Shipping Complexity


This seed grant research project presents a system for design and construction of a parametrically designed, structural shell for remote communities. Through the use of various digital software platforms, a single-layer, structural shell is designed and optimized that subsequently produces the information of a series of customized joints for direct digital fabrication. As the customization is focused primary in the joints of the structure, standard dimension, locally sourced structural members can be used. By embedding assembly information onto the physical joints, the system has the capacity to simplify the construction of complex shell structures by workers with basic construction skills. Flat-packed joints can be shipped to remote sites without heavy structural members thereby reducing transportation costs and the overall embodied energy.  By lowering cost and simplifying construction of large span structures, the project is intended to extend the benefits of digitally driven design to remote communities.

PRIMARY INVESTIGATOR  |  Assist. Prof. Jason Carlow, the University of Hong Kong
CO-INVESTIGATORS  |  Assist. Prof. Kristof Crolla and Assist. Prof. Stefan Al, the University of Hong Kong
STEEL MANUFACTURING  |  Program Contractors Ltd
RESEARCH ASSISTANT  |  Kenneth Cheung, the University of Hong Kong



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