Design and fabrication aspects of timber plate structures:
Exploring the applicability of structurally informed polyhedral structures in the existing building stock.

This doctoral research is an investigation into the applicability of timber plate structures in vertical densification projects. Based on the premise that the lightness and geometric flexibility of polyhedral timber structures make such structures particularly suitable for applications in the existing building stock, factors that are relevant to the design, fabrication and performance of timber plate structures are being investigated.

Of specific interest are the development of plate build-up and plate joints, prefabrication methods (including robotic fabrication) and on-site assembly strategies, as well as investigation of geometric design principles and development of design strategies. To facilitate the research, a digital design environment that links geometric design tools to structural analysis and life cycle analysis is being developed. This design environment is then used to systematically analyse the impact of various design and fabrication decisions on structural performance, costs and environmental impact.

By developing a series of vertical densification case studies and comparing these with various other building methods, strengths and weaknesses of timber plate structures in the context of existing building stock will be assessed. Part of the expected outcome of the research is a series of recommendations and guidelines for the design of timber plate structures.

ICD Institute for Computational Design and Construction – Prof. Achim Menges

Scientific DevelopmentAbel Groenewolt

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