IMPRESS will develop three different prefabricated panels for buildings: (i) a polyurethane based insulated panel with improved thermal performance and light radiation and (ii) a thin, lightweight pre-cast concrete sandwich panel, with optimum thermal and weathering resistance, both of which are suitable for overcladding; (iii) a lightweight pre-cast concrete sandwich panel incorporating Phase Change Materials (PCM) to adapt the thermo-physical properties of the building envelope and enable optimum passive heating and cooling benefits, suitable for recladding. Innovative nano/micro particle based coatings, suitable for 3D printing, will be also developed to achieve anti-corrosion resistance, high mechanical strength, improved solar reflectance, improved ageing resistance and anti-vandalism properties.
To create the panels, an innovative manufacturing process will be created that includes Reconfigurable Moulding (RM) techniques, 3D laser scanning and 3D printed technology. In addition, 3D printed microstructured formworks will be developed as permanent external layer for the polyurethane panel to match the existing building aesthetics and provide solar radiation efficiency. The overall manufacturing process will (i) allow for mass production of panels, which take into account complex architectural and aesthetic issues, (ii) allow for faster production while lowering prefabrication costs and (iii) develop new controlled and cost effective solutions.
IMPRESS will also develop a new Iterative Design Methodology, which will incorporate all stages of the Design-Construct-Install-Operate process. This will be integrated with a BIM cloud based database focussing on the interoperability between software tools required for the prefabricated process. Furthermore, new penalty based business models will be investigated. The final result will be demonstrated on two existing buildings where final as-built product performance will be validated against the initial design.