Computer system designs structures based on available reclaimed wood

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New Atlas

It’s a sad fact that even though our forests are disappearing at an alarming rate, new wooden structures are typically made of all-new wood. A special computer system could help change that, by facilitating the use of wood reclaimed from existing buildings.

Currently in development at the ETH Zurich research institute, the system is initially used to create an inventory of all the pieces of wood that the users were able to harvest from a building or other structure slated for demolition. That wood could also consist of pieces left over from construction projects.

Once the dimensions of all the pieces have been recorded, the user specifies the sort and size of structure that they wish to build. The system responds by generating a design for the structure, the geometry and dimensions of which are based on the reclaimed wood that’s available. Each piece of wood has a unique QR code laser-burned onto it, so it can be easily selected and

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