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Form Follows Availability – Designing Structures Through Reuse

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This work proposes a new direction in structural design: the synthesis of structures through the reuse of elements. Reusing structural elements reduces the environmental impacts of building structures because it avoids sourcing new material, it reduces waste and it requires little energy. Designing structures from reused elements is unlike conventional structural design because stock element availability is a design input. In other words, structures must be designed subject to availability of given element characteristics such as length and cross-section type, which have a major influence on the optimal structure layout and form. In this new paradigm structural form follows availability. In this work new computational methods for the synthesis of reticular structures through reuse are formulated to address two scenarios: a) reuse of reclaimed elements from a given stock, and b) design of an element stock which is used as a kit of parts to build diverse structures. Case studies are presented to demonstrate the potential of the proposed methods. It is shown that structures produced by these methods have a significantly lower environmental impact than minimum weight structures made of new elements.
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Keywords: DISCRETE OPTIMIZATION; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT; GEOMETRY OPTIMIZATION; LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT; MIXED-INTEGER LINEAR PROGRAMMING REUSE; STRUCTURAL DESIGN

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of the IASS is the peer-reviewed, quarterly journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures. The journal mainly presents technical papers and project reports submitted by members or nonmembers of the IASS. Typically, one issue per year focuses on a special topic arranged by guest editors. Additional articles annually include the four Hangai Prize winning papers and Tsuboi Proceedings Award contribution from the IASS annual symposium. Finally, additional content includes announcements of events and memorial statements of distinguished IASS members.
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