Traditionally, to make a structure stronger, more material has been required—or a stronger, more expensive material. Tom Van Mele, a senior researcher at ETH Zurich, is taking a different approach, providing structural strength through geometry. His team at the Block Research Group in Switzerland is developing the HiLo (High Performance, Low Energy) unit in their experimental NEST (Next Evolution Sustainable Building Technologies) building. In this Theater presentation from 2018, he showcases the HiLo’s roofing system, a doubly curved concrete shell that spans 120 square meters, supported by 5 points at the perimeter. Only 3-5 mm thick, it is reinforced with a thin layer of carbon fiber.
About the speaker
Dr. Tom Van Mele is senior scientist and co-director at the Block Research Group (BRG) of the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zurich, where he leads the computational and technical developments, supervises the postdoc team, and advises and supports the doctoral candidates on a day-to-day basis. He is also the lead developer of COMPAS, the open-source computational framework for collaboration and research in architecture, structures, and digital fabrication. He holds a PhD in Architecture Engineering Sciences from Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Want to dive deeper? Check out these related AU sessions.
Connected BIM enables better collaboration, and Switzerland is leading Europe in the digitization of AEC. In this industry talk, Thomas Müller covers the success of BIM in Switzerland and the strategic approach the government took to invest in innovation and digital construction.
Have you experienced the headache of trying to coordinate on a design project with multiple companies? This AU session can help. Adam Peter explores best practices and workflows for BIM 360 design collaboration, document management, and Revit—while showing how they can work together.
Before switching to BIM 360 Design, it’s important to understand what the next-gen BIM 360 platform is and how you can benefit from jumping on board. Katie Watton explores the differences between Collaboration for Revit and BIM 360 Design—and workflows and methods to ease the transition—in this AU Las Vegas industry talk.