Aula Torroja IETCC. Serrano Galvache, 4
Digital fabrication has been termed the “third industrial revolution” and promises to revolutionize the construction industry with the potential of freeform architecture, less material waste, reduced construction costs, and increased worker safety.
How true are these statements?
What is the real state of the art?
What is or will be the environmental impact digital fabrication?
What are the opportunities and challenges of this emerging field?
These are all important questions that will be discussed in this talk through the presentation of large-scale demonstration projects that have been realized by the Swiss National Centre for Competence in Research on digital fabrication in Architecture (www.dfab.ch). In particular, various processes applied to build the dfab-house will be presented (the first house built with multiple robotically driven processes: www.dfabhouse.ch). Other recent demonstration projects discussed with include KnitCandela (https://block.arch.ethz.ch/brg/project/knit-candela-muac-mexico-city) and Concrete choreography (http://dbt.arch.ethz.ch/project/concrete-choreography/).
These already realised demonstrators offer good grounds to discuss possibilities and limitations of digital fabrication in a broad sense and deliver elements of answer to the above questions, as well as to define the challenges that most need to be addressed for this field to establish itself in construction practice.
Robert J. Flatt is Professor for Physical Chemistry of Building Materials at ETH Zurich since 2010 and deputy director of the Swiss National Competence Centre in Research on Digital Fabrication in architecture (NCCR). Since 2019, Robert is also Editor-in-Chief of Cement and Concrete Research Journal. He has received many awards for his contributions to the chemistry of admixtures and cement as well as digital fabrication with concrete.
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