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SMART ASSEMBLY CONSTRUCTION Singapore University of Technology and Design

Melissa Estella Lim


Masters of Architecture Thesis Singapore University of Technology & Design Faculty Advisor: Sawako Kaijima 2016

SMART ASSEMBLY CONSTRUCTION ABSTRACT When buildings are built, the complexity of construction processes require skilled construction workers to partake in assembling the entire architecture. If we are able ease this process, non-skilled users would be able to build their intended design. Given our computational design tools and digital fabrication methods,are we able to create building elements for construction that contains pre-imbued characteristics to ease the process? This thesis aims to develop an assembly and dis-assembly system that reduce onsite construction time and material waste. In particular, I will be looking at various joint geometries and connection systems.

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CONTENT ABSTRACT EXPERIMENTS FINAL DESIGN APPLICATION - THE OFFICE BACKGROUND STUDIES PRECEDENTS

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EXPERIMENTS

In this thesis, experiments will be conducted to investigate how components can meet given different conditions as well as how a desired configuration can be obtained through a engineered process. Taking inspiration from the Japanese joinery of Tugite and Shiguchi, different geometries were tested to figure out the locking mechanism.

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EXPERIMENT SET A (Local interaction among components)

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The focus of Experiement Set A was to investigate the movement of the components; ie. how would the components slide across the base, rotate to the designated angle and meet another component. This was done in 2 main parts; first one with the components using external forces to push them together, and the second one with connecting strings.


EXPERIMENT A1

2D Modeling -Without connections ANGLED TOP

FLAT TOP

OVERLAPPING COMPONENT

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EXPERIMENT A1.1

2D Modeling with additional connections

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ANGLED TOP

FLAT TOP

OVERLAPPING COMPONENT

Without connection: By pushing down one end, the block could be rotated up and pushed towards each other. Both blocks meet at a flat face.

Without connection: Without connection: Similar to the angled top components, the blocks rotated to its maximum and met With vertical and then horizontal forces, the blocks could rotate to its maximum at a flat face. angle and also slide across the inter-locking part to be lock in place.

With connection: The string was connected through both blocks which are pulled in tension to bring both blocks together. In this scenario, as the string is pulled in tension, the blocks did not rotate to its maximum angle. Hence, the blocks did not meet at the desired face.

With connection: The blocks moved in a similar manner as the angled top scenario when the string was pulled in tension. The blocks did not meet at a desired configuration as they were not rotated to its maximum angle.

With connection: The results were the same as the previous 2 scenarios. The blocks managed to slide across each other on the inter-locking component but the lack in rotation angle caused the blocks not to meet properly.


EXPERIMENT A2

Investigate how the angle of the connections affect stability NO TILT

5째 TILT

8째 TILT

9 With the increase in the tilt of the opening, the blocks met at a flat face (desired configuration) as seen in the 5째and 8째 tilt.The circles as indicated in the diagram shows the fulcrum point of which the blocks are rotated about.The increase in angle of tilt increases the distance of the force from the fulcrum, resulting in an increase in clockwise momentum on the right block and anti-clockwise momentum on the left block.Consequently, the blocks were able to rotate to its maximum. .


EXPERIMENT A3 3 elements ANGLED TOP

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FLAT TOP

OVERLAPPING COMPONENT

Increasing the number of components to 3, the aim of Experiment 3A is to examine how more components can be connected together. In this Experiment A3, the openings for the connecting string was reduced to improve the rotation of the components. The red lines indicate the connection used by strings that will be pulled in tension to bring the components together,


EXPERIMENT A3.1 3 ELEMENTS ANGLED TOP

11 The diagram shows the sequence of the components coming together with the connection pulled in tension. In this scenario, all 3 components rotated and slide towards each other to meet in a single line and one component meet another at a single face.


EXPERIMENT A3.2 3 ELEMENTS FLAT TOP

12 Similiar to the angled top components, all 3 of them moved into the desired configuration and met in a single line. These components were connected in the same way as the angled top components.


