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 Sim[PLY] Building Framing System


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Project Description:
    Growing access to digital production tools invites new construction technologies that combine the best aspects of conventional lightwood framing with the benefits of digital prefabrication and customization. Viable new solutions must present a compelling combination of economic, environmental, and social advantages. Designed to balance “high-tech” production technologies with accessible “low-tech” material and assembly solutions, the Sim[PLY] framing system, developed at Clemson, offers a critical reference point for high-performing, digitally-fabricated construction.

    The Sim[PLY] system utilizes interlocking plywood components, each prefabricated using CNC routers and digital cut files. Assembly of the numbered components follows pictographic instructions and requires only manual tools, eliminating power tools and making construction safer and energy-efficient. There is no measuring or cutting in the field, thereby reducing construction time and managing the waste stream. Cut files can be customized for optimal structural and thermal performance. Construction is intuitive, and can be performed at low risk by unskilled labor, including owners, their friends and neighbors.

    Since 2014, Sim[PLY] has been used by students to build three complete structures, including Clemson’s 2015 Solar Decathlon House and a commercial community kitchen. This research has been presented and demonstrated at conferences around the world and the system is patented in December 2018.