DETAIL research Lab: Ideas for tomorrow
At BAU 2019, special attention was once again paid to "Future Materials and Innovations". Alongside the numerous product and system innovations presented by exhibitors at their stands, DETAIL curated the DETAIL research Lab special exhibition on innovative product developments, raw materials and semi-finished products in the form of prototypes, models and material samples, for the third time in a row. At the new location in Hall B0, next to the Zukunft Bau research initiative of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), various research institutes and the B0 lecture forum, more national and international visitors than ever before were guided through the exhibition. The varied feedback and informal dialogues will undoubtedly provide significant impetus for future ideas and further development as well as suggestions for application areas.
The range of forward-looking ideas is wide, and in the field of basic research, several material developments and systems stimulated discussions among visitors. With the "Tethok" development, the Bau Kunst Erfinden research platform of the University of Kassel exhibited a new type of endless thread made of willow, from which a new, light, formable and functional building material can be created. The functional fibre combines the advantages of wood as a material with variable textile construction and manufacturing methods.
Wood is also a component of the "WooCon" lightweight wood concrete research project of the Institute of Construction and Environmental Technology (iTEC), the School of Engineering and Architecture of FribourgSwitzerland (HTA-FR), and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO), in which castable and potentially self-compacting lightweight wood concrete can be used as a load-bearing building material with further construction-related properties (constructional physics, thermal, etc.).
With the "4dTEX" project and the "ReFaTex" research project, the FFin – Frankfurt Research Institute of the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences is experimenting with the superimposition of material and functional principles (reversibly foldable, energetically-effective 3D textiles in the construction sector). Here, the potential of so-called spacer textiles for ultra-light, equally stable, movable and, if required, adaptive elements in the opening area is being investigated using the traditional elements the hinged shutter, venetian blind and pleated blind. Due to the integrated double layer of the textile, on the one hand transparencies can be specifically programmed, and on the other, hingeless movement mechanisms can be implemented that can be controlled mechanically, electrically or adaptively.
The Facade Technology, Energy Efficiency and Design Department at the Augsburg University of Applied Sciences is working together with other partners on the "Next Generation Biofilm" project to further develop conventional aquatic photobioreactors. The facade-integrated bioreactor system is also based on the principle of superimposed use. In addition to energy, terrestrial algae can be used to extract both active and valuable substances from the aerosol-based photobioreactor for a wide range of applications in industry and food production, thus avoiding the use of valuable arable land.
Several exciting projects were shown following the establishment of the new Architecture Research Incubator (ARI) superordinate research unit and interdisciplinary cooperation platform of the Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University of Munich. The "Asymptotic Gridshell" load-bearing structure was developed at the Chair of Structural Design. The digitally-found minimal surface is based on a rectangular network of flat slats with identical nodes, which is inserted as a flat system and then bent into its curved shape. The idea of the "Bamboo Connection System" was also born at the same institute. This is a solution for the technically-difficult handling of the natural structure of bamboo. A connection system with a special joining technique forms a kit which contains various connection nodes and thus compensates for the natural irregularity of the raw material.
"Living Plant Construction" is also based on the principles of nature, with the Chair of Green Technologies in Landscape Architecture combining biological and constructive principles with the approach of construction botany to form an architectural concept. Trees are connected with technical construction elements, and as the size and stability of the plants increase, living structures are created. In cooperation with the Chair of Building Technology and Climate-friendly Construction, the "Urban Micro Climate Canopy" was exhibited as an architectural prototype which, as an innovative plant-technological composite structure, demonstrates new possibilities for improving the microclimate in our cities.
The research work of the Chair of Design and Building Envelopes shows how it could be possibly realised. "Fluid Morphology" is the world's first translucent and multifunctional facade element that is entirely 3D-printed in a single production step and combines various functions in a single-layer envelope structure. A prototype for the facade of the interim entrance building to the Deutsches Museum in Munich is scheduled to be built by 2020.
The design study heroal C 50 GD also stimulated visitors' imagination. In response to the demand for large facade areas with maximum transparency and minimum profile width, the company has developed a glass fin that statically replaces the classic mullion and at the same time optically reduces the visible width from the outside as well as the building depth of the mullion.
NBK Keramik GmbH is working on the modification of production technologies, and with its design study "Terrart – die Welle / the Wave" is expanding the design possibilities with current building technology. In an in-house research project, a process was developed that allows the ceramic masses to move in another extrusion direction, resulting in a cross-sectional shape with an irregular surface. The resulting shapes are new in the production of extruded, coarse ceramic masses.