EXPERIMENT A3.3 3 ELEMENTS

OVERLAPPING COMPO-

As illustrated with the red lines, each of the components have 2 connection strings put through them so that one of the strings can connect the overlapping part into the neighbouring block. The blocks managed to rotate and slide towards each other with a given tension in the strings but there was still some gap among the blocks. This could be due to the insufficient clockwise momentum to counter the anti-clockwise momentum of the blocks, causing them to drop slightly in the middle section and have a gap. In this scenario, an attractive force is needed to bring the overlapping parts together for a better fit.

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EXPERIMENT A4 6 ELEMENTS

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Component 1

Component 2

Angled top component to be fitted at the top

Flat top component to be fitted at the bottom. (inverted set of blocks of Experiment A3. This used at the bottom part of the structure so that it would form a more stable base.


RANDOM CONFIGURATION BEFORE ERECTION PROCESS

BLOCKS RECONFIGURING THE RIGHT ORIENTATION

BLOCKS MOVING INTO DESIRED CONFIGURATION

DESIRED STRUCTURE CONSTRUCTED

DECONSTRUCTING STRUCTURE

STRUCTURE DECONSTRUCTED TO OPTIMAL CONFIGURATION FOR CONSTRUCTION

ERECTING THE STRUCTURE FROM OPTIMAL POSITIONS

BLOCKS MOVING INTO DESIRED CONFIGURATION

STRUCTURE ERECTED

Experiment A4 shows the ability of 6 components erected smartly with the tension of the connecting strings. In this case, the blocks slide and rotated by pressing on each other upon erection. It also illustrates the possibility of the blocks building up even from a random configuration before erection. The structure could be erected easily when it is in a optimal configuration before the tension of the strings and this was done many times. However, the erection of the blocks from a random configuration requires a quick tension of the strings if not the blocks will not be connected in the desired configuration.The small flat base of the structure was unstable for such a structure.

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EXPERIMENT A5 9 elements

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In Experiment A5, the number of components used was increased to 6. This is to explore the possibilities of the tension system with the blocks. The same technique of pulling the strings in tension is applied but the blocks required assistance to get into a desired configuration. With each additional block, there is additional permutation of how the blocks will be configured due to the rotation about the openings’ axis and how they would meet each other, increasing the compexity of erection process.


EXPERIMENT A6 CUBE

COMPONENT 1

COMPONENT 2

Experiment A6 breaks aways from the previous few experiements to explore the possibility of constructing a common geometry that is stable after construction. This experiment contains 8 similar cuboids connected together by strings as shown with the red lines. When the strings were pulled in tension quick enough, the blocks will move into the right configuration to form the overall cube. However, the individual components could not rotate properly as shown in the last picture . This is because the strings in tension only brings the individual blocks together while another technique has to be used to rotate the block around the strings axis to acheive the ideal configuration.

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EXPERIMENT SET B (Investigating the erection process (ie. the connection system) with the designed components)

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EXPERIMENT B1 9 ELEMENTS

COMPONENT 1

COMPONENT 2

ADDITIONAL JOINTS

ANGLE OF BLOCKS

30°

Joint 1

Joint 2

After exploring the possibilties of erecting the blocks through a tension system in the previous experiments, I wanted improve the system to see the potential of this mechanism in a construction process. (eg. erection of a structural system of a building) In Experiement B1, additional flat surfaces have been added to segregate the individual blocks to simplify the erection process. The top 3 blocks will be lifted up just like in Experiment A3 while still being connected to the whole system as indicated by the red lines. Also, external joints have been added as a locking mechanism to hold the structure in place after erection. With the tension of the connecting strings, the blocks were able to bring the components closer to each other but there was still a rotation problem and the external joints were difficult to fit in. Therefore, a locking mechanism should be added and it should be well-designed to be part of the system.

