic moduls with different shapes Use of parametric software Use of robot for Panels with the construction of different shapes a brick wall made by the robot Industrialized wood panels with different shapes CNC cut of wood panels Software integration from file to factory

Ceramic extrusion
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3D laser scanning of the existing building Use of robot from automotive industry Use of robot for the construction of a brick wall

West transepts completion

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Innovative public space in the inner city


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SentryGlas and glass cold bending Planks bent according to softwares data Software integration for performance simulation Thermoactive insulation systems
Metal manufacturing from ship industry

3D laser scanning of an existing building GPS check of aluminium strips position

New glass roof for an historical building

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pag.118 Enzo Ferrari Museum pag.126 Zollverein School pag.136 Labels Berlin 2
Industrialized cement elements with different shapes

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Advanced cement prefabrication


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Emerging Technologies in Construction

Architectural technology, from its broad sense of discipline that studies either tools and instruments or how the level of technical information influences society, is fast changing, increasing the weight in society. It is something of a puzzle that innovation and technical change in the construction industry have received so little attention from economists and historians. No doubt, this is partly because construction was often regarded as a traditional industry of very low research intensity and characterized by considerable conservatism and resistance to technical innovation. Such industries have been generally neglected by comparison

with the more glamorous and research-intensive industries such as electronics, pharmaceuticals or aerospace. Until recently, most service industries also suffered from this relative neglect, being almost completely dependent on innovations made by their equipment suppliers. The building industry has for a long time been concerned not just with the primary need for shelter but also with a widening range of buildings for a variety of other public purposes. The demand for new types of building has been more important in stimulating technical and organizational innovation than the need to erect

better and cheaper buildings to accommodate existing functions. It also showed that innovations in basic materials, originating from outside the building industry and with markets far wider than construction, played an extraordinarily important role in the evolution of the industry. These themes can only be satisfactorily treated on a historical basis. The availability of rapidly increasing supplies of cheap iron for a huge variety of applications is universally recognized as one of the distinguishing characteristics of the first Industrial Revolution. The transport of coal and iron, first on the canals and later on the railways,

The MOMA exhibition held in 2008 and entitled Home Delivery: prefabrication in architecture, from its origins until today.
INDUSTRIALIZED CUSTOMIZATION / CLOUD DESIGN AND SOFTWARE INTEGRATION / MATERIALS ON DEMAND / WIDESPREAD TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER / SELF DESIGN 11

Fabricating the Modern Dwelling comprised a selective survey of

KieranTimberlake Associates

Cellophane House

In addition, in the outdoor space to the west of the Museum, five contemporary architectural firms have been invited by MOMA to display full-scale, prefabricated houses which attest to the popularity and innovation of factory-produced architecture. Among them, the Cellophane House by KieranTimberlake Associates, an architecture firm noted for its interest in the debate on the issues of mass customization and innovation of the construction process and authors of Refabricating Architecture, a book that deals with these themes. The Cellophane House is a prototype that becomes a symbol and an example of the mass customizations principles. The house applies a modern and sustainable prefabrication and offers the possibility to customize the product through a production process similar to the automotive industrys approach.
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New York, U.S.A., 2008

made these materials available all over Britain and other countries embarking on industrialization. While the cotton and iron industries were the leading sectors in this vast transformation, the construction industry was also one of the fastest growing, supplying as it did the new factories and mills, the canals and railways and both the new houses for the urban population as well as a growing variety of services and utilities for it. This was also the case with the abundant supplies of cheap and good quality steel which became available as a result of a succession of process innovations in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Since the 70s the area has experienced a sharp acceleration in the processes of transformation and urbanization, due to demand for new built environment. An environment that has had to respond to the increasingly strong presence of labor in the intellectual world of production and hence the stress of increasing shares of common quality. This accelerated model is able to generate a higher quality of life, a renewed push to buildings and artifacts that ensure high performance, mature environmental approaches and high welfare conditions.

