Collaborative Research Centre 1244
Adaptive skins and structures for the built environment of tomorrow
Since January 2017, fourteen institutes at the University of Stuttgart have been working in close interdisciplinary collaboration on the question of how, in the light of the growing world population and depleting resources, more living space can be created with less material in the future. The objective of CRC 1244 is therefore to find answers to the pressing ecological and social questions of our time for the construction industry. The aim is to optimise the energy, material and emission balance of the load-bearing structure as well as façade throughout the entire life cycle of the building through adaptivity.
Prof. Werner Sobek (formerly head of the Institute of Lightweight Design and Construction), as initiator, led the CRC 1244 as spokesperson until the end of 2020. Since January 2021, Prof. Oliver Sawodny (currently head of the Institute of System Dynamics) has assumed the role of spokesperson. The numerous publications by the scientists provide an insight into the results of the research to date:
D1244 is the world's first adaptive high-rise building developed, designed and constructed at the University of Stuttgart within the framework of CRC 1244. The distinct feature of this demonstrator is the integration of adaptive systems into the load-bearing structure and the façade. The adaptive system in the load-bearing structure enables the building to react autonomously to external disturbances such as strong wind or earthquakes. Based on information obtained from integrated sensors, disturbances can be identified in a fraction of a second and then their effects are counteracted through controlled manipulations of the active elements integrated into the load-bearing structure. State-of-the-art hydraulic actuators are employed as the active elements of the D1244, which can be thought of as the “muscles” of the building. This way vibrations can be dampened and excessive deformations can be prevented, thus making it possible to build significantly lighter than would be possible without the adaptive system.
The façade of the D1244, which currently consists of a single-layer recycled membrane, will also be gradually replaced by adaptive envelope elements in the coming years. These novel façade elements can, for example, actively influence the amount of light as well as solar radiation entering the building, the exchange of air, and the heat transfer. In addition, building physics and comfort-related requirements for the interior of the building are combined with functionalities to improve the quality of the surrounding urban space such as rainwater and temperature management. The application of adaptivity thus opens up a completely new range of functionalities of building façades. The aim is to create a new type of adaptable building envelope that can react specifically to changing environmental conditions and changing user requirements. The first adaptive façade elements at D1244 will be installed from mid-2022.
The process of development, design and construction of the high-rise building has been documented in a short video:
Transformation Through Adaptivity
Through the development of novel adaptive systems for all areas of the built environment, CRC 1244 stands for sustainable architecture which accounts for economic, ecological and socio-cultural aspects. The basis for this research objective is the shared conviction that material and energy consumption of buildings must be significantly reduced in the near future; while simultaneously improving the occupants’ quality of life.
The application of adaptivity in the built environment requires a fundamental transformation in the architectural conception of buildings. Accordingly, equal weight is given in CRC 1244 to the development of individual building components as well as their integration into the overall system. Only through this integrated approach can the construction industry meet the challenges of our time.
The CRC1244 is funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft under the project number 279064222.