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EXPERIMENT B2 9 ELEMENTS

COMPONENT 1

COMPONENT 2

ADDITIONAL JOINTS

ANGLE OF BLOCKS

30°

Joint 1

Joint 2

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Improving on Experiment B1, Experiment B2 explores the possbility of a external joint that is already connecton within the system as shown in Joint 1. Joint 1 fits in the centre of the bottom tier of components and inserts into each of these blocks to connect and lock all the 6 components together. Joint 2 is an external piece that locks the top 3 components together. When the strings were pulled in tension, blocks slide and rotated but Joint 2 was not able to insert into the components nicely.


EXPERIMENT B3 9 ELEMENTS

COMPONENT 1

COMPONENT 2

In Experiment B3, the blocks are designed to have overlapping parts to inter-connect with the neighbouring blocks. Similar to the previous experiments, the blocks were able to move in place but could not join properly as the joints required specific insertion angles which could not be achieved with the system.

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EXPERIMENT B4 9 ELEMENTS

COMPONENT 1

COMPONENT 2

COMPONENT 3

ANGLE OF BLOCKS

30°

Pivot for 2nd layer of blocks to rotate about

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Experiment B4 has blocks with positive and negative end to connect to one another. In addition, the flat surfaces have in dentations for the blocks to be locked in place after they have slid and rotated to the right angle. With the base locking mechanism, the blocks slid and rotated in place. Subsequently, the positive and negative joints also connected in place with some assistance as the flat surface made of solid 4mm white board was too heavy to be lifted up. Lastly, the locking system was tested by applying pressure to the structure from the top to test if the structure is able to stay in place. As shown in the last photo of the sequence, the components stayed together as the locking mechanism at the base pushed the components back together as the force tries to push the blocks outwards. Overall, Experiment B4 is one of the more successful experiments and this would be used as a basis for further exploration.

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EXPERIMENT B5 15 ELEMENTS

COMPONENT 1

ANGLE OF BLOCKS

60°

COMPONENT 2

COMPONENT 3

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Scaling up from Experiment B4, Experiment B5 tests the capability of the connection system as used the in the previous experiments. Instead of the heavy boards used in the middle of the structure, a cut-out frame was created by removing the excess material in the middle. Also, the angle of the blocks were changed from 30° to 60° to reduce the overall area of the structure occupied at the base. The structure was able to be built up with a lot of assistance even with the support structures at the side. The added difficulty was due to the additional 30° rotation that the blocks had to rotate as well as the complex connection through the blocks.

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EXPERIMENT B6 15 ELEMENTS

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Using the feedback from Experiment B5, Experiment B6 aims to improve the connection system by segregating the top tier connections with a primary and secondary lines where only the main string connects the entire structure. The green, blue and red lines indicate the primary, secondary and main connections. Firstly, the bottom green line (primary) is pulled to erect the bottom tier. Then, the red line (main line connection all blocks) is pulled in tension to bring all the blocks closer together. Subsequently, the green line is pulled to erect the second tier of blocks. While the green and blue line is being pulled, the red line is pulled slowly. In this scenario, the erection process is still very complex and should be simplified as much as possible so that it can be scaled up easily. After the bottom tier of blocks has been erected, it was difficult to pull the primary and secondary connection due to friction and the random placement of the flat surface. Morever, the construction process still required additional support at the sides acting as a “scaffolding�.

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EXPERIMENT SET C (Investigating individual component joint design to rotate to the desired position)

With Experiment Set B focusing on how the connection system would work, there was still a big problem with the individual components coming together and eventually connecting. Therefore, Experiment C will aim to break down this erection mechanism and investigate the individual joint design of each component. Zooming into the individual components, joint geometries was designed to test which geometry enables the rotation of the blocks to a desired position.

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EXPERIMENT C1 RECTANGULAR JOINT

COMPONENT SIDE PROFILE

BASE

Offset: 1mm Circle: 3.5mm

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All sharp ends were rounded to allow smooth sliding into place as well as to reduce friction for connection.


Experiment C1 uses the same joint design used in Experiment set B4 where the joint consists of sharp right angles and it was one of the more successful experiements . In order to quicken prototyping process, Stratasys multi-material 3D printing was used for this set of experiments. The pulling up of this system fails as the sharp ends of the joint restricts the movement of the component.

