Published October 20, 2023 | Version v1
Conference proceeding Open

Heterogenous Material Simulation In Architectural Timber Design

  • 1. ROR icon Royal Danish Academy – Architecture, Design, Conservation
  • 2. ROR icon Niigata University


Previous work has focused on the design modelling of timber structures and joints (Svilans 2021) as well as methods of integrating X-ray computed tomography (CT) data of specific timber logs into design modelling environments (Tamke, Svilans, Gatz, and Ramsgaard Thomsen 2021; Tamke, Svilans, Gatz, and Thomsen 2021; Svilans, Tamke, and Ramsgaard Thomsen 2022). The former is aimed at modelling glue-laminated timber elements and their connections from a fabrication perspective; the latter focuses on informing how the physical material is allocated and mapped onto the digital element geometry. While this introduces methods of precisely defining the heterogeneous make-up of a fabricated component before it is cut, this has so far been based on a notional metric of ”material quality”. 
This paper presents a continuation of this effort to integrate specific heterogeneous material resources into design modelling with the introduction of mechanical simulation of timber composites into the framework. This shifts the success criteria of the material allocation heuristic from one of mapped ”material quality” matching to a simulated performance-based evaluation under particular loading conditions. This step is significant because it eschews the onedimensional notion of ”quality” and recognises that different material properties contribute to the overall mechanical performance of timber elements in very localised and situation-specific ways, meaning what may result in a higher performance in one configuration might result in a lower performance in another, even quite similar, configuration.
This introduces challenges in how design data is generated for composite timber elements, how this data is transferred between design modelling and simulation software environments, how its semantic structure is retained, how material properties are assigned, and how simulation results are transferred back into the digital modelling environment.



Additional details


ECO-METABOLISTIC-ARC – An Eco-Metabolistic Framework for Sustainable Architecture 101019693
European Commission