Design, Robotic Fabrication and Augmented Construction of Low-Carbon Concrete Slabs Through Field-Based Reaction–Diffusion

Roberto Naboni, Alessandro Zomparelli, Anja Kunic, Luca Breseghello

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Constructions have a tremendous impact on global warming and are responsible for 39% of annual carbon emissions. Designers will increasingly focus on developing design methods and solutions that mitigate the impact of buildings over the next few years. Accordingly, this chapter focuses on developing an accessible computational design method to investigate the design, engineering and construction of ribbed concrete slabs with low levels of embodied carbon by minimising the use of structural materials, maximising bending resistance and surface area for recarbonation through convoluted geometry. We discuss using a Reaction–Diffusion system for performance-driven generative structural design, informed by the outputs of Finite Element Analysis in the form of scalar and vector fields. To streamline the production of geometrically complex slabs, a field-based robotic milling approach is introduced to process styrofoam concrete formworks. Mixed Reality is used to assist construction operations and realise non-standard rebar reinforcements. The results consist of proof-of-concept ribbed-slab prototypes characterised by structural efficiency, high resolution, and low-machining time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering : Theory and Practice
Number of pages484
Publication date2024
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Computational design
  • Robotic milling
  • Mixed reality
  • Reaction–diffusion
  • Field-based design
  • Finite element analysis
  • Concrete slabs
  • Low-carbon


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