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EXPERIMENT C2

RECTANGULAR JOINT WITH ADDITIONAL CONNECTION LINE

1) Base connection 2) Main connection 3) Secondary connection (directional line)

1) The base connection as indicated with the green line is pulled to slide and rotate the bottom block in place. 2) Subsequently, the main connection is pulled in tension to connect the top block. 3) Lastly, the secondary line is pulled to get the top block to rotate to just right on top of the bottom block which can be rotated up after that.

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Experiment 1 uses the same joint design used in Experiment 2 where the joint consists of sharp right angles. In addition, this experiement includes an additional connecting line to pull the upper component to back of the lower component for a easier rotation upwards. The pulling up of this system fails as the sharp ends of the joint restricts the movement of the component. The tension mechanism used in this experiment will be used as a basis for further exploration.

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EXPERIMENT C3 CIRCULAR RODS

1) Base connection 2) Main connection

1) The base connection as indicated with the green line is pulled to slide and rotate the bottom block in place. 2) Subsequently, the main connection is pulled in tension to connect the top block.

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Experiment 3 tests if the shape of the components affects the entire rotation. However, in this case the round edge enables rotation but does not lock in the right position. In other words, due to the curvature of the section, the block will rotate in many permutations as compared to having a rectangular section.

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EXPERIMENT C4

CIRCULAR RODS WITH ADDITIONAL JOINT

1) Base connection 2) Main connection

1) The base connection as indicated with the green line is pulled to slide and rotate the bottom block in place. 2) Subsequently, the main connection is pulled in tension to connect the top block.

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The components in Experiment 4 is similar to Experiment 3 with only additonal elipse protrusion to test if the component can be rotated to a desired position. In this case, the rounded sides allows too much rotation that it does not lock in place. Therefore, the further experiments focused on using cross-section with sharper corners (rectangles).

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EXPERIMENT C5

SQUARE CROSS-SECTION WITH ELIPSE JOINT

1) Base connection 2) Main connection

1) The base connection as indicated with the green line is pulled to slide and rotate the bottom block in place. 2) Subsequently, the main connection is pulled in tension to connect the top block. The ball joint enables the top block to rotate around.

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The components in experiment 5 tests the ability of an elipse joint to rotate the upper component into the right position. This is rather sucessful as it allows the upper component to rotate from any position. However, it is unable to rotate and lock into the desired position yet. Consequently, the ball joint was used a basis for the final block.

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EXPERIMENT C6

SQUARE CROSS-SECTION WITH ELIPSE JOINT AND ADDITIONAL HINGE

1) Base connection 2) Main connection 3) Secondary connection (directional line)

1) The base connection as indicated with the green line is pulled to slide and rotate the bottom block in place. 2) Subsequently, the main connection is pulled in tension to connect the top block. 3) Lastly, the secondary line is pulled to get the top block to rotate to a desired position to fit into the bottom block.

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Experiment 6 consists of an additional hinge that allows rotation to stop at the desired spot. In addition, this component has an additional connection string (total 3 strings) which directs the upper components to a desired position. However, the hinge behind the spherical joint may not be that successful in keeping the top blocks upright. Therefore, a hinge could be placed in front of the spherical joint to attempt to go against the top block from falling downwards with an external rotation.

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EXPERIMENT C7

SQUARE CROSS-SECTION WITH ELONGATED ELIPSE JOINT

1) Base connection 2) Main connection 3) Secondary connection (directional line)

1) The base connection as indicated with the green line is pulled to slide and rotate the bottom block in place. 2) Subsequently, the main connection is pulled in tension to connect the top block. 3) Lastly, the secondary line is pulled to get the top block to rotate to a desired position to fit into the bottom block.

