Introduction to Adaptive Building Initiative (5:51 with audio | Produced by Happold Media)
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The Adaptive Building Initiative (ABI), founded in 2008, is a joint venture between Buro Happold and Hoberman Associates dedicated to designing and delivering a new generation of buildings that optimize their configuration in real time by responding to environmental changes.
Adaptation is essential to managing the problem of climate change. To meet this growing challenge, ABI creates the systems and tools that achieve new levels of sustainable performance.
ABI designs and produces adaptive fašades and building envelopes. By controlling light levels, solar gain, and thermal performance, our adaptive systems reduce energy usage, enhance comfort, and increase the flexibility of the built environment. Additionally, we develop adaptive strategies that can be effectively applied to a wide range of other building systems.
ABI draws on a portfolio of systems that we customize to deliver complete, comprehensive, and integrated solutions for specific projects. Successful delivery requires full involvement through project completion: Our offerings include design, engineering and analysis, prototyping, sourcing, control system integration, manufacturing and installation oversight, and whatever else the project requires.
This work is based on decades of experience in developing and delivering movable objects, ranging from architectural-scale structures to hand-held products. While an independent entity, ABI's cross-disciplinary team combines the expertise of its parent companies, Buro Happold and Hoberman Associates. Our team draws in structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers; environmental analysts; architects; software engineers; building information modelers; and industrial designers.
Hoberman Associates, Inc. (HAI) was founded in 1990 by designer Chuck Hoberman, whose international career seamlessly fuses art, design, engineering, and architecture. HAI was founded with the primary aim of designing behavior—to create objects that have the living qualities of organisms.
Throughout its history HAI has focused on fostering a dynamic relationship between product and user. Its unique approach has been most prominently demonstrated in the Hoberman Toy line, founded in 1995. Since then, the popular Hoberman Sphere has become an international best seller, with more than 10 million units sold.
As inventors, engineers, and designers, HAI has worked with numerous clients to create innovative, original products, including rapidly deployable tents, miniature medical instruments, children's products, and furniture.
In addition to its product development practice, HAI designs and engineers architectural-scale structures. Notable commissions include an 80 foot by 65 foot transforming screen for U2's 2009 world tour; The Hoberman Arch, a 72 foot wide retractable arch for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games; and the Iris Dome, a 15 foot by 20 foot retractable dome for the 2000 World's Fair in Hanover, Germany.
Buro Happold was founded in 1976 by Ted Happold, who spent his early career working for the prestigious group known as Structures 3 at Ove Arup and Partners. His work on some of the landmark buildings of the time, including the Sydney Opera House and the Pompidou Centre, established his reputation as a visionary.
Ted held a lifelong passion for lightweight structures and during his career worked on a number of outstanding tensile projects throughout the world. Interaction between the practice and engineering research at the University of Bath was the basis of his ability to innovate. Many of the innovative projects upon which he worked, such as the gridshell for Mannheim with architect Frei Otto, served to influence the design of contemporary projects, such as the award-winning Weald and Downland Open Air Museum and the visitor centre for Savill Garden, which opened in June 2006.
Ted believed passionately in integrating different disciplines to create better design solutions. At the University of Bath, he restructured courses so that students from different design disciplines— architecture, building services, and structural engineering—shared class time. This methodology was consistent with how work is approached at Buro Happold. Continuing today, the practice is dedicated to working in multidisciplinary groups, combining their knowledge to produce integrated design solutions—thereby creating more elegant, economically attractive, and environmentally efficient buildings.
Today Buro Happold continues to uphold the legacy of its founder by pushing the boundaries of engineering, structure, design, and environmental stewardship. Buro Happold practices from a worldwide network of 27 offices located in 12 countries. Major offices are located in Bath, Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester, Berlin, Boston, Dubai, Dublin, Los Angeles, New York, Riyadh and Warsaw. They also have representation in Abu Dhabi, Copenhagen, Kuwait, Moscow, Toronto, and Newcastle.