Investigation of growing processes in baubotanical structures


Dissertation project "Investigation of growing processes in baubotanical structures"| Author: Dipl.-Ing. Oliver Storz | Institute: ITKE |Advisors: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jan Knippers (ITKE), Prof. Dr. Thomas Speck (PBMG Uni Freiburg)


The first prototypes of baubotanically constructed structures were characterized by the fact, that they should have been able to support all the upcoming loads on their own from the first moment. Caused by the low initial stability of the plants, this has led to a high density of plants, which limited the size of the feasible structures. The utilization and dissemination was thereby limited.

Since trees have self-optimization mechanisms, whereby they are able to adapt their form and their internal structure to the external conditions, baubotanical structures are becoming much more stable during growth. By understanding the mechanisms of growth in an baubotanically constructed system, its current limitations can be overcome.


To be able to use the growth processes of living wooden plants (also in the planning), it is necessary to know them as precisely as possible. The environmental conditions effect on the single plant is different than usual, if they are constructed baubotanically. For this reason, it is important to know the different patterns of reaction. For the structural assessment of this systems, a monitoring system is required. Already after one year, the plants in the test facility have shown a huge difference of growth in relation to each other. In order to be able to evaluate a load bearing system, which is based on such inhomogeneity, it is necessary to develop a procedure, which allows to display the system with a reasonable effort. Still, one thing seems to be certain: The more you know about the behaviour of the growth process and the patterns of response of the plants, one can understand them as a system, and the less detail-oriented you have to work on a structural assessment.

The assignment is being supervised by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jan Knippers (ITKE)and Prof. Dr. Thomas Speck(PBMG University of Freiburg)and was sponsored in the context of the scholarship program of the German Federal Environmental Foundation.