BIM-integrated Robotics for Intelligent Mass Timber Manufacturing and Operations
Buildings consume 1/3 of global primary energy, contribute 40% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally, and people spend more than 85% of their time in buildings. Despite the development of modern technologies, the building industry lags behind in terms of productivity and energy efficiency. Mass timber construction is a novel alternative solution to traditional light-frame wood construction. It advocates for an engineered solution to substitute concrete and steel for wood, a more sustainable material. However, mass timber construction still struggles with a wide variety of problems: inflexible manufacturing operations, unsatisfactory project performance, and low productivity. For the past years, research has shown that digitalization can solve most of these pitfalls in the construction industry. Indeed, the digitalization of the mass timber industry would increase the profitability of existing business models and investments while supporting a more sustainable construction process. Digital technologies, such as building information models (BIM) or digital twins (DT), are proven to be the key to achieve important improvements in operational performance. The integration of both technologies provides a clear link between the product design and the manufacturing process, enabling bi-directional information channels between both and determining relationships between design parameters and operational performance. This project aims to develop novel digital technologies for mass timber operations in a comprehensive manner, focusing on three areas: productivity, safety, and waste generation, while supported by advanced manufacturing methods, such as robotics or lean manufacturing.