The maximum stress load for a building not only involves the stress that it will experience on a frequent basis, but also irregular dynamic loads such as snowfall or wind storms. This means most of the materials invested in a certain building will only be of use occasionally. Researchers at the University of Stuttgart in collaboration with Bosch Rexroth and the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design (ILEK) have come up with a clever alternative.
SmartShell is a lightweight open-air structure, only four centimeters thick and covering 100 square meters of the university’s Vaihingen campus. As you probably guessed, it would be impossible for this type of building to resist on its own during heavy rain or snow. SmartShell comes with four innovative support points. While one of those supports is static, the other three incorporate hydraulic drives, especially created by Bosch Rexroth. This type of technology ingeniously adjusts the structure’s geometry to make up for small (and significant) deformations and material changes caused by dynamic weather conditions. See video below (we only found a German presentation) for a better understanding of the project and tell us your thoughts on this groundbreaking architecture solution and its future potential!