Prefabrication

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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