University of Cambridge > > Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars > Challenging construction through computational and digital fabrication

Challenging construction through computational and digital fabrication

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Mishael Nuh.

The need for sustainable design, engineering and fabrication strategies for concrete construction is recognized as a key challenge in the building industry. Structural designers are therefore in the unique position of being able to shape the built environment at a time when building sustainably is more important than ever.  Advancements in the past decades have enabled us to design and fabricate increasingly more complex geometries, making it seem that the options are limitless. However, in the current climatic context, the time has come to move away from the paradigm that anything is possible and that engineering is only focused on analyzing, confirming and making the (given) shape work at all costs.  Applying the principles of efficiency, economy and elegance in designing structures that intelligently include structural performance and architectural geometry makes it possible to significantly reduce the amount of material used in a structure and its embodied emissions. Their expressive, intricate and bespoke geometries can be challenging to build with traditional formwork methods. To harness the full potential of non-standard and non-repetitive efficient concrete structures, the formwork systems used for construction need to be rethought. As such, alongside design, the fabrication and construction process play an equally important role in reducing the impact of buildings on the environment. This presentation will look at concepts of designing with structural intelligence in mind, how form-finding methods are beneficial in the early stages of design, why computational tools play an important role in all design stages and how digital fabrication allows us to build less wastefully.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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