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Similar to Experiment C6, the elongated elipse joint allows the top block to freely rotate to fit into the bottom block. Due to the unequal length of the elipse in Experiment C7, it reduces the permutation of positions in which the top block can fit into the bottom one. Therefore, this design of elongated elipse joint is the solution to ensure the top block rotates to only one angle to connect perfectly with the bottom joint.

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EXPERIMENT SET D (Investigating a locking mechanism for the joint )

45 Given that the use of elipses to allow the free rotation of the component from any position, the next step is to investigate a locking mechanism for the joint. This lock mechanism is tricky as it cannot affect the initial rotation of the joint


EXPERIMENT D1

SQUARE CROSS-SECTION WITH ELONGATED ELIPSE JOINT AND LOCK

1) Base connection 2) Main connection 3) Secondary connection (directional line)

1) The base connection as indicated with the green line is pulled to slide and rotate the bottom block in place. 2) Subsequently, the main connection is pulled in tension to connect the top block. 3) Lastly, the secondary line is pulled to get the top block to rotate to a desired position to fit into the bottom block.

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Experiment 7 tests out the use of an elongated elipse joint to allow rotation as well as a lock hinge to lock the joint in place. This joint allows the initial rotation but gets interlocks at some positions which disallows it from moving it to the desired position

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OTHER EXPERIMENTS VARIOUS LOCKING MECHANISM

1) Base connection 2) Main connection 3) Secondary connection (directional line)

1) The base connection as indicated with the green line is pulled to slide and rotate the bottom block in place. 2) Subsequently, the main connection is pulled in tension to connect the top block. 3) Lastly, the secondary line is pulled to get the top block to rotate to a desired position to fit into the bottom block.

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1) Base connection 2) Main connection 3) Secondary connection (directional line)

1) The base connection as indicated with the green line is pulled to slide and rotate the bottom block in place. 2) Subsequently, the main connection is pulled in tension to connect the top block. 3) Lastly, the secondary line is pulled to get the top block to rotate to a desired position to fit into the bottom block.

Various locking mechanisms were tested in the aim to see which design helps not only lock but also not restrict the initial rotation. Some of these designs were focused on trying to reduce to anticlockwise momentum of the top block which causes it to collapse.

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FINAL JOINT DESIGN

SQUARE CROSS- SECTION WITH ELONGATED ELIPSE JOINT AND HINGE

1) Base connection 2) Main connection 3) Secondary connection (directional line)

1) The base connection as indicated with the green line is pulled to slide and rotate the bottom block in place. 2) Subsequently, the main connection is pulled in tension to connect the top block. 3) Lastly, the secondary line is pulled to get the top block to rotate to a desired position to fit into the bottom block.

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This final design chosen is an improvement from Experiment C7 using an elongated elipse joint. Moreover, a hinge made of a larger elipse is attached on the outside to restrict the top block from rotating downwards. This components are replicated to form a column design as shown above. The final design joint is able to be erected from ground (collapsed position) with the tension mechanism as shown in the sequence (next 2 pages). This tension mechanism mimicks the post-tensioning of concrete which also helps to improve the strength of the concrete structure. In the next part of the thesis, application of such a erection process can be used in the construction of a building.

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COLUMN DESIGN

SQUARE CROSS-SECTION WITH ELONGATED ELIPSE JOINT

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APPLICATION THE OFFICE

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SECTION

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Facade with glass

3) SUB-CONNECTION This green cable is the directional cable which enables the components to rotate to the desired position for them to be fitted. It is also the last cable to be pulled

2) MAIN CONNECTION This main blue cable connects through all 6 components which pulls everything together

Facade with glass

1) BASE CONNECTION This red cable connects through the base 3 components which pulls bottom base together before all the components are connected.

