This case study focuses on Ben Sutherland’s Master of Architecture (Prof) thesis research that centres on the creation of a digital building system and production process.
Sutherland was a builder prior to his architectural studies at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). Frustrations associated with time and cost inefficiencies, waste, and weather setbacks lead to his interest in prefabricated construction. An observed lack of connection between the architecture and construction industries was another major motivation. This gap results in a traditionally slow and expensive process which often neglects client requirements and design outcomes. These factors highlighted the need for more efficient, high-quality, low-cost and customised architectural building solutions.
The efficiencies explored in this research included precision manufacturing and fabrication, quality assurance, accurate material calculations, reduced labour, collaboration of contributing industries and sustainable practices with minimal waste. A digital fabrication method, using technologically advanced design systems, was investigated as a solution to enable the architect to regain control of the design and construction process. Download the case study here