This work develops algorithms to synthesize structural layouts with optimized reuse rate.
Reusing structural components has the potential to significantly reduce environmental impacts of building structures because it reduces new material use, energy consumption, and waste. The principle is not new in structural engineering, yet its adoption implies a significant paradigm shift: The mechanical and geometric properties of available elements predetermine the layout of a structure, in other words: form follows availability. The operation is one that can be optimized computationally. What is the best way to assign reclaimed members into a structural system? What is the best topology and geometry of a system in order to best reuse a given stock of elements? How much savings can be achieved in terms of environmental damage?
To answer these questions, we developed new computational methods to design structures that make best use of available structural components. The methods include form finding, geometry, and topology optimization. An integrated Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) allows setting structure environmental impact minimization as the optimization objective. Case studies show that structures made of reused elements have a significantly lower impact than structures made of new elements. Often, combining reused and new elements is best.
This research has been developed at the Structural Xploration Lab, EPFL under supervision of Prof. Corentin Fivet and co-supervision of Dr. Gennaro Senatore.
Journal Paper – Invited to special issue “Structural Design Optimization”
Optimum design of frame structures from a stock of reclaimed elements
Jan Brütting, Gennaro Senatore, Mattias Schevenels, Corentin Fivet
Frontiers in Built Environment, vol. 6, article 57, 2020
Environmental impact minimization of reticular structures made of reused and new elements through Life Cycle Assessment and Mixed-Integer Linear Programming
Jan Brütting, Camille Vandervaeren, Gennaro Senatore, Niels De Temmerman, Corentin Fivet
Energy and Buildings, vol. 215, 109827, 2020
Journal Paper – Invited to special issue “2040 Vision – Future of Structural Design”
Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is reused: Structural Design for a Circular Economy
Corentin Fivet and Jan Brütting
The Structural Engineer, vol. 98(1), 2020
Journal Paper – IASS Hangai Prize 2019 – outstanding paper
Form follows availability – Designing structures through reuse
Jan Brütting, Gennaro Senatore, Corentin Fivet
Journal of the International Association of Shell and Spatial Structures, vol. 60(4), 2019
Exploration of spatial structures made from reused elements and the design of optimal kits-of-parts
Jan Brütting, Corentin Fivet, Gennaro Senatore
Structures and Architecture: Bridging the Gap and Crossing Borders, p. 229-236, CRC Press, 2019,
Full text PDF
Zirkuläre Architektur / Architecture circulaire / Architettura circolare Jan Brütting’s doctoral work, and more generally research activities at the Structural Xploration Lab, are featured in the latest tri-lingual special issue…
DRIVEN is an incubation program aiming to embed advanced computational design strategies in early stage entrepreneurship for a Circular Economy. As part of their training program, DRIVEN is frequently hosting workshops…