If the first, so-called digital, phase of the revolution has seen the development of predominant visualization software modeling and formal - consider that many of these applications come from other areas, including the cinema - the current phase of the project in architecture Today, however, for several reasons shows a digital processing aid in the technology seems to have come in management of data, speeding up the process and making it easier to for a rethink. set up a track record. Firstly, the speed of information Secondly, the amplitude of materials processing, and thus the and techniques available today from representation, processing and the world of research and industrial modeling, has triggered a series production for architectural design of processes of adjustment and has no precedent. adaptation which has radically This availability is due to the changed the way we design. In this context, technology plays a central role as the only dynamic capable of aggregating different types of knowledge with a view to improving the quality spread, ensuring the increasing survival of the housing stock in the long term.

The building consists of 170 sqm on four floors and it was installed in sixteen days, assembling fourteen modules manufactured off site. This was made possible by the fact that its structure, the PET envelope and the polycarbonate slabs, could be assembled and disassembled using simple hand tools. Its aluminum frame was developed in cooperation with Bosch Rexroth, a worldwide leader in many fields, including mechanics and automation. Together with designers, Bosch Rexroth has used its expertise and technologies in metalworking, transferring the systems developed in other contexts to achieve a lightweight, versatile, modular and fully recyclable structure. The skin is the result of a long research that KieranTimberlake Associates undertook in collaboration with DuPont and ILC Dover, a company that supplies space suits for NASA astronauts. The common efforts led to the creation of a new component, NextGen SmartWrap. This multilayered plastic consists of one outer ply of transparent PET coated by a film with transparent photovoltaic cells and an inner layer, a film
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produced by 3M that blocks heat and UV rays letting the sunlight in. Between the two layers a passive ventilation system heats the building during the winter and cools it in summer, reducing energy needs. Many other technological solutions contribute to make the building energetically selfsufficient: for example, the
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southern faades curtain wall with Schco E Glazing, an integrated faade system with transparent solar cells. All components were
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manufactured independently and


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unprecedented development in the search for specific materials, synthesis of some of them and assembly of hybrid systems and components and the rapid advancement in technology and CNC machine tools in industrial production, which currently provides very high degrees of freedom and precision. This scenario turns out to be an open field with countless equivalent choices, in which the designer should be oriented to meet the demands of clients and the specific project. Equivalent choices, while representing a huge potential as a range of possible responses to a given problem, exposing one to the

real risk that the technology is losing sight of the ultimate goal; meeting a need, and taking the self-referential. In fact, rather than the scope of technological change, where the functional stratification tends to take more and more levels in single thinning packages, where the contraction of the construction time and also planning tends to assume a higher value, where the rules are changing, what is to give it a more prominent role? Thirdly, environmental awareness and its standardization means the European nations put in a prescriptive way the need to adapt to the demands of energy efficiency.

Many standards have already been adopted in the European Union and implemented by the various member states. Specifically, the sector that will surely be driving over to the next building cycle will be the upgrading of existing assets. Moreover knowledge will be increasingly democratized. The English language is now becoming a widespread means of global communication, about a billion and a half people speak it in perspective, and probably half of humanity will talk it by about the middle of the century. This means that together with the exponential spread of data and

