BAMP! - Building with Paper


LOEWE* Focus BAMP! – Building with Paper

The central scientific objective of LOEWE focus BAMP is to systematically develop the advantages of paper materials and their application in the field of construction, creating the essential scientific foundations.

Paper as a substitute material offers outstanding potential for more environmental friendly and therefore more sustainable construction. It is a light-weight material, in which the fibers – in contrast to wood – can be arranged and functionalized. The production of paper can now be regarded as highly efficient and optimized. So far it has only been used in simple applications in the construction sector. Structural components and facade building systems should be further investigated with the aim to come up with innovative solutions for the future.

It is commonly known that future generations will come to the need to sustain themselves based on the consumption of renewable resources. The construction sector can contribute not only in the reduction in consumption of natural resources but also in the recycling process. To explain this with an example, on the one hand heating of buildings requires considerable amounts of energy and on the other hand building materials such as concrete or polystyrene lead to high CO2 emissions and environmental pollution. Due to the global population increase, the mineral construction materials will no longer be able to satisfy the demand for housing in terms of energy requirements and availability in the long term.

Information on Cooperation and Structured Networking

The BAMP! Project includes the cooperation of scientists from the fields of architecture, civil engineering, chemistry and mechanical engineering.

TU Darmstadt is the only technical university in the state of Hessen to create a “value chain” starting from materials research, realization and testing of components, aiming to a fully engineered architectural design that reflects all the qualities achieved by the entire chain. Within this chain there is a huge spectrum of different subjects and areas with great potential for innovation in the field of “paper” and “paper-based composites” on the one hand, and component production as well as component dimensioning / design on the other hand.


The Institute for Structural Mechanics and Design (ISMD) supports research relevant to structures made out of paper (structural design), special components and more specifically the design of the connections (structural and façade design), contributing this way in problem solving focused on how a building made out of paper can be realized. This content is reflected in multiple subprojects: manufacturing (TP4), structural mechanics (TP5), construction and joining techniques (TP6) and design and function (TP7).

TP4 Production

A material can be shaped or formed in multiple ways based on its properties. Geometries are defined for a façade basic form. How can these elements be connected? Possible connections here are the connection of individual façade elements as well as the connection between façade elements and additional elements such as glazing, doors or windows. For this purpose, the respective requirements and possible solutions are worked out in cooperation with TP5 and TP6 and evaluated in terms of functionality and manufacturability. Finally, the manufacturing and testing of the joining sites is planned.

TP5 Structural Mechanics

The aim of the subproject is to develop the theoretical basis for the structural mechanics of three-dimensionally shaped components and assemblies of paper based on the finite element (FE) analysis method.

Possible material models are to be analysed, evaluated, and suitable material models are selected and verified. In parallel with the material characterization, samples are tested. The selection of the attachment point (connection) is based on the results of the TP6, in which joining geometries and compounds are created in a laboratory/ workshop. The strength and durability modified by the joining/bonding are being examined in detail and used in the structural simulation as well as for further optimization.

Experimental investigation on complex geometries (components and assemblies) under laboratory conditions is carried out. During this process multi-axial stress states and the mechanical properties of the components are to be validated.

The structural behaviour of the building demonstrator (model) proposed as well as selected assemblies and designs will be studied. The development of this model (and any model under investigation) is constantly modified. The resulting model is complemented by consideration of the process chain, with the aim to achieve the safety level required for a structural design by the building authorities.

TP6 Construction and Joining Techniques

Within the mission of BAMP project the construction and joining techniques (connections) serve the purpose of engineering the architectural visions for paper buildings.

A combination of structural mechanics and façade design is required with drafting, calculations, testing and optimization as the main iteration steps. The current building materials and construction methods such as methods in wood, steel, glass, membranes, and textiles can be sources of inspiration.

The structural components (skeleton construction with profiles, flat or integral components), casing construction (façade and roof) as well as interior components such as partition walls, integral modules (sanitary units, kitchen units, house technology mounting units) are to be developed.

To support the development of assemblies and subassemblies, a showcase of possible joining techniques will be developed in detail, taking into account the manufacturing methods, the assembly/ disassembly process (for example bonding, form fitting, hybrid connections etc.) and the recyclability factor.

The connections are the components that allow for easy assembly, maintenance and disassembly of a building system. Within the spirit of building with paper a catalogue of joining techniques will be the outcome of this research. The aspect of sustainability is of a great importance. Therefore the proposed solutions will be evaluated concerning their sustainable character on a level of materialization and cradle to cradle strategy.

Experimental work is necessary, since there are no adequate engineering methods for constructing dimensioned parts made of paper, either in construction or in neighbouring disciplines.

TP7 Design and Function

The aim of the subproject design and function is the creation of potential for paper-based buildings with simple functions and temporary character in the field of architecture. The design and function can lead to fundamentally different solutions (structures and connections). The knowledge gained from this process lies in the design principles and construction standards, rules and construction kinematics of an object made of paper.

The requirements set by German building authorities in the area of fire protection but also for the safety of construction products, energy and static properties at this moment do not comply within the field of paper construction.

For further development of the construction products of paper materials there are two possibilities:

  • The development of buildings and paper-materials which are compatible with existing public-law requirements or can be tested and optimized in individual cases or
  • The definition of specific application areas with corresponding special approvals and specific place and duration of use.

In an iterative process of different work steps, the different scientific findings of the subprojects will be incorporated into the design of temporary buildings.

See also

BAMP! – Homepage

See also

BAMP! – Homepage