AI Timber: the Future of Sustainable Construction

Start-up construction technology company Maestro has developed a new method of cross-laminated timber production that uses artificial intelligence to fit together irregularly shaped boards.

Rather than wasting wood by cutting felled trees into standardised blocks, the technology scans raw logs, saws them into boards, then identifies the best way to fit the disparate forms together. The process is useful not just because it saves waste, but also because wood offers the construction industry an alternative to carbon-intensive concrete.

Cross-laminated timber that uses artificial intelligence to fit together/img: Reed photographic

Rather than reducing irregular trees into straight lines, Maestro uses A.I. and digital machining tools to scan a set of raw logs, flat saw them into boards, and identify the optimal sequence to fit them together. The process results in timber panels with tesselating boards which match one another like puzzle pieces, while shaving off as little of the tree as possible.

“Timber isn’t just a substitute for concrete; it unlocks new possibilities for prefabricated construction,” says Mykola Murashko, the 23-year-old Cambridge graduate who co-founded Maestro with Carlo Ratti, Director of the M.I.T. Senseable City Lab and founding partner at CRA.

“Because engineered wood products are lightweight, renewable and dimensionally stable, we can design an entire building in our factory then ship the flatpack of its components to construction sites around the world.

The first prototype of A.I. Timber was produced in Shanghai earlier this summer as part of the DigitalFUTURES conference organized by Tongji University professor Philip Yuan. During a one-week workshop Murashko and Nikita Klimenko of MIT instructed a team of international researchers on the use of A.I. Timber, building a proof-of-concept structure: a small, triangular pavilion visitors can interact with.

Source: Archello


Because wood is sustainable and more eco-friendly

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