Research Project

Robotics in Tall Building Construction

Project Start: October 2018
Project Completion: November 2020
Principal Investigators: Alberto Balzan, CTBUH Former Staff | Dario Trabucco, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat | Claudia Cabrera Aparicio, IUAV University of Venice

The construction industry is routinely identified as one of the slowest to adopt technological advances. And yet, the need to rapidly construct new buildings for a growing urban population, counteract the aging of the workforce and high labor costs, and reduce on-site waste, all point toward the advantages of automating construction. Through a historical review, comprehensive cataloging of both conceptual and existing industrial robotic concepts and techniques, and a series of robust case studies, this research delves into the future of this promising field, identifying the incentives for, and obstacles to adoption by the construction industry.

Robots have been highly effective and advantageous at performing tasks that are repetitive, require high levels of precision, or are dangerous. While the size of the human workforce in the construction sector has declined, new jobs are being been created in the design, building and operation of such robots. Automation and robots have already been used in the construction of buildings across different heights, typologies, and complexities.

From simple automation to autonomous construction, from drone-based assembly to human-enhancing exoskeletons, the full range of possibilities—including government, private, and academic research, as well as real-world applications—is explored in detail.


Expert Advisers

Julian Leland Bell, UPS, Atlanta
Shajay Bhooshan, Zaha Hadid Architects, London
Christopher James Botham, Silverstein Properties, New York City
Ilkay Can-Standard, GenX Design & Technology Consulting, New York City
Niccolò Dambrosio, ICD University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart
Antonio Di Lallo, City University of New York, New York City
Nicolas Früh, ITKE Stuttgart University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart
Fabio Gramazio, ETH Zurich, Zurich
Mikkel Kragh, University of Southern Denmark, Odense
Zachary Mollica, Architectural Association, Beaminster
Roberto Naboni, CREATE, Milan
Kiyoaki Okasita, Shimizu Corporation, Tokyo
Alphonso Peluso, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago
Mehemet Sakin, GenX Design & Technology Consulting, Istanbul
Bharath Sankaran, Scaled Robotics, Barcelona
Jeremy Searock, Advanced Construction Robotics, Pittsburgh
Alvise Simondetti, Arup, London
Christian Studer, Schindler, Lucerne
Hao Su, City College of New York, New York City
Thomas Van Glabeke, MX3D, Amsterdam
Massimo Visonà, 3D WASP, Venice
Ramon Elias Weber, MIT, Cambridge


Funding Partner

Research Output

CTBUH Journal 2021 Issue I

Price: $20

View on CTBUH Shop

Steering Committee Members

Ron Bakker
Founding Partner, PLP Architecture
Thomas Bock
Professor Dr.-Ing./Univ.Tokio, Technische Universitat Munchen
michael-dobler Michael Dobler
Senior Vice President Global Account Management, Schindler
Ibrahim Odeh
Founding Director, Columbia University
benjamin-piper Benjamin Piper
Partner & Design Principal,
Ernie Rinomato
Christian Schulz
Chief Operating Officer, Schindler
Gurjit Singh
Senior Vice President, Sorouh Real Estate
Evan Walker
Pre-Construction Manager, Turner Construction Company

About the Funding Partner

Founded in Switzerland in 1874, the Schindler Group is a leading global provider of elevators, escalators and related services. Its innovative and environmentally-friendly access and transit-management systems make an important contribution to mobility in urban societies.Schindler manufactures, installs, services and modernizes elevators, escalators and moving walks for almost every type of building requirement worldwide. The company specializes in the latest-technology engineering, as well as mechanical and microprocessor technology products designed and rigorously tested for safety, comfort, efficiency, and reliability.



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