Beam structure

False Ceiling

Facade with glass

Rotating device

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SECTION


ROOF STRUCTURE

COLUMNS

FACADE

BUILDING COMPONENTS

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CONSTRUCTION PROCESS


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LIFT

LIFT

LIFT LIFT

GROUND LEVEL

- FORMAL MEETING AREAS - SOLO PORTS - INFORMAL MEETING AREAS - FORMAL MEETING AREAS

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VOID LIFT

LIFT LIFT LIFT VOID

VOID

SLEEPING PODS

STORAGE

ENTERTAINMENT AREA

VOID

SECOND LEVEL Courtyards introduced to provide a breakage for spaces as well as to bring in more natural light into the work areas

SCALE 1:500 0m

5m

50m

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The above shadow analysis shows that the new building , Duo, next to this site will cast a shadow during the morning sun given the orientation of the site. In addition during the later part of the day, the site will be susceptible to the late afternoon sun.

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OPEN

OPEN OFFICE

PANTRY

ENCLOSED

TEAM SPACE

SHARED OFFICE

WORK LOUNGE

TEAM ROOM

LARGE MEETING SPACE LARGE MEETING ROOM SMALL MEETING SPACE

SMALL MEETING ROOM BREAK AREA

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TYPES OF SPACES

PRIVATE OFFICE

CUBICLE STUDY BOOTH

BRAINSTORM ROOM


OPEN

ENCLOSED

OPEN OFFICE PANTRY TEAM SPACE WORK LOUNGE LARGE MEETING SPACE SMALL MEETING SPACE

2 people 2 - 8 people 2 - 6 people 5 - 12 people 2 - 4 people

6m2 2.5m2 7.5m2 /workstation 4m2 / workstation 1.5m2 / person 1.5m2 / person

SHARED OFFICE TEAM ROOM LARGE MEETING ROOM SMALL MEETING ROOM BREAK AREA

2 - 3 people 4 - 10 people 5 - 12 people 2 - 4 people -

6m2 / workstation 7.5m2 / workstation 2m2 / person 2m2 / person 2m2 / person

BRAINSTORM ROOM PRIVATE OFFICE

5 - 12 people 1 person

3m2 / person 9m2 / workstation

STUDY BOOTH CUBICLE

1 person 1 person

6m2 / workstation 6m2 / workstation

SIZE OF SPACES

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Maximising total office area space

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MASSING STRATEGY

Blocks pushed back for event space


NORTH BRIDGE ROAD BALI LANE

AD OPHIR RO

TAN QUEE LAN STREET

FRASER STREET

BEACH ROAD BEACH ROAD

SITE MAP

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STRUCTURE

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BACKGROUND STUDIES (CASE STUDIES, CONSTRUCTION)

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CASE STUDIES

DUO SINGAPORE Gross Floor Area: approximately 160,350m2 Total Construction Area: approximately 285,838m2 186 meters (Residential Tower, 50 floors above ground) 170 meters (Office/ Hotel Tower, 39 floors above ground) CONSTRUCTION TIME : 4 years ( est. 1 month/ floor)

CAPITA GREEN Gross Floor Area: 65,000m2 36 Floors CONSTRUCTION TIME : 3 years (est. 1 month / floor)

TANJONG PAGAR CENTRE Gross Floor Area: 158,000m2 65 Floors; 290m CONSTRUCTION TIME : 3 years (est. 2 months /floor)

These 3 buildings have been built with current construction technology in Singapore. With the average time of 1 month/ floor construction time to construct such a building, it shows the complexity and the ample time needed to build up skyscrapers given the current technology.

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BACKGROUND STUDY ON CONSTRUCTION


CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY LIFT SLAB CONSTRUCTION Early lift slab tech: 1951, San Antonio, Texas Photo Credit: Vincent L. Pass, P.E

STEEL FRAME CONSTRUCTION Typically used in high rise buildings, steel frame construction involves steel fabricators to produce the components which will then be welded or bolted together on site. Some of the advantages include the pre-made sections that can be quickly built on site as well as the ability of steel to sustain bending before breaking. However, the use of steel in this type of contruction causes the building to be susceptible to fire if not well protected.

Top down construction instead of typical bottom up approach Floor slabs and walls are stacked and brought up to the respective floors by a hydraulic system Workers are on ground level

By Dwight Burdette (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

CONCRETE FRAME CONSTRUCTION

PRE-ENGINEERED BUILDINGS

This is a very common type of construction for buildings which uses a skeletal frame of concrete. This frame is made up of the main load bearing components; columns and beams which are accompanied by concrete slabs to create the spaces for use.

