Associate professor Darren Olsen has developed and patented a device to assist in accurate rectilinear layout, which could potentially provide greater quality control and minimize mistakes in a variety of construction processes. The context for his research was underground plumbing rough-in prior to pouring the concrete slab, which is a notorious source of layout problems, often found only after the concrete has cured. Professor Olsen collaborated with colleagues from Auburn’s Department of Electrical Engineering on the effort.
Since 2014, Associate Professor Junshan Liu and other BSCI faculty have investigated the potential to use LiDAR scanning at the in-wall inspection phase of vertical construction, to collect data that can be used to prefabricate gypsum board ‘cuts,’ which could significantly increase productivity, while decreasing waste as well as airborne particulates from the historically ‘dusty’ process of cutting boards on site. By capturing a point cloud of the metal studs and their respective in-wall rough in and penetrations, data can be used to inform cutting operations (by mechanic or by CNC). Multiple early investigations by Professor Liu and CCIC Director Dr. Paul Holley suggest that the work flow has potential.
Assistant professors Rusty Lay (Industrial Design) and Eric Wetzel (Building Science), and CCIC Director Professor Paul Holley collaborated with construction tool manufacturer Western Forge in Fall of 2016 to develop new tool concepts, accessories, and branding strategies for the domestic tool maker. Working with a 3rd year Industrial Design studio, students and faculty interacted with end users in addition to the manufacturer to explore new solutions to potentially improve productivity and/or safety in the construction industry. Studio+Build was begun in 2006, and to date has produced hundreds of concepts, several of which have received full utility patent.