Digital tool aims to facilitate interim uses of vacant spaces

12.06.2023 Interim uses increase the attractiveness of a location, generate added value for society and conserve the resource that is building land. Thanks to a modular system that researchers at BFH are developing, vacant spaces should be able to be temporarily converted quickly and easily in the future. The central component of the system is a digital planning and visualisation tool.

How can vacant buildings or wasteland be temporarily converted using simple, modular constructions? This is what scientists from the Institute for Timber Construction, Structures and Architecture IHTA at the Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH are researching as part of the Innosuisse project “àDisposition”. The aim of the project is to breathe new life into unused spaces, thus giving them new ecological, economic and social value and addressing the need for sustainable densification.

Digital planning of modular buildings

In order to facilitate planning and enable short utilisation cycles, the researchers are developing a configurator: a digital planning and visualisation tool. Thanks to this, customers can quickly and easily design individual modular buildings from standardised construction kits which correspond precisely to the planned use. The tool then automatically checks the statics of the modular buildings and provides feedback on the costs as well as the thermal and acoustic behaviour in the given space. Since it should only take two people to erect the structures, the tool also generates information on the weight of the individual components. The basis for the tool's calculations is a detailed material database that runs in the background. At the end, the modular structures are automatically exported to the CadWork software, so that the data can be prepared for the production. This ensures a seamless design-to-production process.

“àDisposition – Spaceship Planet Earth. Sustainable and temporary use of buildings and vacant sites through simple and modular structural measures” is an Innosuoisse-funded project running until June 2025. Project partners are C2 Beat Cattaruzza GmbH, Beer Holzbau AG, Pius Schuler AG, Prona AG and Bauart Architekten und Planer AG.

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