Using a crane to hold the components in place, workers will then climb to the appropriate location to bolt them together. Pre-engineered buildings, involves the use of pre-made sectional steel which can be fabricated in factories and pieced together on-site. This type of erection rapidly decreases the construction time.

Adapted from: http://www.understandconstruction.com/

Overall, the background research on building construction illustrates the various type of materials used as well as the erection process for various types of projects. Pre-fabricated components made in factories result in a more efficient construction process. This thesis aims to discover a novel way to erect architecture “smartly�.

Adapted from: http://www.understandconstruction.com/

BACKGROUND STUDY ON CONSTRUCTION

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PRECEDENTS (EXHIBITIONS, ARCHITECTURE, TOYS)

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PRECEDENTS

The Self-Assembly Line - Sklar Tibbits (Massachusetts Institute of Technology /SJET LLC)

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Attraction (desired configuration)

OVERALL STRUCTURE

PROCESS

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Repulsion (rejected configuration)

GLOBAL ERROR CORRECTION

Constructed for the 2012 TED Conference in Long Beach, The Self-Assembly Line was a large scale installation showcasing modules which are self-assembled into a spherical structure with stochastic rotation. The overall structure provides the casing for the modules to be rotated in. With the physical rotation of the casement, energy is input into the system, allowing the modules to move around to find its desired placement in the final module. Also, each of the modules contain magnets which aid in error correction to get the desired configuration. With the positive and negative polarity attracted to each other, the modules get into a desired configuration while the repelling of polarities help to reject the undesired configuration of the modules. The self-imbued characteristics of each module enables a selfassembly of components illustrating a smart construction process.

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PRECEDENTS

Grid Shell Structures- Frei Otto

(x1 ,y1) (x1 + rcos,θ, y1 + rsin θ)

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MANNHEIM MULTIHALLE 1975

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2D TO 3D FABRICATION

2D MOVEMENT

Built in 1975 as a temporary structure for a horticultural exhibition in Mannheim, Germany by Frei Otto, Carlfried Mutschler and Joachim Langner, this grid shell structure was erected by a unique construction method. This method allowed the components (wood panels) to be pieced together on the ground and subsequently erected by pushing the support points inwards to create the overarching grid shell structure. In order to create such a construction process, the components were arranged in a grid where the joints allowed 2d movements and the components were able to withstand bending.

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PRECEDENTS

Traditional Wood Joint System in Digital Fabrication - Kenji Kanasaki, Hiroya Tanaka, Keio University

JOINING TECHNIQUES

TUGITE Modify the length of the components

SHIGUCHI Connect components at various angles

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SHAPE CORRECTION

BASIC SHAPES

KOSHIKAKE Resist the force by gravity

Parameteric modelling had to be applied to suit the digital fabrication which in this case, CNC milling was used. Due to the curvature of the drilling bit used in the milling machine , the original shape with sharp ends had to be fillet to produce the intended shape with an automated machine compared to traditional craftsmen carving.

APPLICATION

ARITUGI Oppose the joining direction of the components

In order to conduct tests, both CNC milling and 3d printing were used to produce blocks.The picture above shows the system of how a complex shape can be broken down to pixels and subsequently use the the techniques of Tugite and Shiguchi to connect the components together without any additional adhesives.

This paper illustrates the process of refining a traditional craft of Japanese joinery to match the current digital fabrication. Moreover, this unique craft does not use any metals or adhesives. In this project , Kenji Kanasaki and Hiroya Tanaka investigated this in 3 aspects; 1) Researching on the typology of the techniques of Tugite and Shiguchi 2) Adapting the basic shapes to suit the digital fabrication process 3) Testing out the new adapted shapes with lego-sized blocks

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PRECEDENTS

Paper Roll architecture- Shigeru Ban LIBRARY OF A POET

PAPER DOME

MATERIAL Paper tubes which are confined to the interior COMPONENTS Paper tubes which measure 10cm in diameter and 12.5mm thick

MATERIAL The material used in this roof is straight paper tubes (curved paper tubes would lose its structural integrity). These paper tubes were waterproofed before construction by clear polyurethane to minimise the expansion and contraction.

