Breeding Better Buildings
The content you've requested is available without charge only to active Sigma Xi members and affiliates.
If you are an active member, affiliate or individual subscriber, please log in now in order to access this article. Be sure you've entered your member or subscriber number on your profile page. (You can access your profile page through the green box to the right.)
If you are not a member, affiliate or individual subscriber, you can:
Engineers tend to be conservative in their designs of buildings, to err on the side of safety. However, some modern structures may benefit from a more creative approach. Taking inspiration from genetics, Kicinger and his colleagues have created software that "breeds" basic building structures. Pieces such as beams, columns and bracings are "genes" and how they are combined becomes the "genome" of the building. The best results are recombined to produce subsequent generations that improve on their parents. The authors' programs have automatically produced some designs that mimic known, strong building structures, and they hope the programs will soon produce some creative designs that improve on human ideas.