Keynote by Daniel Hall

Circular Future Cities: Systemic innovations supporting circular economies in construction

This presentation will present two ongoing research projects. The first project is Circular Future Cities: Systemic innovations supporting circular economies in construction. A transition to a circular economy, in which used materials may become valuable resources for a new production cycle, is urgently needed. This project aims to develop integrated frameworks and tools based on advanced digital technology for informing the design, construction and management of circular buildings and deploying more effective resource solutions. It addresses the questions of which contributions future circular cities can make to lower adverse environmental impacts and how to derive tailored, site-specific system solutions for sustainable housing. This presentation will have specific focus on the ideas around blockchain-based material passports and decentralized marketplaces, and how tracking of building objects can then be used in future design.

The second project is called 7DayHouse: Fabrication-aware generative design. The architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector must respond to an ongoing global housing crisis. However, it is questionable if the current system for the design and construction of housing is responsive enough to rapidly deliver customized housing without compromising architectural quality. The current housing process requires a long, bespoke process and the end customer has few options for customization.

New technologies might help. However, proposed software solutions such as generative design solutions are not fabrication aware. Meanwhile, emerging fabrication-aware design systems for industrialized construction do not yet provide the design flexibility required by architects. To solve this, we imagine a radical systems transformation of the process to design and construct a home. In this new system, the end customer should be able to receive a fully-customized design solution generated within one day. Furthermore, this design solution must link with industrialized production capabilities so that the home can be fabricated, assembled, and completed at a final location within one week. We call this solution the 7DayHouse. The planned contribution will be the creation of a fabrication-aware generative design tool that can create and iterate the design of a fully-customized home within one day. We plan to operationalize the tool through the design of a customized, prefabricated timber “top-up” unit.

Daniel Hall is Assistant Professor at the Department of Management in the Built Environment in the faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. The overarching theme of his research is to enhance governance, productivity, and innovation in construction projects through a transformation from fragmented project delivery methods to new organizational models that integrate the supply chain of the vertically and horizontally fragmented construction industry. His work finds that in order to foster more innovation in products and processes, the AEC industry must embrace new technologies, governance strategies and organizational models.

His current research interests include: Industrialized Construction, Governance of Integrated Project Delivery, Blockchain in Construction, Adoption of Systemic Innovations, Industry 4.0, and Entrepreneurship in AEC.

Daniel holds a Doctor of Philosophy (2017) in Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) from Stanford University. He also holds a Master of Science (2014) in Civil and Environmental Engineering with an emphasis in Sustainable Design and Construction from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science (2008) in Architectural Engineering from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. Previously he was assistant professor of Innovative and Industrial Construction at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering of ETH Zürich. He is founder and organizer of the Stanford Industrialized Construction Forum since 2014.

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