June 21, 2022

KieranTimberlake Partners with University of Pennsylvania on US Department of Energy-Funded Carbon Research

Credit: Polyhedral Structures Laboratory at Penn

Partner and Research Director Billie Faircloth, Principal Ryan Welch, and Associate Efrie Escott are part of a team that has been selected to receive $2.4M in funding from the US Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).  
KieranTimberlake, in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania, Texas A&M University, The City College of New York, and Sika, will design carbon-negative, medium-sized building structures by developing a high-performance structural system for carbon absorption and storage over buildings' lifespan.

The funding is part of the ARPA-E HESTIA program, which prioritizes overcoming barriers associated with carbon-storing buildings, including scarce, expensive, and geographically limited building materials. The goal of the HESTIA program is to increase the total amount of carbon stored in buildings to create carbon sinks, which absorb more carbon from the atmosphere than released during the construction process.  
The team will use a novel carbon-absorbing concrete mixture as a building material, and design and assemble a high-performance structural system with minimized mass and construction waste, and maximized surface area. The parts will be prefabricated using robotic 3D printing technology.  
A Building Information Modeling (BIM)-integrated life cycle analysis (LCA) feedback loop will be used to identify the combined strategies to ensure carbon negativity on a cradle-to-gate and cradle-to-grave basis.  
“Our transdisciplinary team will engage the development of materials and systems holistically, developing LCA workflows to understand how components of the building contribute collectively to carbon negative design,” said Faircloth.  
KieranTimberlake has deep ties to the University of Pennsylvania and Stuart Weitzman School of Design. Partners Matt Krissel, Stephen Kieran, and James Timberlake are all alumni. Faircloth is an adjunct professor and Escott is a lecturer in architecture. 
Read the full announcement here.