JOINTS First joint : 10cm by 10cm by 10cm cubes of timber pieces used a connection to 4 paper roll components Second connection : Post-tensioned steel rods connected to the wood joints.

COMPONENTS Main component: 18 straight paper tubes is connected to form each row of arch. (External diameter - 29cm , Length -1.8m) Sub-component: Straight paper tubes ( External diameter - 14cm , Length - 0.9m) JOINTS First joint: Laminated joint wood joints connects the main components to form a series of arches Sub-components are joined orthogonal to the main arches at the same wood joints. Second connection : Post-tensioned steel rods connected to the wood joints.

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PRECEDENTS

Paper Roll architecture- Shigeru Ban NEMUNOKI CHILDREN’S ART MUSEUM

PAPER EMERGENCY SHELTERS FOR UNHCR

A triangular grid of paper honeycomb panels supported by 15 steel columns forms the lattice roof of this museum.

A paper tube shelter to provide as temporary housing for refugees. The materials used in this project were inexpensive and hence less likely to be sold off in such circumstances. The local production of the tubes not only reduced costs but also helped to reduce deforestation caused by refugees intending to build shelter frames.

MATERIAL The material used in this roof is known as Grid Core which is made up of honeycomb and paper molded together as compared to typical honey comb board which has paper pasted on the exteriors of the honeycomb. By interlocking, 2 layers of this Grid Core, a stronger material is created. COMPONENTS A 600mm by 150mm by 150mm plywood is inserted in between 2 honeycomb boards. This plywood and panels are then sandwiched by aluminium plates to create a 60-degree triangle that is open on one side. JOINTS First joint: basic unit of the 2 panels Second joint: 3 of the basic units attached to a triangular aluminum die-cast pipe to form a large unit Third joint: 6 of the large units are connected to a hexagonal aluminium die-cast pipe

MATERIAL Paper tubes , plastic sheets and plastic joints COMPONENTS Paper Tubes (1.85m and 1.3m in length) Standard 4m by 6m plastic sheet JOINTS First joint: Plastic joint that connects all the paper tubes Second joint: Plastic fasteners to reinforce the first joint connections Third joint: Ropes as diagonal bracing

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PRECEDENTS PLUS PLUS MODULES

Small toy building components that allows limitless designs to be built. Given the deformable material used, external joints are not needed to build up the components. MATERIAL Soft plastic that allows deformation and springs back to original shape COMPONENTS Component is inserted by an expandable joint Component held on by friction JOINTS Modules are only joined at fixed 0 or 90degrees angle

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SMART ASSEMBLY CONSTRUCTION CONCLUSION With the initial overarching aim to reduce the complexity of construction processes, I decided to focus on something very small scale and specific. In this thesis, I experimemented on the basics of how building blocks could join and meet. Subsequently, this led to my exploration on how such components could “smartly” connect and lock in a desired configuration. Through the geometric investigation of this thesis, a novel “smart” assembly construction mechanism was created. The structure is made up of components with unique design joints connected with tension cables, allowing the entire structure to be erected “smartly”. By testing the unique joint and mechanism on various geometries, this mechanism could potentially be used in different designed structures and scales. The implementation of this “smart” assembly construction will also allow structures to be built with minimal labour and time, possibly easing the entire construction process. Therefore, I hope “smart” construction processes can be further explored and implemented in the building industry. Lastly, I would like to thank all those who have supported me in many ways and most of all, my faculty mentor, Sawako Kaijima who advised and provided all the assistance to work out this entire thesis with me.

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Smart Assembly Construction  

Master of Architecture Thesis Singapore University of Technology and Design 2016

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