There are stories behind every community member, program and insight we uncover, and here is where you’ll find them. Read on to learn more about how we think, what we’re up to and what drives us.
Branch Technology Breaks Architectural and Construction Boundaries
What They’re Doing
Branch Technology is breaking several architectural and construction boundaries with their 3D printing / cellular fabrication capabilities. Inspired by nature, Platt Boyd, the company’s founder and CEO, has been exploring what their matrix can do since we first met him at our 2016 Innovation Summit in Chicago.
Branch’s ultimate goal is “to provide Ferrari level design at a Toyota level cost.”
For now, their engineering feats are impressive.
They have built the largest 3D structure in the world, One Pavilion in Miami (featured right)
A single, small block of their material can withstand 3,000 pounds of pressure and up to 6,000-10,000 pounds when insulated with spray foam—3-4 times the strength of wood construction
They took NASA’s top prize in the Centennial Challenge, a competition to advance construction technologies needed to build habitats on places like the Moon and Mars.
Why It Matters
While the raw materials they use are tried and true and relatively inexpensive, Branch’s technology and their processes aren’t ready for production homebuilding.
However, they are allowing what Platt calls “starchitects” to turn their design visions into reality and broadening others’ minds regarding how materials beyond steel and wood can be used to build lasting structures.
With a bit more time and innovation, their super-strength could play a role in housing’s future.
Branch Technology has just finalized design with WATG for construction of their winning home project and will begin construction this month. The home will be situated on the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus and open for tours. Stay tuned for more info.
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