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Groundbreaking for livMatS Biomimetic Shell @ FIT

Construction has started on the upcoming Pavilion, where the Clusters of Excellence IntCDC and livMatS will research future-oriented construction methods

Mar 16, 2022

With a groundbreaking ceremony on March 10, 2022, the construction of the livMatS Biomimetic Shell @ FIT has started at the Freiburg Center for Interactive Materials and Bioinspired Technologies (FIT) at the University of Freiburg's Faculty of Engineering. At the building demonstrator, designed by the IntCDC Cluster of Excellence at the University of Stuttgart, researchers from the Stuttgart Cluster and the livMatS Cluster of Excellence at the University of Freiburg will develop and research sustainable materials and alternative construction methods.

Groundbreaking for the livMatS Biomimetic Shell @ FIT (from the left): Monika Göbel (IntCDC/ICD), Prof. Dr. Jan Knippers (IntCDC/ITKE), Henning Schildhauer (MOSER GmbH & Co), Prof. Achim Menges (IntCDC/ICD), Peter Neukirch, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Rühe (livMatS), Cornelia Elsner, Prof. Dr. Anna Fischer (livMatS), Dr. Monika Schulz (livMatS), Prof. Dr. Thomas Speck (livMatS), Christian Erdrich, Jochen Friedel (müllerblaustein HolzBauWerke GmbH), Daniel Gold (müllerblaustein HolzBauWerke GmbH). Photo: IntCDC/University of Stuttgart

The research demonstrator will consist of a 345 square meter biomimetic shell structure made of wood in lightweight construction. Inspiration for the individual panels of the shell comes from the modular skeleton of the sea urchin, a particularly light yet stable bioogical model. "This is a major key to this construction method," explains Prof. Dr. Jan Knippers, deputy director of the cluster IntCDC. "The geometry of the wooden shell is adapted to the flow of forces and can be manufactured economically." Developed prototypes are being tested on the building, such as adaptive shading elements and a thermal activated floor plate that stores and releases heat.

"Our vision is to run the building in an energy-neutral way," says Prof. Dr. Jürgen Rühe, a member of the livMatS spokespersons team. "That's why we'll also be doing research on the building on how we can harvest energy from the environment." The pavilion will create a 200 square meter ideas lab and will serve as an extension of the existing IdeasFactory@FIT located at the FIT. "The pavilion will demonstrate the great potential that lies in interdisciplinary bioinspired research for sustainable architecture in the 21st century," says Prof. Dr. Thomas Speck, a member of the livMatS spokesperson team.

"The basis of this building is a cooperation that has already existed for 15 years. We are pleased that we can now once again work together with our colleagues in Freiburg," says Prof. Achim Menges, director of the cluster IntCDC. "What's special here is that two clusters of excellence from very different disciplines collaborate and, as the building will prove, generate great synergy effects." Another key component is the transfer of research, supported by müllerblaustein HolzBauWerke GmbH and Moser GmbH & Co. KG.

The Cluster of Excellence IntCDC