May 10, 2022

05/19/2022 – Constructive Conversations: Parametric Building Platforms and DfMA for the Productization of Mass Timber Buildings

Parametric Building Platforms and DfMA for the Productization of Mass Timber Buildings – Vortrag von Oliver David Krieg bei Constructive Conversations

Technology can change how we design and build.

With its interdisciplinary DfMA approach (Design for Manufacture and Assembly), Vancouver-based home-building technology company Intelligent Cities aims to create affordable and livable housing using efficient timber construction methods. According to CTO Oliver David Krieg, solid timber construction is ideally suited for the CO2-neutral construction of multi-story residential buildings.


What is Oliver Krieg's work about?

Home-building technology company Intelligent Cities is approaching design and manufacturing with an interdisciplinary approach to explore the potential of architecture. Computer-based design and digital/adaptive manufacturing are the ingredients for the development of a parametric building platform that aims to create more efficient, affordable and CO2 neutral housing.

The development of product and building platform go hand in hand. Where previously manual processing set barriers or technology did not address material properties, timber construction can bring together many disciplines and show its advantages, especially in mid-rise densification (up to 18 stories).

Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) is already well understood in research, but it doesn't seem to have caught on in industry yet, notes CTO Oliver David Krieg. As a former student and employee of the Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD) at the University of Stuttgart, he now brings his knowledge from research to the Canadian start-up Intelligent Cities.

The start-up focused a lot on the needs of its customers in order to be able to offer solutions that are specific to their needs. And these product features now determine the building system: Floor slabs, such as the building envelope and walls, are planned in a digital twin. All components, such as mechanical and electrical systems and the structural system, can be viewed and their interaction calculated. The floor plans can also be flexibly designed to accommodate large spans.

With the comprehensive software development, a continuous parametric design process can be designed, which allows to design a building with few manual inputs and a lot of automation. For example, a wall element is gradually given its properties on the production line. The first houses are to be produced as early as September.


Intelligent City is an urban housing technology company that takes a product and platform-based approach to buildings. As a vertically integrated company, Intelligent City combines mass timber construction, robotic manufacturing, and parametric software, to develop new forms of building and living. In this presentation, Oliver discussed how the potentials of computational design thinking and robotic manufacturing have influenced the development of parametric building platforms in the AEC industry. 

Oliver David Krieg is an expert in computational design and digital fabrication in architecture. As Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Intelligent City in Vancouver, Canada, he is leading the technology development for computational design and digital manufacturing processes for a proprietary high-rise mass timber construction system. This is part of the company's effort to provide transformative solutions for platform-based, sustainable and affordable urban housing. His work is characterized by an integrative approach towards engineering, material science, sustainability, and manufacturing.

More information about Intelligent City and Oliver Krieg.


AdvanceAEC – This lecture was part of the AdvanceAEC partner seminar series. Partner seminars are focused on cross-sectional and interdisciplinary topics and are open to all network partners.

The “Research Network for Advancing Architecture, Engineering and Construction” (AdvanceAEC) brings together national and international researchers who strive to advance architecture, engineering and construction through digital technologies and an interdisciplinary approach.
It aims to address the multifaceted ecological, economic and socio-cultural challenges the built environment is facing. The research network provides a platform to exchange expertise, foster and build an international research community in the fields of architecture, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, robotics and social sciences.

More infotmation about AdvanceAEC.

digitize wood is based at the Cluster of Excellence IntCDC at the University of Stuttgart and is funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Food, Rural Areas and Consumer Protection (MLR) as part of the BW Timber Construction Initiative.