Industrialized and Robotic Construction Advances in Terrestrial Construction and Opportunities in Space Construction

Research output: NRELPresentation


Advanced Building Construction (ABC) methods such as industrialized prefabrication and robotically controlled additive deposition are becoming promising technologies to support rapid construction of buildings at volume and scale. However, apart from the structural shell of the building, optimal integration of other systems – mechanical, electrical, plumbing, thermal, power generation, storage and distribution, is key to enabling functional buildings. Leveraging ABC methods to integrate such systems in the buildings requires the building design to be optimized for constructability constraints imposed by the industrialized and robotically controlled production setups entailing such ABC methods. The Industrialized Construction Innovation (ICI) team at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been focusing on research and development of such ABC technologies and processes that can lead to production of buildings which are resilient to extreme climatic conditions at reduced cost and time. There is a potential synergy between such advancements in terrestrial construction, which can be leveraged for the benefit of space (orbital and extra-terrestrial) construction. Similarly, advances in space construction can lend itself to accelerated adoption of robotic construction methods in terrestrial construction. This presentation will give an overview of selective research efforts of the ICI team at NREL, along with a vision for potential collaborations with agencies like NASA.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages71
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Tech Talk, 21 July 2022, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5500-83615


  • 3D printing
  • design for manufacturing and assembly
  • energy systems integration
  • extraterrestrial construction
  • industrialized construction
  • process simulation
  • robotics
  • terrestrial construction


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