The construction industry is one of the biggest contributors in global CO2 generation and building in concrete plays a significant part towards the problem. Au.architectsdeclare.com (2019) have started, that “the twin crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss are the most serious issue of our time. Globally, buildings and construction play a major part, accounting for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural habitats.” Yet in the next decades one can expect an increase in construction due to population growth and rapid urbanisation, adding to the problem of CO2 generation while at the same time the industry requires faster construction methods to meet demand on housing. It is argued that building with CLT (Cross laminated Timber) can contribute as one piece towards a sustainable construction industry as it is CO2 neutral and one can construct and built faster with CLT than with concrete. Currently we can see a slow rise of CLT buildings such as International House Sydney in Barangaroo or a multipurpose building on UNSW’s Sydney campus both by Alec Tzannes Office; ARM’s Timber office tower in Melbourne; NH Architects Timber office building in Melbourne’s dockland or Australia’s tallest engineered timber office by Bates Smart in Brisbane to name but a few.
Yet there is another, at the moment not fully followed up factor. CLT is prime for digital design and digital fabrication as timber elements are CNC-milled to specification of the architect and / or engineer. As a CNC mill only requires data but not drawings one can create and develop a further advantage for using CLT – automating most workflows towards designing and building with CLT using computational design methods and tools. The local computational driven architecture, engineering, science and design community is eager to take up the challenge to push what is currently possible in programming scripts towards building with CLT as their contribution to au.architectsdeclare.com call for:
Thus, we propose a UNSW Grand Challenge ‘Rapid Urbanisation’ AEC Hackathon for CLT construction in which we claim that a group of hackers can compute large proportions of designing, documenting and fabricating a building built out of CLT and thus built faster and more sustainable than using conventional ways as the produced scripts will work on any location and on any geometry. Further whereas changes of geometry i.e. size of floor plate or floor to ceiling height during a design process would require the redrawing, remodelling or recalculation of design elements in a computational method the scripts get re-executed and the design is updated.
Registration team and expression of interest for tasks to automate
Please register your team via name(s) in team and a contact person and contact email address and select and rank three tasks your team would like to complete. As we are very much interested in completing all tasks, as all tasks are required to document and deliver a design we will be in contact with you to discuss if you could complete your second or third choice rather your first.
Please select tasks based on your experience in the field and the ones you can contribute best.
Friday 27. – Saturday 28. September at the UNSW’s BE Gallery space, with a Friday 27. September morning announcement of the programming challenges (see program below)
Monday 30. September 2019 evening presentation at Cox Architecture Office (Level 6 / 155 Clarence Street, Sydney NSW 2000) in front of a jury that tests, evaluates and discusses the workflows and the automation process. MC of presentation is Alexia Lidas / Managing Director, Design Intelligence Australia, she will facilitate a panel discussion with the jury. Each team will present their 3-min video clip to in front of the audience; Peer Review Panel will execute scripts in Giraffe on different site locations and finally have a panel discussion on the outcomes.
Peer Review Panel
Prof Alec Tzannes / Tzannes Architects Sydney.
Niki Douglas / UNSW Estate Management
Dr Philip Oldfield / Director Architecture Program Built Environment UNSW
Dr Kirsten Or / Registrar, NSW Architects Registration Board
Prof Helen Lochhead / Dean Built Environment UNSW
David Rowlinson / Make it Wood Campaign Manager at Plant Ark Environmental Foundation
|8:00 – 9:00 am
Meet and Greet
Getting ready for the two days with set up of work areas and building. Light breakfast and coffee
|8:00 – 9:00 am
Get ready for the day
Getting ready for the second day and refill with coffee and light breakfast
|9:00 – 10:00 am
Presentation of challenges and Giraffe
Showcasing challenges of designing and documenting a CLT building – assigning tasks, showcase Giraffe and Giraffe plugin.
|9:00 – 1:00 pm
Developing Ideas (II)
Developing solutions for the problems Round II
|10:00 – 1:00 pm
Morning Hack session
Getting into the problem, Advisory team will be present to answer questions (see below)
|1:00 – 2:00 pm
We will provide Lunch (please no more pizza – you will see)
|1:00 – 2:00 pm
We will provide Lunch (is it the obligatory pizza? – you will see)
|2:00 – 5:00 pm
Developing Ideas (III)
Developing solutions for the problems Round III
|2:00 – 6:30 pm
Developing Ideas (I)
Developing solutions for the problems Round I
|5:00 – 6:00 pm
Debugging and testing on Giraffe
Uploading and testing scripts on Giraffe with Giraffe team ready to help
|5:30 – 6:30 pm
Jury tests tools on the Giraffe Platform @ Cox Office.
|6:30 – 7:30 pm
Day 1 close / Dinner
Finish up or plan out Day 2 and social catch up of the Computational Design community Sydney.
|6:00 – 7:00 pm
Showcasing results via a 3 min Pecha Kucha to community.
|6:30 – 8:00 pm
Drinks and nibbles @ Cox Office.
Deliverables for Intern and Final presentation
Each participating team will be asked to provide the following for the two presentations.
- Name of their developed tool (are there any animal names still left for GH tools?)
- Icon / logo of their developed tool
- 100 word description what the tool can do
- Uploading tool to Giraffe and testing it – so judges can test it on Monday evening
- 3 min pitch via video clip presenting the tool for Saturdays intern and Mondays Final presentation.
While IP will stay with the team that develops the workflow automation we are encouraging to make this IP open source. UNSW BE and UNSW Computational Design strongly support the Australian Architects Declare Climate & Biodiversity Emergency (https://au.architectsdeclare.com/) pledge and we see the AEC hackathon as a contribution.
Thanks to our event support from DesignIntelligence Australia we are able to have the following experts coming on Friday morning 10 - 1.00pm to assist and advice with insight knowledge on fabricating CLT buildings. Advisors are:
Giraffe Technology will support the event with tech support and access to software plugins as well as to their platform. Giraffe is a blockchain using, two-sided network platform for the AEC industry that connects architects and engineers with computational designers and software engineers. We at Giraffe argue that design is a process undertaken in phases, each containing a series of tasks that, when in sequential order, are easy to automate, thus saving time and money. Results (scripted tasks) of the hackathon will be uploaded to the Giraffe Platform and sequentially executed to built a CLT building. See https://giraffe.build/ and http://app.giraffe.build/ for more details.