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Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction

Transforming infrastructure through smarter information
ACORN Collaborative project features in Civil Engineering Surveyor

A three-year collaborative project to drive a new culture in the construction industry to improve whole-life sustainability and productivity has been featured in Civil Engineering Surveyor, the monthly journal of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors.

The innovative research is being carried out by Dr John Orr, Lecturer in Concrete Structures at the University of Cambridge and CSIC Investigator, and Dr Paul Shepherd, Senior Lecturer, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath. The authors write: “Automating Concrete Construction (ACORN) will use this property to its advantage, to drive the minimisation of embodied carbon in new building structures through the automated manufacture of more optimised moulds. The team will create an end-to-end digital process to automate the fabrication of non-prismatic building elements, capitalising on the recent proliferation of affordable robotics and bring them into an industry ripe for a step-change in sustainability and productivity.” 

ACORN is already benefiting from the involvement of its 12 industry partners and nine project affiliates. This group, including architects, engineers and building contractors who appreciate the value of what this project is trying to achieve, is working alongside the ACORN team to ensure outputs will bring true value to industry. In return, it is also benefiting from ACORN; with architects able to explore a new exciting form of construction, engineers gaining insights into the real loads such structures have   to carry during their lifetime, and contractors having the tools they need to improve quality control, productivity and fabrication time, while de-risking the construction site.

Read the ACORN article in the March issue of Civil Engineering Surveyor

Also in the same edition, Bingyu Zhao, former PhD Researcher at the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC), reports on a multidisciplinary research project developing computer simulations to explore effective wildfire evacuation strategies. Titled Game changer: simulating wildfire evacuations of small communities at regional scale in California.  

Read the wildfire article in the March issue of Civil Engineering Surveyor