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Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE 1.0) Demonstration Project


Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE 1.0) Demonstration Project
DESCRIPTION
The Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) demonstration project is a research and design collaboration of SOM (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Highly energy efficient, the 3D-printed building was designed by SOM to produce and store renewable power and to share energy wirelessly with a 3D-printed vehicle, which was developed by the DOE.
PROBLEM
The Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) demonstration project is a research and design collaboration of a leading interdisciplinary design firm and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Highly energy efficient, the 3D-printed building was designed to produce and store renewable power and to share energy wirelessly with a 3D-printed vehicle, as a part of a brief to explore alternative means of energy usage and production, new forms of housing and manufacturing, and alternatives to current disaster relief housing, with applicable uses in regions all over the world and use by millions of people.. AMIE was created in the first year of the Governor’s Chair for Energy and Urbanism, a five-year collaboration of ORNL, the design firm and a major university. The project illustrates the potential of a clean energy future for a rapidly urbanizing world by demonstrating the use of bidirectional wireless energy technology and high performance materials to achieve independence from the power grid at peak-demand times. Constructed of C-shape forms and measuring 38-feet-long, 13-feet-high, and 12-feet-wide, the structure explores the potential to condense the many functions of a conventional wall system into an integrated shell. This could lead to zero-waste construction, reduced material consumption, and buildings that can be recycled and reprinted for new forms and uses. The design team showed how 3D-printing can allow for complex, organic geometries that are optimized to reduce localized stress and mitigate turbulent exterior airflow. Full-scale load testing was undertaken to confirm the performance of the structure. AMIE’s high level of insulated solid surfaces (79 percent) to glazed areas (21 percent) results in an efficient energy-conserving enclosure. The panels’ interior ribs are designed to host super high-efficiency, atmospherically insulated panels. Integrated into the roof, flexible photovoltaic panels work in tandem with a natural gas-powered generator located in the vehicle to supply energy for lighting and the central micro-kitchen, which was produced by a leading appliance producer. In addition to supplementing the vehicle energy source, the panels also charge the enclosure’s battery when the fixtures are not in use.
SOLUTION
The Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) demonstration project is a groundbreaking research collaboration between an American multi-program science and technology national laboratory, industry partners, and a major architecture and engineering firm. Highly energy efficient, the 3D-printed building was designed to produce and store renewable power and to share energy wirelessly with a 3D-printed, natural gas–powered vehicle. Bidirectional wireless energy technology and high-performance materials enable the building to achieve independence from the power grid at peak demand times. The project’s mobile power source and integrated photovoltaics, as well as a highly energy-efficient design, indicates an integrated design approach that can sharply cut carbon emissions and solve pressing problems related to rapid urbanization. AMIE condenses the many functions of a conventional wall system into an integrated shell—structure, insulation, air and moisture barriers, and exterior cladding. This all-in-one solution sets a precedent for zero-waste construction, reduced material consumption, and buildings that can be broken down and reprinted for new uses. The design shows how complex, organic geometries enabled by 3D printing can reduce localized stress and mitigate turbulent exterior airflow while making possible imaginative new architectural forms. Full-scale load testing was undertaken to prove and enhance the structure’s performance. The success of the AMIE project was made possible through a multidisciplinary, public-private collaboration involving architects, engineers, materials scientists, and energy experts. Cutting-edge digital tools allowed real-time communication between the printer and the architects and engineers, enabling changes to be made nearly instantaneously, accelerating the iterative process. The project not only shows the great potential of 3D printing and bidirectional energy technologies, but models how experts across many disciplines and organizations can unite to bring about necessary paradigm shifts in the way we live.
The Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) demonstration project is a groundbreaking research collaboration between an American multi-program science and technology national laboratory, industry partners, and a major architecture and engineering firm. This “innovation consortium” is an exceptional example of government, science, higher education, and multiple industry partners working together to push the limits of building technology and high-performance design and solve some of the world’s most urgent issues. AMIE has been imagined as off-the-grid shelter, disaster housing, army barracks, and more. Highly energy efficient, the 3D-printed building was designed to produce and store renewable power and to share energy wirelessly with a 3D-printed, natural gas-powered vehicle. AMIE establishes the viability of zero-waste construction—a huge step forward in reducing the material consumption and energy expenditure that goes into realizing buildings. The plastic composite material—carbon fiber-reinforced acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)—is recyclable and re-printable, further reducing the environmental cost of using 3D-printed materials in construction. AMIE is the first time “Level 2” bi-directional wireless energy technology was used with high-performance materials to achieve independence from the power grid at peak demand times. The project’s mobile power source and photovoltaics, as well as a highly energy-efficient design, indicates an integrated design approach that can sharply cut carbon emissions and flexibly solve the challenges posed by rapid urbanization. AMIE establishes the viability of zero-waste construction—a huge step forward in reducing the material consumption and energy expenditure that goes into realizing buildings. The plastic composite material—carbon fiber-reinforced acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)—is recyclable and re-printable, further reducing the ecological cost of using 3D-printed materials in construction. The structure uses an inventive gill-shaped design to fill the space with daylight while maintaining an energy-saving balance between insulated solid surfaces (79 percent) and glazed areas (21 percent). AMIE not only slashes energy: it indicates a new, networked infrastructure for energy generation and transmission. The two primary components of the project—the photovoltaic-powered structure and a 3D-printed, natural gas–fueled vehicle—link up through bi-directional wireless energy technology to achieve independence from the power grid at peak demand times. Batteries in the structure store energy that can be used by the building or the vehicle as needed. Constructed of C-shape forms and measuring 38 feet long, 13 feet high, and 12 feet wide, the structure condenses the many functions of a conventional wall system—structure, insulation, air and moisture barriers, and exterior cladding—into an integrated unit. The panels’ interior ribs are designed to support atmospherically insulated panels (AIP)—vacuum-wrapped panels for the greatest thermal barrier in the least amount of space. This wall system is seven times more efficient that the wall of a typical home. Inside the structure, energy-saving lighting supplements daylighting, and a specially developed micro-kitchen incorporates advanced digital display screens, inductive cooking surfaces, waste-filtering faucet and sinks, and an under-counter refrigerator—components which indicate new modes of living and working.
CHALLENGES
The technology is currently at the research/laboratory demonstration stage. It has not yet been proven viable in large-scale production.
IMPACT
The application of the technology realized as a part of the AMIE Demonstration Project could have a significant impact globally. Increasing the energy efficiency of homes, both in the construction phase and afterwards, will be critical to mitigating climate effects and creating sustainable housing. The promise of 3D-printing in terms of practical applications has yet to be realized. Bringing together these challenges within an environment of innovative material design has led to a potential solution which reproduces many of the benefits of conventional construction without the drawbacks. The Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) demonstration project is the first product of this ongoing collaboration between public entities and industry partners. To meet the DOE's mission to advance a holistic vision of sustainability and resilience, the design and engineering team worked with the laboratory and consortium partners to investigate applications of the technologies on a small, single-unit scale, with an eye to how to scale up the technologies once proven. The firm’s deep, interdisciplinary research capacities, including experience utilizing algorithmic modeling, helped the client push the limitations of their Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) 3D-printing system and use the materials in new, unexpected ways. AMIE was also a means by which scientists, researchers, practitioners, students, and a highly diverse network of industry partners were able to test the performance of their own ideas, designs, and products and educate the next generation of leaders. The project is a huge leap forward in the evolution of a high-efficiency, manufactured-construction industry that creates new jobs and businesses, protects the nation’s air and water, and leads a rapidly urbanizing world into a clean energy future.

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