SCRAM – Sustainable Construction through Robotic Additive Manufacturing

With an urgent climate crisis looming, it can no longer be ignored where buildings and construction still contribute 39% of global carbon emissions, 48% of UK plastic waste is still sent to landfill and overseas and lacks appropriate processing facilities.

 

The project is looking to define a new model of circular manufacturing where plastics waste that adds considerable reclaimable value and generates new revenue streams in the UK. If scaled up across the construction sector to replace 20% of structural concrete, the proposed innovation could offset about 2 million tons of concrete in the UK each year, delivering 1% of the total carbon savings in the next carbon budget from this innovation alone. If extended to the global market, this innovation will offset 750 million tons of cement and 380 million tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to the total carbon footprint of the UK and contributes to the Clean Growth Grand Challenge.

 

SCRAM will merge supply chain economics, advanced digital systems, robotic manufacturing and polymer processing to create an innovative circular manufacturing ecosystem for sustainable building components. We will define a new circular economy in waste plastics that bridges the manufacturing and construction sectors whilst demonstrating that robotic AM can produce strong multifunctional building components from polymers recycled based that can provide thermal, acoustic comfort as well parts that can achieve performance of steel.

The project will develop a digital work flow using robotics additive manufacturing, machine learning and topology optimization for production of large scale 3D printed protypes in order to demonstrate the potential of recycled based polymers in the AEC industry.

Updates on the research project can be found on https://scram.darlab.net/

Dr Federico Rossi 
(Principal Investigator)

London South Bank University

Dr Federico Rossi is an Associate Professor in Architecture and Digital Manufacturing at London South Bank University with over 10 years of experience in digital manufacturing and robotics. Trained as an architect worked for Dame Zaha Hadid with focus in digital manufacturing processes in construction. In 2013, he managed to secure a fund of £400k from HEFCE for the creation of Digital Architecture and Robotics Lab (DARLAB) with the scope to examine the changes for architectural production with robotic manufacturing.

Since 2016, as director of DARLAB, Federico has developed consultancy projects for Volkswagen, Astana Energy Expo, SCM Group, Veolia, Dyson and Southwark Council exploring research topics Design for Additive Manufacturing, Circular Manufacturing and Robotic Advanced Manufacturing. In 2018 won a grant from Knowledge Exchange & Embed Partnership (KEEP) with Titan Reality for the development of a digital design workflow for innovative acoustic surfaces through robotics fabrication processes.

 

Recent research outputs of the field of robotic additive manufacturing will include a prestigious collaboration with the European Space Agency, Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration, for the development of robotic 3D printed planetary habitat using reinforced recycled polymers.

Federico is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and his work has been published, exhibited internationally including Salone del Mobile, Wired, Domus, Royal Academy Summer Show and  Italian Trade Agency.

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