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‘Smartifying’ construction for circular and zero-carbon biobased buildings (SmartBioC)

Archila, Hector F.; Lashley, Rebecca; Lamond, Jessica; Prabhakaran, Abhinesh; Msipo, Ashleigh; Escamilla, Edwin Zea

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Rebecca Lashley

Jessica Lamond
College Dean for Research & Enterprise

Abhinesh Prabhakaran

Ashleigh Msipo

Edwin Zea Escamilla


S Amziane

I Merta

J Page


SmartBioC focuses on creating a user-friendly digital tool that allows users to select and specify biobased materials and building components for a modular housing unit based on a set of performance indicators including carbon footprint, thermal performance, cost, social value, health and wellbeing. The ultimate aim of the tool is to speed up the uptake of circular biobased materials to provide zero-carbon, healthy and socially and economically viable solutions for the construction industry. Smart construction integrating the use of digital technologies and modern methods of construction (MMC) has the potential to improve the affordability, efficiency, and sustainability of new and refurbished buildings. Aligned to a circular economic model, opportunities exist to optimise the use, reuse, and disposal of biobased materials within the expanding MMC housing market, thereby improving carbon sequestration and mitigating climate change. Together with industry partners, SmartBioC’s research team is using the UK’s Design Council’s Beyond Net Zero Framework of exploring, reframing, creating and catalysing to facilitate a collaborative and iterative process where the end-user is at the centre and determines the final outcome. SmartBioC ‘explores’ data obtained on biobased materials and ‘reframes’ it for alignment with indicators relatable for end-users. A BIM Object library of MMC premanufactured components with alternative biobased material configurations ‘created’ using Autodesk Revit is then exported into gaming platform Unity. Rapid prototyping and testing in Unity allow distribution of a web-based tool (html) for user feedback and development purposes (catalysing). User-friendly digital tools like SmartBioC give end-users, designers, decision-makers and specifiers, the ability to select circular biobased materials whilst visualising their design in 3D, along with information about the environmental, economic and social impacts of their choices. The adoption by the construction industry of zero-carbon, healthy and socially and economically viable biobased building solutions is imperative if the catastrophic impacts of predicted global warming are to be averted.


Archila, H. F., Lashley, R., Lamond, J., Prabhakaran, A., Msipo, A., & Escamilla, E. Z. (2023). ‘Smartifying’ construction for circular and zero-carbon biobased buildings (SmartBioC). In S. Amziane, I. Merta, & J. Page (Eds.), Bio-Based Building Materials (926-936).

Conference Name International Conference on Bio-Based Building Materials
Conference Location Vienna, Austria
Start Date Jun 21, 2023
End Date Jul 23, 2022
Acceptance Date Mar 15, 2023
Online Publication Date Jun 14, 2023
Publication Date Jan 1, 2023
Deposit Date Jul 25, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 2, 2024
Publisher Springer
Pages 926-936
Series Title RILEM Bookseries
Book Title Bio-Based Building Materials
ISBN 9783031334641
Public URL
Publisher URL


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