Designed by Arup and Jurgen Mayer H, the Metropol Parasol consists of six large timber parasols providing shade in the Plaza de Encarnacion in Seville, Spain. It is one of the largest timber structures built from a network of timber beams with the aid of digital design and fabrication. (Photo courtesy Hufton+Crow and the Green Architecture Building Report)
"A few years ago at a Green Building Summit convened by Greentech Media and SRI International, I met an interesting fellow named Greg Howes. He talked at a fast pace and was full of ideas. He introduced me to the world of robotic manufacturing and made a strong case for how technology could help us maximize the efficiencies and opportunities in designing and prefabricating buildings, which in turn save human, material, and energy resources during construction. Over the years, Greg has talked to me about garnering buy-in on the concept of digital fabrication from designers and educators. He also talked about his idea of creating a platform for gathering people to exchange ideas on how to use technology to make the design and construction processes more efficient and sustainable, and how digital fabrication can push the boundaries of design."
"Some architects and engineers say new wood products are making it possible to build wooden structures much taller than had previously been considered safe.
Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture is throwing its weight behind those emerging technologies. Tuesday in Washington, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that his department would put funding toward training architects and engineers in using for taller construction. It’s also creating a monetary prize for projects that demonstrate the new techniques."
"The real advantages of cross-laminated timber don't really show up until you're building something taller," said Corey Griffin, an assistant professor at Portland State University's School of Architecture who studies structural materials.