Prefabrication

Prefab Construction’s Benefits Grow With Design for Manufacture and Assembly

A growing movement in the construction industry—called design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA)—takes traditional design and grafts two important goals onto it: that the products will be easy to manufacture and that those manufactured products will be easy to assemble into a larger construction.

Not coincidentally, the construction industry stands to benefit greatly from an uptick in DfMA, whose principles contribute to making construction projects faster to complete, safer for workers, and environmentally friendlier.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/design-for-manufacture-and-assembly/.

Photo Credit: H.T. Lyons manufactured this 23-by-72-foot, more than 55-ton utility “super skid” at its Allentown, PA., prefab shop. Courtesy of H.T. Lyons.

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How Heroes Worldwide Built Modular and Prefab COVID-19 Hospitals in Mere Days

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries have supported those serving on the front lines of rapid-response health care. Building ad hoc, modular, and prefab hospitals for communities facing unprecedented clinical demand turned AEC experts into emergency responders, delivering high-quality projects amid exceptional circumstances.

These new practices will serve the construction industry in future crises—and perhaps even in the course of returning to more normal business modalities. Here, projects in three countries—China, Mexico, and England—illustrate what this extraordinary situation demanded, how teams mobilized, and the knowledge they gained.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/modular-hospitals/.

Photo Credit: The 1,000-bed Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China, was designed in 24 hours and built in 10 days. Courtesy of CITIC ADI.

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Curves and CO2 Reduction Coexist in Chicago’s Colossal Concrete Installation

Musing on the spiritual and formal predilections of the building materials he used so masterfully, architect Louis Kahn once famously said: “You say to brick, ‘What do you want, brick?’ And brick says to you, ‘I like an arch.’ And you say to brick, ‘Look, I want one, too, but arches are expensive, and I can use a concrete lintel.’”

The Stereoform Slab pavilion, designed and fabricated for the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, is a meditation on the ideal forms of a different material: concrete. The spirit of the installation directly addresses Kahn’s concession to material efficacy, combining arches with sculpted concrete while also demonstrating a more sustainable approach to using the material.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/concrete-co2/.

Photo Credit: The Stereoform Slab illustrates the potential for sustainable concrete-sculpting methods. Courtesy of Dave Burk/SOM.

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A Robot-Made Habitat for Mars Could Bring Sustainable Building Down to Earth

According to a 2018 report by the International Energy Agency and UN Environment, the global construction industry is responsible for 39% of energy-related carbon-dioxide emissions. That is a huge, scary number—but one that comes with an equally large opportunity to mitigate climate change. The 2015 Paris climate talks revealed that by using existing technology, construction could cut global carbon emissions by up to a third.

Such a reduction requires finding a new way for the industry to move forward, or as CEO and chief architect of New York–based AI SpaceFactory David Malott puts it, “a high-tech way of going backward.”

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/mars-habitat/.

Photo Credit: A hypothetical Martian neighborhood of Marsha dwellings. Rendering courtesy of AI SpaceFactory and Plomp.

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Project Frog Envisions a Construction Industry Defined by Big Data

In this Q&A series, Redshift speaks with leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and disrupters who embody the future of making in construction, manufacturing, architecture, and infrastructure. This “Voices on the Future of Making” features Mike Eggers, vice president of Product and Innovation at Project Frog. The San Francisco–based industrialized-construction company designs and develops prefabricated building systems kits containing parts to be used in conjunction with a technology platform, delivering building solutions at scale.

Frog’s kits, the brainchildren of architects, product designers, and engineers, address three overarching concepts: flexibility, automation, and “accessibility,” meaning ease of use for architects, engineers, manufacturers, and builders. Similar to modular construction, these kits are assembled into schools, community centers, medical office buildings, and other structures. But while modular construction is fully assembled in a factory, the kits are designed for two-dimensional, flat-packed shipment to construction sites—like IKEA furniture but on a much larger scale.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/project-frog/.

Photo Credit: Project Frog designs prefabricated building systems as “kits” that are shipped to jobsites in flat packs. Courtesy Project Frog.

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Do Legacy Construction Companies Have the Inside Track on Modular Building?

Fresh-faced, tech-oriented startups get most of the attention in the modular-building world, but despite their “it” factor, they’re still start-ups. Is there a market share in modular just waiting for companies with the approach and know-how that come with legacy experience?

Chicago-based legacy construction company Skender has been researching modular construction for years and is now getting in the game. In late November 2018, it invited a gaggle of reporters and industry representatives to its 106,000-square-foot factory space on Chicago’s southwest side for a look at its prototype modular apartment. When the new venture is up and running, the company pledges to employ 100 people to produce 2,500 modules per year, at a rate 30% to 40% faster and at a cost 10% to 20% less than traditional construction.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/modular-construction-companies/.

Photo Credit: Skender’s prototype of a modular apartment building it is constructing in Chicago. Courtesy of Skender.

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Generative Design in Architecture and Construction Will Pave the Way to Productivity

In the new era of generative design in architecture, engineering, and construction, designers and builders will use computers not just to describe buildings, but cocreate them.

Before GPS, if you got lost while driving your car, you had to swallow your pride and stop to ask for directions. With the help of the innate intelligence of Google Maps or Waze, you can let a machine compute the best route so you can concentrate on what’s really important—driving.

In the case of architects, engineers, and contractors, their computers will help navigate the design and construction process, so they can focus on making successful projects and great buildings as a result.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/generative-design-architecture/.

Photo Credit: In the age of generative design, humans and computers manipulate building data to cocreate structures that could not have been conceived or built by traditional methods, such as the acoustic ceiling in the University of Iowa’s Voxman School of Music ...

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