Revolutionary Architecture

Architectural approaches and trends are constantly changing as architects keep striving for innovation. Clients’ needs, technological advancement, political and economic circumstances or even extreme weather conditions keep influencing architectural solutions worldwide. As a modular building supplier, we believe in portable or modular, prefabricated buildings, to be one of the most innovative architectural forms fulfilling contemporary needs and trends. Hence, we spend a lot of time and energy to perfect our products further.

Particularly interesting architectural projects often evolve from marrying unexpected solutions between various fields, such as for instance Botanical Architecture. As we are all well aware of, one of major problems of today is air pollution. We would like to discuss an architectural example performing particularly important role by addressing air pollution and sustainability. Architects around the world are looking for various solutions to these issues and Stefano Boeri Architetti studio does that with great effects. As part of Boeri project, Tirana Master Plan, the aim is to build sustainable tower building for residential purposes. The idea of city reforestation is in the heart of this project. Tirana Master Plan is a larger project which will includes raising residential tower building, in Tirana, Albania. This architectural plan uses similar solutions to another project by the same studio, called Vertical Forest, already built successfully in Milan. Tirana residential tower building will combine thousands of plants and shrubs as well as hundreds of trees. All the greenery will be planted around the tower building terrace areas and in its architectural form it will result in the modern hybrid look of a tower fused with plants, as if a giant architectural tree appeared in an urban environment. Enhancing this modern futuristic design, will be a substantial number of windows.

The project has been designed with detailed analysis of plants in use, taking into account irrigation, positioning and type of plants in order to create sustainable microclimate and the best possible conditions for the plants in use.

More architects and more architectural plans are looking into sustainable solutions as a response to current issues with our natural world. Is this how our future cities will look like, full of sustainable architecture and greenery? It is definitely a great start to finding solutions to some of major problems of today. We will be discussing more revolutionary architecture in our future articles.

3D Printing Technology

Concerns regarding ecology and health are influencing progress within the construction industry. Currently, there are more engineering solutions in connection with green building resolutions than ever before. Structural design is adapted towards new technological alternatives. This means that new possibilities are opening up. One of those new possibilities is 3D printing technology. Technology which is worth our attention particularly because of its versatility. Recently developed and worked on continually 3D technology may eventually become our normality.

First, of the two examples, we would like to discuss in terms of 3D technology within building industry is a 3D printed residential house in Russia, created by Apis Cor. Nikita Chen-yun-tai, who is an engineer and Apis Cor founder, while working on 3D technology, has focused on creating 3D portable printer which can be transported to print a building on site. He believed it to be a better option in comparison to other efforts in 3D printing technology, which at the time were focusing on printing separate modules off-site and assembling them on site in order to create a whole structure of a building. 3D printed residential house in Russia was accomplished by printing the whole structure on site in just 24 hours and finishing off by adding roof and windows afterward. The type of material used for printing was concrete.

Within building industry, there are believers in 3D printing technology who think of it as a potential quicker, cheaper and environmentally friendly solution in comparison to traditional building methods. In our previous articles, when we discussed the history of prefabricated buildings, we talked about their use as a quick housing solution in particular. We discussed pre-fabs; post-war prefabricated houses which were erected in large numbers in the UK. Modular buildings were and still are the quicker and cheaper solution. As a modular building manufacturer we are excited to find out more about different quick resolutions within the building industry and for that reason, we find 3D printing an exciting technology to keep an eye on.

The second example of 3D printed building we will talk about today is Mediated Matter group project called Digital Construction Platform created and worked on by Steven Keating, Julian Leland, Levi Cai and group director Prof. Neri Oxman. Mediated Matter is a research group working across different sections of engineering technologies including synthetic biology, computer science, design and ecology in order to create different type and size of objects and structures with a potential to enhance relation of natural and man-made worlds.

Digital Construction Platform which they created is a mobile robotic arm fitted on a moving vehicle in order to be able to print a structure of a building in almost any size on site. Researchers decided to use insulation foam to print a test structure in the shape of a dome. The type of foam which have been used is similar to those used in traditional building methods in order to be filled with concrete afterward. Finished structure was 50 foot in diameter and 12 foot high. It was completed in less than 24 hours. Researchers of Mediated Matter hope to be able to use this type of 3D printing technology in the future in order to create astronauts accommodation during space missions or in Antarctica. Other options for use would be in areas following natural disasters such as after an earthquake or tsunami, as a quick shelter and accommodation. Materials used for printing could be different, for example naturally found within the environment. This could include mud and dirt. By doing so, an environmentally friendly structure would raise, naturally balanced with local surroundings, created by saving and recycling materials already present. This approach would be useful for both space missions and areas of natural disaster. Digital Construction Platform could be operated with the use of solar power, making it even greater in terms of positive ecologically friendly solutions.

We are looking forward towards new technologies in hope for more advanced, healthier and greener future building solutions and we are looking forward towards progress which 3D printing solutions are offering. When developed further, and it is an ongoing research, 3D printing technology may be in use for rehousing, office accommodation or immediate shelter following natural disasters. If you would like to find out more about 3D printing projects which we discussed within the article, including photos of the structures, please follow links in the sources section below. Featured photo within the article is of one of our modular building designs.

Sources:

apis core (2017), available at http://apis-cor.com/en/about/blog/features-and-perspectives-of-3d-printing (Accessed January 2018)

LiveScience (2017), available at https://www.livescience.com/58156-3d-printed-house-built-in-less-than-a-day.html (Accessed January 2018)

Mediated Matter (2018), available at http://matter.media.mit.edu/tools/details/digital-construction-platform-dcp (Accessed January 2018)

Science Daily (2017), available at https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170426183028.htm (Accessed January 2018)

The Future Will Be Modular…

Modular buildings gained popularity just after World War 2, where there was a giant requirement and demand for speedy and flexible building methods. In this day and age, time is the most valuable things in our life. We almost demand things to be rapid and we expect the best possible solution in no time at all. This really is the big and main competitive advantage of modular construction in comparison to tradition building methods.

 
The huge difference between the two is that modular buildings construction only needs half of the time (in most cases 50% – 70% less time) than any traditional building method, in order to be constructed, transported and installed.
 
Modular buildings are mainly constructed offsite, in a dry and secure facility, under strictly controlled conditions, shielded from the weather, using the same materials (wood, concrete, and steel), design codes and architectural specifications as traditional construction methods.
 
Furthermore, the site preparation takes place whilst the modules are being manufactured and this can save a lot of time and money; especially with our unpredictable weather conditions where the traditional building process can experience great delays. When you consider that 60% to 90% of the modular construction is completed inside a factory, you have to conclude this results in a faster return on investment.
 
At the end of the day if the building looks like a building constructed conventionally, is designed to harmonize and blend with its surroundings, using the same building materials, but is done in less time, this has to be a successful project. Modular buildings are far from a temporary solution and for sure the future will be….KC Cabins Solutions!