The Munich University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Architecture, Institute of Construction and Technology, and Department of Structural Design and Constructive Design also worked on digital form-finding with the "Miura Origami" parametric pavilion. The idea was inspired by the Miura-Or folding pattern, in turn conceived by the Japanese astrophysicist Koryo Miura, in which a self-supporting shape is created from tessellation with parallelograms. The folding pattern and the entire movement process were generated by a digital model using parametric control. A section in the form of an Alucobond panel was shown as a folded aluminium sandwich panel.
The ICD and ITKE institutes at the University of Stuttgart have been carrying out research into the principle of segmented shell structures based on bionic principles for many years. For the Federal Horticultural Show 2019 in Heilbronn, a system of 376 hollow cassettes has been developed for the 30-metre-wide wooden pavilion. The cassettes are individually assembled according to a digital design and simulation process in a robotic panel and beam prefabrication process.
Also innovative is the development of the new "Fineo" vacuum insulation glass by AGC Interpane. With a pane construction of 6-10 millimetres, thermal insulation values can be achieved that exceed high-end triple-glazed thermal insulation glass with the metallic spacers barely visible in the vacuum. Visitors to the DETAIL research Lab very much welcomed the application in the field of renovation and monument protection as well as in new building.
The potential of "Acrysmart Glass" from HPF The Mineral Engineers, Quarzwerke Group, which as a dynamic plastic glass that adapts to the climate promises intelligent energy management, was also intensively discussed. The change in the material temperature of the plastic triggers a reversible switching effect without external stimuli, which in turn regulates the transmission of light and solar radiation. The solar radiation is either reflected and absorbed by backward scattering or can pass unhindered.
The development of the "SensFloor Care" floor sensor by Future-Shape GmbH is based on a capacitive system in which the movement patterns of individuals are recorded through the specific density and conductivity of the human body, analogous to a touch display on a mobile phone. In the AAL (Ambient Assisted Living) area, the intelligent sensor floor supports doctors and residents in care facilities. Real-time recording and evaluation of customer routes, speeds and length of stay are also, however, of interest for retailers and exhibitions as well as for multimedia applications.
New possibilities are also emerging in surface development: Under the name "CamuStyleTX", Swiss Krono AG has developed a number of new textures for its classic melamine-coated chipboard for creative interior design. Inspired by lime and textile surfaces, various patterns can be generated during the OSB-board pressing process by inserting a shaper.
In the interests of sustainability and indoor well-being, Baswa is working on the development of an acoustic panel based on natural fibres. Kenaf fibres from the hemp plant family offer the greatest potential in this respect. Together with an open-pore pre-coating of recycled glass granulate, the panel combines optimal ecological properties with excellent sound absorption.
The Forum for Safe Insulation with EPS (FSDE) also focuses on the requirements of future construction. At the DETAIL research Lab, two ways of recycling EPS from construction applications were presented – first, using the so-called CreaSolv process in which EPS containing HBCD can be broken down into its components and made recyclable, and secondly, as so-called recyclate insulating boards consisting of HBCD-free EPS residues.
Visitors could also examine and admire the award-winning exhibits from the materialPreis 2018 competition, organised by the raumPROBE materials agency. Since 2013, manufacturers and planners have been awarded alternately every year – on the one hand for processes in the material cycle that are interdependent and equally indispensable for the continued existence and progress of the industry, and on the other, for production, creation and use in built projects.
There is already today therefore no shortage of ideas when it comes to the future of building. Keep an eye out for the ones that prevail and on how they are developed further. We look forward to seeing you at BAU 2021!
The DETAIL research Lab was supported by our partners:
BAU 2019 and the Zukunft Bau research initiative
AGC INTERPANE Glas Industrie AG, BASWA acoustic AG, Future-Shape GmbH, Forum for Safe Insulation with EPS (FSDE), heroal - Johann Henkenjohann GmbH & Co KG, HPF The Mineral Engineers / Quarzwerke Gruppe, NBK Keramik GmbH, SWISS KRONO AG
BAU KUNST ERFINDEN / University of Kassel, FFin – Frankfurt Research Institute Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Augsburg University of Applied Sciences Facade Technology, Energy Efficiency and Design / Next Generation Biofilm, Munich University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Architecture, Institute of Construction and Engineering, Department of Structural Design and Constructive Design, ICD Institute for Computational Design and Construction | University of Stuttgart, Institute for Building and Environmental Technologies iTEC School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg Switzerland HTA-FR University of Applied Sciences Fribourg HTA-FR, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland HES-SO, raumPROBE, Technical University Munich, Architecture Research Incubator