MaCAD S.2 – Digital Tools for Structural Optimisation Strategies Seminar
Senior Faculty: Manja van de Worp

In the current climate emergency crisis, there are many calls for use of in the AEC industry to reduce carbon emissions. This course explores to reduce carbon emissions by using both (mass)timber reconstruction reducing the need for the use of concrete. We will evaluate and design alternative solutions following structural analysis in Karamba.
Here we propose innovative hybrid structural solutions for a 5 to 7 story residential building. The two materials will be explored from a full embodied energy scope (including methods of construction, lifespan and environmental properties of both materials) are explored rather than pure “material” optimisation.
The brief has been discussion with professionals ensuring the structural discourse responds to queries and aims of the direct industry to create inventive solutions to real world problems. Future adaptation is key to understand sustainable approaches in structural design and linked to use of space, expansion and reuse of elements, etc. Within the structural system design we could for example questions: how could concrete be used only in compression so there is no need for reinforcement? Can we use the concrete for thermal mass / environmental systems? Is a timber post beam, wall slab or volumetric system best suited, etc.

Learning Objectives
At course completion the student will:
? understand the basics of structural design through using Karamba plugin for grasshopper
? understand how to set up an analysis, strategically change parameters and understand and respond to structural analysis results. i.e. apply feedback loops
? relate structural design to construction and fabrication impacts. Translate digital analysis and structural performance to material design constructs
? Combine vertical + horizontal loading principles (multi parameters “optimisation” / response
? Understand the principles of carbon emissions in relation to structural design, manufacturing, timeframe of design, etc
? Develop one detail where the concrete and timber system meets.