May 10, 2022

Constructive Conversations 05/19/2022 – 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.

Info und registration

Admission: free of charge

Registration: required

Venue: Kurhaus Menzenschwand, Winterhalterweg 1, 79837 St. Blasien

Language: German

Please note: Please bring sturdy shoes and warm clothing for the guided forest walk.

The event has been submitted to the Baden-Württemberg Chamber of Architects for consideration for recognition for continuing education and training.

We will record and publish the event in audio and video for documentation, reporting and evaluation purposes, including on websites and social media. With your registration you agree to this use.

Arrival by car: Free parking is available at the Kurhaus. We recommend that you carpool, as the free parking spaces may not be sufficient.

Arrival by public transport: From Freiburg, take the S1 line to the Aha train station. A bus shuttle can be arranged there if needed. Please indicate your need when registering. We will then get in touch with you.



Cluster of Excellence Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture (IntCDC).
The University of Stuttgart established its new Cluster of Excellence on Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture in 2019. With an initial funding period of seven years, a Cluster of Excellence is the most significant and substantial grant awarded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). For the very first time, a Cluster of Excellence has been awarded to the field of Architecture. It will contribute to establishing an internationally visible research center.

About Zentrum Holzbau Schwarzwald

About Zentrum Holzbau Schwarzwald

As a center for innovation and knowledge transfer, the ZHS will bundle regional competencies in the fields of timber construction, forestry, architecture, design, interior design and promote the exchange between research and practice. The practice will be brought together with research institutions and universities to advance timber construction and thus make an important contribution to CO2 savings. It is also about the question of what the forest will look like in the future in times of climate change and how it can guarantee the supply of raw materials. Contacts have already been made with universities in forestry, construction planning and architecture. Regional initiatives such as Naturpark Südschwarzwald, the Black Forest Biosphere Reserve, Klimapartner Oberrhein and many others have also been actively involved in the development of the ZHS. The Forest Research Institute Freiburg has helped to develop the project from the very beginning.

A separate non-profit limited liability company (GmbH) was founded to support the project. Shareholders are the companies Baur WohnFaszination, GUTEX, Holzbau Bruno Kaiser, Holzwarth, Lignotrend and Rothmund Leimholz, the Berufsförderungswerk der Südbadischen Bauwirtschaft, the Verein Bauwerk Schwarzwald, the Sparkasse St. Blasien, the city of St. Blasien and the district of Waldshut.

The use of wood has a long tradition in the Black Forest. Some of the most innovative companies in the industry have their headquarters in the Waldshut district. The focus of the ZHS is on children, pupils and students with their teachers, but also on all companies, craftsmen and craftswomen who deal with the subject of wood. Especially they shall benefit from the offers of the ZHS. An extensive range of further training courses will take the knowledge "into the field".

Contact: Stefan Kudermann, Managing Director Zentrum Holzbau Schwarzwald

Exzellenzcluster Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture (IntCDC) – Die Zukunft der Architektur und des Bauwesens gestalten durch wirklich integrative computergestützte Planung und Konstruktion.