Sequential Casting Concrete System (SCCS)

Contemporary concrete load-bearing enclosures that integrate structure and skin can offer highly customizable geometries that are also efficient and resilient. With the current advances of material technology and digital fabrication, it is possible to challenge traditional concrete formwork practices by hybridizing vernacular casting techniques with innovative methods. As a result, the construction of concrete bearing walls with variable cross-sections and non-conventional geometries can be achieved using inexpensive, small-scale reusable formworks.

Sequential Casting Concrete System (SCCS) is a method based on jumpforming and offers a wide range of highly articulated profiles, which incorporate the latest concrete technologies. As a compelling alternative to traditional concrete walls, SCCS capitalizes on the plasticity of UHPC as part of an integrated casting method that enables the production of load-bearing concrete walls with variable cross-sections, non-conventional geometries and intricate surfaces using low-cost, small-scale and reusable formworks. The system seamlessly combines digital and analog fabrication methods with minimal set up effort and cost.

As proof of concept, SCCS mockups were constructed using small-scale molds fabricated with standard desktop 3D printers and conventional wood frames made with interchangeable urethane inserts. This enables the construction of simple, yet highly sophisticated wall morphologies with complex surface textures.

The frames with their corresponding inserts are arranged in horizontal rows and locked together with small clamps. As the series of frames are sequentially laid out from the bottom to the top, steel reinforcing can be placed in the same way as in standard concrete walls. Concrete is cast as each row of molds is locked and set. While the mix is curing, the next row of molds can be placed to frame the forthcoming segment. This methodology is systematic, efficient as well as simple to fabricate and erect on site. It constitutes an innovative integrated advanced concrete casting method that enables the production of complex concrete structures using reusable formwork. It offers a compelling alternative concrete wall assembly compared to traditional systems as it provides a robust and resilient building enclosure system. The simplicity of the process enables its execution by unskilled labor.

Mockup fabrication

As a proof of concept, a series of eight mockups were manufactured. The objective was to showcase different load-bearing concrete wall configurations. The proposed series include flat bearing wall structures, perforated walls, articulated geometries, and highly texturized surfaces. These explorations demonstrate the feasibility and versatility of the method.

renders of mockups.jpg

Fig. 2. Bearing wall prototypes: A: flat, B: macro-articulated, C: micro-articulated, D: grooved, E: face brick,
F: permeable halftone, G: permeable acoustic and H: undulated

Acknowledgments:

The production of the mockups was partially funded by Sam Fox School, Creative Activity Research Grant. Catherine Chun and Jonathan Nurko worked as research assistants helping in the construction of the prototypes.