simultaneously and quickly assembled on site only in the final stage. This was possible thanks to a deep study of connection systems and dry assembly methods that are completely reversible: each element and material maintains its own identity and autonomy and can be easily removed, replaced and eventually recycled. Every element is assembled with tongue and groove connections, metal fasteners, screws and bolts; no element is welded or glued, so as to facilitate dismantling and reuse. This approach can be considered closer to the industrial process of manufacturing a car than to the construction of a building: the subdivision into independent and autonomous systems, the off-site manufacture and the final assembly are the result not only of a technology transfer, but mainly of a process transfer. As the car allows a mass customization of the final product, offering the possibility to choose between different options for each system before the assembly, so the building can be customized and offer different versions depending on the desires of future residents or on the contexts conditions.
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This industrial approach has been possible only thanks to the use of BIM software (Revit) with the implementation of a full three-dimensional model shared by the producers of different systems, with an accuracy of 1 / 32 inches (8 mm). For example, all Bosch aluminum profiles have been imported directly into the 3D model that generated production data related to geometry, cost, weight and quantity. The cost of a buildings prototype could range from $ 300,000 to $ 1,000,000, but it is reasonable to assume a remarkable costs reduction when more Cellophane Houses will be built. The most interesting aspect of this project is perhaps just this: the Cellophane House should not be considered as a building but as a typology, a prototype. It is the result of a special approach to the project that will be meaningful especially if it is repeated and declined, leading to the creation of other similar examples. The basic typology can be modified in accordance with endless variations, depending on orientation, function, type of soil, climate or context, simply by changing elements or blocks, or by choosing other materials or finishes.
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information, you can access content very fast. The company seems to evolve towards an ecosystem hyper complex, where a common humanism and intellectual free will create a way to build just as high in the spread. In fact, the audience tends to have a greater awareness of the benefits of a building, because of a general increase in the culture of the population. In addition to this, energy certification is required by law in the buying and selling of property, for example in Italy. Since the investment property widespread in some contexts, it becomes clear that quality becomes

a value beyond that if market conditions. A generational change in purchasing will occur which means that inevitably the level of knowledge will evolve with which, together with a market that rewards short construction time, environment and overall quality of care, more and more at the end user, construction necessarily conforms. In the near future there will be a lot of time spent looking for competitive innovation or development of those within its corporate structure, where much value should be attributed to the training of personnel, given that it

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Ground floor 5
Legend (plan) 1_Entrance 2_Storage closet 3_Mechanical room 4_ADA access

2nd floor

3rd floor

5_Kitchen 6_Living/dining room 7_Pantry 8_Bathroom pod 9_Master storage

10_Master bedroom 11_Balcony 12_Mezzanine 13_Roof terrace

This mass customized production is possible thanks to the project breakdown in independent and therefore interchangeable modules. After the exhibition the building has been completely dismantled in thirty-eight days. All the components have been removed and can now be reassembled in another place.

Bibliography BERGDOLL B., CHRISTENSEN P., Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling, New York, 2008 GONCHAR J., Some Assembly Required, in Architectural Record, 2008, 196, pp.138-147 KIERAN S., TIMBERLAKE J., Cellophane House, in AD Architectural Design: Closing the Gap, Information Models in Contemporary Design Practice, 2009, 79, pp.58-61 KIERAN S., TIMBERLAKE J., Refabricating Architecture: How Manufacturing Methodologies Are Poised to Transform Building Construction, New York, 2004 MORTICE Z., KieranTimberlake Moves Pre-Fab into Mass Customization, in http://info. aia.org/aiarchitec The News of American Community of Architects, 2008 www.blog.kierantimberlake.com www.kierantimberlake.com www.momahomedelivery.org

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SOLAR RADIATION

8 IMAGES AND DRAWINGS

1. Prototype for MOMA


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Summer: stack venting heated cavity air exhausted at roof

Winter: heat retention heated cavity air blankets perimeter

exhibition 2. Assembly phases 3. Plan (first floor), 1:150 4. AA Section, 1:200 5. Plans, 1:200 6. Faade system 7. Assembly and disassembly 8. Chunks assembly 9. Chunks assembly 10. Chunks assembly 11. SmartWrap prototype 10
Legend (section) 1_Stack effect draws in continuous air at base of wall vent 2_Integrated air damper at each level (operable) 3_Clear PET interior layer 4_3M solar blocking film 5_Air space 6_PET with photo voltaic modules 7_Stack effect draws in continuous air at base of wall vent 8_Opening for hot air

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