WOHNEN 4.0 – Digital Platform for Affordable Housing

Project Description

Initial Situation and Motivation: Alongside the digital transformation of the construction industry, there has been a revival of industrial residential construction due to the increasing demand for affordable housing. In the planning and construction processes for residential buildings in modular construction methods, the potentials of digital technologies have not yet been sufficiently integrated in planning, construction processes, and management. The combination of digital processes with modular construction methods or kit systems has the potential not only to accelerate the production of living spaces but also to minimize costs and resource use through scale effects and optimized material use.

State of Research: Previous research on BIM-based off-site production has focused heavily on process optimization and the reduction of costs and time, however, without incorporating user requirements such as flexibility, adaptability, or user participation. The existing projects have emerged from the perspective of construction companies and the prefab industry, not from a planning perspective that would consider spatial quality, user needs, and socio-political conditions. Goals and Innovation Content

In this research project, the framework for the digital platform "Wohnen 4.0" is being developed, which supports integrated project execution through a parameter database and coupling of digital tools. The focus is on developing and using BIM object libraries for modular off-site production in multi-story residential construction. For the first time, users are also involved, thus integrating the increasingly important aspect of participation. "Wohnen 4.0" couples two apps: "BIM4D2P" (BIM for Design to Production), which primarily addresses planners, construction, and manufacturing companies, and "PHD" (Parametric Habitat Designer) for users and developers. "BIM4D2P" forms the interface between planning and manufacturing and enables interdisciplinary, direct data transfer of the developed BIM modules into off-site production. By creating common data structures at the interface between component planning and production, data losses can be eliminated. Using "PHD," automated generation and visualization of floor plans and building forms are enabled, as well as automated calculation of investment costs and return on investment for users or developers. PHD further enables scenario formations over the lifecycle for decision-making and lifecycle planning.

Desired Results: Key results of this research project are the concepts for the BIM4D2P and PHD apps, the digital object libraries of the BIM modules, and the creation of common interfaces and data structures for data and information exchange along the value chain. In "Wohnen 4.0," a digital, BIM-based planning, modeling, and optimization can achieve cost and construction time reduction, as well as individualization (mass customization) in the residential construction sector.