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ArboSkin Bioplastic Façade Research (ITKE)


ArboSkin is a Bioplastic Façade Research Project developed at ITKE (Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design) ,Institution that has many years of experience in teaching and research in the fields of computer based design, simulation, and production of cladding for buildings with complex geometries. Currently, materials made from oil-based plastics, glass, or metal are mainly used to encase these structures. Thermoformable sheets of bioplastics will represent a resource-efficient alternative in the future, as they combine the high malleability and recyclability of plastics with the environmental benefits of materials consisting primarily of renewable resources.

ArboSkin Video Clip: Short clip about the EFRE funded bioplastic facade from itke on Vimeo.


The bioplastics facade mock-up was created within the framework of the Bioplastic Facade Research Project, a project supported by EFRE (Europäischer Fonds für Regionale Entwicklung / European Fund for Regional Development). It demonstrates one of the possible architectural and constructional applications of bioplastic materials developed during the course of the project. The blueprint is based on a triangular net composed by mesh elements of varying sizes.

Innovative Character of the Research Project:
This research project marks the first occasion for the development of bioplastic sheets primarily based on renewable resources.The sheets can be freely formed, are designed for applications in the building industry and are specifically meant for building exteriors and cladding. At the beginning of the project such product was not available on the market. The conception of this material as flame-retardant sheet material also aims at applications for building interiors.

With this new development, we can therefore soon offer a product that addresses two trends:

-the increasing demand for resource-efficient and sustainable building materials

-the increasing development of buildings featuring double-curved geometries and planar facade components with 3D effects (relief)

Mock-Up Planning and Realisation:

ITKE (Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design) – Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jan Knippers, University of Stuttgart, Germany;
Project management: Dipl.-Ing. Carmen Köhler
Construction Management: Dipl.-Ing. Manfred R. Hammer
Structural Design: Dipl.-Ing. Thiemo Fildhuth
Student Design Team: Martin Lou?ka, Peter Kohlhammer, Adrian Grygar Geometry
Programming: Martin Lou?ka
Realisation: Adrian Grygar, Serge Deisner, Maximilian Kurz, Martin Lou?ka, Paco Motzer, Jan Tondera, Dennis Gerlach, Alexander Mironov, Dominik Heizmann, Svenja,Felis, Maximilian Schäfer, Benjamin Fritsch supported by Michael Tondera (Faculty workshop)
Facade materials: Dr. Michael Schweizer, TECNARO GmbH, Ilsfeld-Auenstein
Pyramid Production: Frank Braun, Hans-Peter Braun, BAUER THERMOFORMING GmbH & Co. KG, Talheim