Parametric Engineering X Circular Economy

Circular economy in structural design

with parametric engineering tools (Karamba3d)



Tutored by Bollinger+Grohmann

Online workshop

With focus on timber structures, the workshop will incorporate carbon footprint evaluation and circular economy into a structural design workflow. Through the combined use of parametric tools for structural design, such as Karamba 3D, and for optimization, such as Octopus,  comparative strategies will be used in order to mediate between purely structural and environmental criteria, thus suggesting a more holistic design process.

In the context of the climate emergency, architects and engineers try to reduce the environmental impact of structures through a shift in their design process. The use of recycled material plays a major role in this approach. One of the major questions is, how can we design sustainable and smart structures by intelligently using recycled elements. Many factors such as the history of the elements, their condition or their location are influencing the design, the carbon footprint but also the price. Parametric structural design tools coupled with multidimensional optimization methods can help to explore the design space and evaluate designs with regard to those criteria.

The workshop will focus on principles about recycled materials in the building industry, coupled to an introduction to parametric structural design and optimization tools. The participants will work during the whole week on the design of a pavilion by applying the learned principles and making use of an available database of existing recycled timber elements. The workshop is supplemented with lectures of professionals and researchers working in the field of circular economy in  architecture and construction.

Workshops organizers and tutors, in a joint effort with the Reflow parisian consortium (including Fab City Grand Paris, the City Council of Paris and the association Arslonga), aim to build the pavilion designed during the workshop in the spring of 2021 with the participation of the workshop participants.

Bollinger+ Grohmann



Topics and Contents covered during the workshop
  • Context, precedents and applications of circular economy
  • Recycled elements in the building industry
  • Structural evaluation
  • Parametric engineering tools
  • Multi-dimensional optimization
  • Pavilion design
  • Working with an existing database



Required Software & Hardware and Skills
  • Rhinoceros 6 (free versions available)
  • Grasshopper Plugins installed: Karamba3D  (licence will be offered during the workshop), Octopus 
  • A second monitor is highly recommended

A more detailed list of the required plug-ins will be sent to participants prior to the workshop beginning.

Basic understanding of Grasshopper is recommended.

Each participant needs to work from their personal computer.

The principal software is Rhinoceros 6.0. The 90-day trial version can be downloaded from the website . Grasshopper 3D will be the main computational tool.

Windows 10 Operating System is highly recommended since many Grasshopper plugins still do not run on Apple IOS operating systems. If you have a Mac computer you could do a Windows 10 partition.



Calendar and Timetable

From January 11st to 15th, 2021.
Monday to Friday from 4 pm to 8pm (Paris Time).

The workshop is an online learning experience including :

  • 12 hours of live teaching
  • 2 hours of external lectures (professionals, researchers)
  • 12 hours of independent exercises
  • 4 hours of Q&A
  • 2 hours of final review
  • chat support
Day 1
  • Introduction talk  + Course overview and goals (pavilion design)
  • Introduction to theoretical concepts : structural design, parametric design, carbon footprint and circularity
  • Introduction to work tools
  • Introductive exercice
  • Q&A
Day 2
  • Review exercise
  • Structural design and structural resistance of recycled elements
  • Invited talk
  • Independent Exercice 2/Pavilion Design
  • Q&A
Day 3
  • Review exercise/Discussion
  • Price evaluation of recycled elements
  • Invited talk
  • Independent Exercice 3/Pavilion Design
  • Q&A 
Day 4
  • Review exercise/Discussion
  • CO2 footprints of recycled elements
  • Invited talk
  • Independent Exercice 4/Pavilion Design
  • Q&A
Day 5
  • Pavilion design/One on one crits
  • Invited talk
  • Review and final comments


Other info

Other practical information
  • Main Language: English
  • Hosted on Zoom
  • Chat support provided on Slack
  • Minimum number of participants: the workshop will be activated with a minimum of 10 participants. Otherwise organizers can make the decision to cancel the event; in this case the tickets will be fully refunded.


Tutored by

About the company
and the tutors

Bollinger+Grohmann is a group of engineers driven by passion for high-quality architecture and innovative solutions. Karamba3D is being developed by Clemens Preisinger in cooperation with Bollinger+Grohmann ZT GmbH in Vienna.

Bollinger+Grohmann has recently joined Reflow project as professional partner of the Driven by Volumes platform.

Klaas de Rycke

Klaas De Rycke, a Belgian civil engineer and architect graduated from University of Ghent in 2003.  He is a senior lecturer at the Architecture School of Versailles (France) where he is also a researcher as part of the LEAV lab. Since 2017, Klaas is also active as a Senior Teaching Fellow at The Bartlett School of Architecture in London.

Klaas De Rycke dedicates his time and energy to the academic world in parallel with his professional activity. As a partner at the German engineering company Bollinger+Grohmann Holding AG, he heads the Paris and Brussels office specializing in structures, envelopes and parametric design. Regularly solicited to work on morphologically complex projects, he had the chance to work on buildings like the Rolex Learning Center of the Japanese architects SANAA or Piazza Garibaldi in Naples by Dominique Perrault.

Georgia Margariti

Georgia Margariti holds a Master of Science in “Integrative Technologies and Architectural Design Research” from the University of Stuttgart. She joined Bollinger+Grohmann in March 2018. Since then, she assists occasionally lectures and workshops in the field of innovative engineering, structure and geometry at ENSA-V.

Ludovic Regnault

Ludovic Regnault is a graduate architect from Versailles school of architecture (ENSA-V). He joined Bollinger+Grohmann in 2018 to work on complex geometry projects. Since then, he assists occasionally lectures and workshops in the field of innovative engineering, structure and geometry at ENSA-V.

Marie Paschke

Marie Paschke is a graduate structural engineer from Technical University Berlin (TU Berlin, Germany). She joined Bollinger+Grohmann in 2017 to work on challenging projects with different construction methods, especially focusing on timber. She assists occasionally lectures and workshops in the field of innovative engineering, structure and geometry at ENSA-Versaille. She is also teaching structure at ENSA La Villette – Paris.

Sandie Kate Fenton

Sandie Kate Fenton is a graduate architectural engineer from Vrij Universiteit Brussels (ULB/VUB Belgium). She joined Bollinger+Grohmann in 2020 to start a joint PhD. The research project will focus on the design of lightweight structures based on their Life Cycle Analysis and is supervised in collaboration with CY University/ENSA-Versailles.


419 €

  • - Early Birds Price is only available until December 20th
  • - Educational tickets are only for students
  • teachers and researchers (proof of status required)
  • - TVA may apply following your invoicing address : please contact us for further details
Register now

509 €

  • - Early Birds Price is only available until December 20th
  • - TVA may apply following your invoicing address : please contact us for further details
Register now
Special offer

2 Free seats for students

Two free seats are offered for selected students.
In order to apply for the free seats, please send an email to specifying the subject “Driven x Reflow / B+G workshop free seats” and including the following material by Dec. 20th:

  • A short letter of motivation
  • A CV
  • A portfolio of your works
  • Your declaration of honour of being fully available during the week of the workshop at the specified times
  • Your will to take part to the fabrication part during the spring 2021
  • A valid certificate of registration as a student

Applicants that are not selected for the free seats will still have access to early birds discounts until registrations close.


499 €

  • Available after December 20th
Register now

609 €

  • Available after December 20th
Register now
Driven workshop series

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