Autodesk makes software for people who make things. If you've ever driven a high-performance car, admired a towering skyscraper, used a smartphone, or watched a great film, chances are you've experienced what millions of Autodesk customers are doing with our software. Autodesk gives you the power to make anything, but some segments of the general public are not yet aware of that.
The Autodesk Gallery at One Market in San Francisco celebrates design — the process of taking a great idea and turning it into a reality. With about 60 different exhibits regularly on display that showcase the innovative work of Autodesk customers, the gallery illustrates the role technology plays in great design and engineering. Autodesk Gallery Ambassadors conduct gallery tours as a sideline to their day jobs. The tours provide ambassadors with opportunities to practice public speaking in front of small groups by informing visitors about what our customers imagine, design, and make using our software.
Sometimes exhibits from the gallery go on the road and appear at special events, like pop-up galleries that we have hosted in Paris, London, Tokyo, and Toronto. In contrast, sometimes exhibits are created for special events and then make their way to the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. For example, at this year's Autodesk University in Las Vegas, we debuted 19 new exhibits. Some of these may resurface in San Francisco.
The A Materially Efficient Concrete Flooring System exhibit is one such exhibit from AU:
- Block Research Group of ETH Zurich // more
NEST is creating HiLo building units to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Situated in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, ETH Zurich is pioneering solutions to the global challenges of today and tomorrow. It has more than 20,000 students from over 120 different countries. Located in Dübendorf, Switzerland, NEST (Next Evolution Sustainable Building Technologies) is a multi-unit building dedicated to applied research for testing new materials as well as innovative methods in fabrication and construction. Situated within NEST is the HiLo (High performance/Low energy) Unit. To help address and combat the building industry's significant contributions to global greenhouse gas emissions and the rapid depletion of natural resources, the HiLo Unit seeks to combine lightweight concrete structures and novel digital fabrication methods with occupant-centered, low-energy building systems.
A key innovation of HiLo is the materially efficient flooring system. The rib-stiffened panels are doubly curved shells that carry loads efficiently in compression and absorb tension externally in ties rather than using embedded steel reinforcement. Depositing optimal amounts of concrete in funicular geometries, typical beam or plate structures now feature cavities, and stiffeners between cavities can be perforated without reducing structural performance to run pipes, wires, and mechanical systems. It provides the strength of a traditional concrete slab with a significant reduction in the amount of concrete needed — up to 70%, depending on the floor span.
Revit and BIM 360 are used in the design and construction of HiLo units that reduce the amount of concrete required by up to 70% depending on the floor plan.
Besides more conventional concrete casting techniques, the team is currently exploring different advanced methods of constructing these floors to reduce waste due to formwork and molds while integrating heating and cooling systems. One method explores concrete casting on a custom-knit fabric formwork that includes integrated channels where you can insert capillary tubes for a water-based heating and cooling system. The other uses a thin-walled, 3D-printed mold whose discrete parts form a self-supporting formwork that stays in place, with directly integrated ducts for air-based heating and cooling.
Thanks to the Autodesk Gallery team for the descriptive text for this blog post.
Autodesk has always been an automation company, and today more than ever that means helping people make more things, better things, with less; more and better in terms of increasing efficiency, performance, quality, and innovation; less in terms of time, resources, and negative impacts (e.g., social, environmental). The construction and manufacturing industries are converging. Customers who make buildings are adopting processes traditionally employed by customers who make things. Practices like mass production and quality control are being applied at construction sites. This approach helps builders do more and better with less.
This is a moment that matters. The inevitability of more demand and the reality of less means an opportunity for something better. With advances in design and automation, lessons learned through adjacent industries and peers, and integrations across the technology spectrum, we can design and make a better world. Together, we can make anything.
The Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is a guided tour on Wednesdays at 12:30 pm and a self-guided audio tour available anytime. Admission is free. Visit us.
Flooring is alive in the lab.