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ADR Laboratory Exhibits a Vision for Sustainable Housing Construction Enabled Through Computation and Robotics

Robotically Fabricated Structure (RFS) 2.0 is a novel full-scale prototype on display at the On Air exhibition in the Liberty Research Annex Gallery. It is an extension of ongoing research conducted by ADR Laboratory, led by Prof. Arash Adel, on robotic timber construction and human-robot collaborative construction processes. RFS 2.0 advances research by developing a robotically fabricated construction system that can be implemented into multi-story structures to facilitate sustainable housing solutions.

RFS 2.0 employs prefabricated, bespoke timber sub-assemblies manufactured from short, regionally sourced 2x4 dimensional lumber. Industrial robots process and assemble these elements into layered modules, utilizing custom algorithms to mass-customize assembly routines that would otherwise be immensely difficult to achieve through conventional methods, realizing computational design parameters and minimizing construction waste. After prefabrication, the modules were transported on-site, where human workers assembled them to form the structure.

This type of fabrication system is a novel approach in reconsidering issues of material use, labor, and the environment, to create intelligent and resourceful architecture with striking expressive qualities. The RFS projects elevate research in robotic timber construction to full-scale building systems beyond the laboratory, revealing new complexities and challenges. By building at full-scale, RFS actively contributes to the larger conversations of carbon neutrality and sustainable building practices.

Project Credits:

  • Principal Investigator and Project Lead: Dr. Arash Adel (Assistant Professor of Architecture) | ADR Laboratory
  • Research, Design, and Fabrication Assistants: Daniel Ruan, Abdallah Kamhawi, Ali Fahmy, Tharanesh Varadharajan, Xiujin Liu, Yunyan Li
  • Supported by: Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan


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