Project House Production for the Construction of Tomorrow
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The project house “Production for the Construction of Tomorrow” seeks to pool the University’s expertise in the area of sustainable, future-oriented production for construction purposes, drawing on top-level research in the fields of:
- Building and Infrastructure Engineering
- Construction Robotics
- Building Information Modeling
- Water and Environment
The existing research activities at RWTH are to be further developed within a consortium, which it to form the basis for a new research cluster, “Construction and Environment.” This cluster is to be established on RWTH Aachen Campus in the medium term, bringing together researchers from RWTH institutions, companies, as well as service providers from the construction sector. The new cluster is to open up a new dimension intense on-site collaboration between academia and companies in the wider construction sector.
The Future of Construction
Production for the construction sector and the operation of buildings make up about 40 percent of energy consumption worldwide and are thus highly important areas for climate change mitigation. Furthermore, construction production is affected by global megatrends, such as urbanization and demographic change. By developing new approaches to the planning, production and performance of buildings, construction production can contribute to preserving and beneficially shaping the environment and to securing sustainable development.
Importantly, construction production has the potential to actively shape such global megatrends. Bringing together the University’s research expertise and activities within consortia or centers, the project house pursues the following objectives:
Building and Infrastructure Engineering Center
Forward-looking production for the construction sector seeks to increase the lifetime of buildings and of building materials. In order to meet today’s dynamic requirement profiles, new materials, innovative construction methods, and a high degree of adaptability and flexibility of buildings are required. Within the research consortium, the scientific foundation for the development of high-performance materials and compounds characterized by durability high load-bearing capacity is to be laid. Target industries include the road construction and structural engineering sectors.
The resulting multifunctional building products facilitate the flexible and long-term, adaptable use of buildings and infrastructure. Key questions to be addressed include the integration of different functions, such as energy generation, improved structural behavior despite a reduction in the use of resources, extremely long lifetime, and corrosion resistance.
Construction Robotics Center
Most traditional production processes in construction come from an artisanal tradition and are unsuited for the manufacture of robust long-life components with high dimensional accuracy for integral building structures. In future, in order to secure a higher degree of reliability, manual activities in construction must be intelligently supported by machines or even completely replaced by fully mechanized processes. Digital technologies will sustainably transform our working environments. Against this backdrop, the Project House seeks to develop new technical and technological visions for the construction and production of the future. Within the research consortium, we drive the development of industrialized production methods for building products. Apart from the modularization, typing and integration of components, we also conduct research on the use of robotic systems on construction sites.
Building and Information Modeling Center
The planning process for modern buildings is supported by Building Information Modeling, BIM for short. The aim of such a digital representation of a construction product is to integrate all building information in a building data model, which the forms the basis for the process chain from construction through operation, covering the entire life cycle of the building. The BIM method is a central component for the interdisciplinary coupling of planning and industrial production for construction purposes, in that product data are exchanged via standardized interfaces and are integrated in a coordinating model. For internal planning purposes, tools for the optimization of support structures and technical building installations are to be further developed.
Water and Environment Center
The Water and Environment Center, another section of the building research cluster, brings together research activities in the fields of urban drainage systems and wastewater treatment.