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Cityscape: Volume 25 Number 1 | Housing Technology Projects | Seismic Design Methodology for 3D Printed Concrete Buildings


Housing Technology Projects

Volume 25 Number 1

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

Seismic Design Methodology for 3D Printed Concrete Buildings

Mohammad Aghajani Delavar
Hao Chen
Petros Sideris
Texas A&M University

Designing high-quality, affordable homes using novel technology solutions adopted by the construction industry supports the building of strong, sustainable, and inclusive communities. Three-dimensional (3D) construction printing, or additive construction, has shown the potential to revolutionize the construction industry and the housing market, and by extension, support the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) strategic plan to increase construction productivity and the production of affordable resilient housing. However, the lack of design methodologies and experimental validations that would enable the developed housing solutions to comply with building codes hinders widespread implementation of this technology. This study proposes a 3D printed concrete (3DPC) building design that adopts a lateral force resisting system composed of reinforced 3DPC walls, making it suitable for low-rise 3DPC housing in seismic regions. This proposed design process adopts the Equivalent Lateral Force (ELF) procedure as a design methodology, and this study sets to determine response modification factors (R-factors) and develop strength design equations for different failure mechanisms, which are crucial elements of the ELF procedure.

The proposed strength design equations are derived by adopting concepts from the design of masonry structures and will be experimentally validated by four different full-scale 3DPC walls under lateral loading to failure. Following experimental validation, the proposed design strategy will become available to the construction industry via relevant documentation to be used for the design of low-rise 3DPC residential and commercial buildings. Funding provided by HUD has been essential to executing this research, which will benefit those in need of affordable housing, thus aligning with some of the primary goals of HUD. This work—and construction 3D printing as a whole new industry—will contribute to transforming the housing market by rapidly providing affordable housing that will be more resilient to natural hazards. Recent studies have shown that more than 3.8 million homes are needed in the United States alone, and construction labor to provide housing is currently in decline.

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