Project description by jury
The proposal shows a new Airbus factory building design which combines technical manufacturing constraints with environmental, functional and economic aspects. Supported by a data-driven approach, the project adopts a generative design process that enables the evaluation of trade-offs between a wide range of design possibilities, with the objective of optimizing environmental sustainability, working conditions and the well-being of occupants and financial resources. Out of the generated design scenarios, the architects ultimately opted for a V-shaped building where windows and skylights are strategically placed to enhance indoor comfort for the employees while reducing energy consumption.
The structure and internal layout are designed on the basis of current manufacturing needs but are further developed to increase the flexibility of the spaces, thus enabling the building to grow and adapt to future configurations and industrial requirements. The use of engineered timber trusses ensures a three-fold carbon emission reduction compared to traditional steel structures. The walls, mezzanine and roof are made of wood engineered timber panels assembled without nails or metal fasteners, which increases their potential for future reuse. The choice of materials also includes low-carbon concrete for the foundations, photovoltaics, advanced energy systems, and passive heating and cooling.
The Holcim Awards jury Europe commended the thorough and unconventional design approach that is central to the project, supported by a convincing scientific methodology which takes into account several technical and operational aspects ultimately leading to a well-functioning and aesthetically compelling architecture. The design evolves according to progressive evaluations made to optimize the environmental sustainability of the construction, its financial viability, and employee safety and comfort. The jury was particularly taken by this latter aspect, as production halls often fail to provide generous enough amounts of daylight and natural ventilation for workers.See more
As a Main category prize winner in the regional Holcim Awards 2020, Data Propelled in Germany automatically qualified as a finalist in the Global Holcim Awards 2021.
How can factories be designed not just for technical and economic performance but equally to meet environmental goals while providing optimal working conditions? This project offers a model that tackles that challenge. The proposed facility was developed using a data-driven approach and a participatory design process. The jury commended the thorough and unconventional design approach that is central to the project, supported by a convincing scientific methodology which takes into account a range of technical and operational aspects. “This approach combines the best of human creativity and the best of machine computation,” says prizewinner David Benjamin of The Living, New York, USA. “We incorporated measurable sustainability goals and we also incorporated measurable social goals, financial goals, and production goals.”Read more »
Innovation and transferability
The project involves a generative design process that Airbus intends to re-use on future factory projects. In addition, the materials we are using have transferability. For example, we worked with Airbus to use low-carbon concrete, from CarbonCure, for the foundations. And through this process, we helped create the first low-carbon concrete factory of this kind in Europe. Airbus plans to use this concrete again, and since the process and equipment now exists in Hamburg, it is expected to be used on projects by others as well.
Ethical standards and social inclusion
In addition to focusing on productivity and cost like a typical factory, this project focuses on employee work conditions for both blue collar and white collar workers.
In addition, our process of generative design brings together multiple stake-holders for an inclusive discussion and debate and the most important features and aspirations of the project.
Economic viability and compatibility
This project brings together considerations of cost and sustainability at the same time. It involves a framework for thinking about the most scalable version of sustainability with the greatest potential impact by weighing the trade-offs between different design features. It involves a data-driven framework for considering features such as photovoltaics, advanced energy systems, and passive heating and cooling.See more
We approached the reduction of operational costs as an investment in materials that are carbon negative. Engineered timber trusses deployed in two simple bays store nearly three times as much carbon per meter as steel would emit. The walls, mezzanine, and roof are all-wood engineered timber panels. With no nails or metal fasteners, the panels have the potential to be reshaped for future use. The envelope eliminates the need for active cooling and optimizes lighting. North-facing skylights and strategic fenestration light 40% of the annual working hours in 100% of the footprint, accounting for future layouts. West facing geometry welcomes cross breezes across the deep floor plate, exhausting air through solar chimney skylights that double as fresh air circulators in all seasons.
A data-driven design optimizes environmental and economic sustainability while ensuring optimal working conditions in a …
Author comment by David Benjamin of The Living, Brooklyn, NY, USA on Data Propelled in Germany – Design process …
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