Research made easy: DFKI spin-off “baukobox” helps architects with detailed planning

Knowing and understanding constructive details is essential for students and architects, but at the same time it is associated with costly and time-consuming research. The knowledge platform “baukobox” (an artificial word made up of the terms building construction and construction box) shortens this process. It is both a source of inspiration and a digital tool for construction details and component information.

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Project page with sponsor and detailed information

The web-based application was realized as a user-friendly platform by former employees of the TU Kaiserslautern (TUK) and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence GmbH (DFKI). The offer is primarily aimed at architects, engineers, construction product manufacturers and all those involved in the construction and planning process. 

Reference projects and the products integrated into them, in conjunction with basic knowledge of construction technology, provide a clear understanding of the details across all trades. In short: Examples of completed buildings are used to show the materials and elements used to solve construction details. Interactive facade drawings and detailed descriptions of components provide information on planning, possible applications and processing methods. In an interactive way, baukobox depicts the current state of the art, creates knowledge, shows groundbreaking market trends and thus closes the gap between architecture and the construction industry.

The baukobox as research tool
On the platform you will find numerous completed construction projects. Using search filters, planning-supporting details can be found quickly. Data on manufacturers, products, installation situations, DIN standards, product data sheets and much more is already available. In the future, up-to-date information about the technical contact person of the manufacturer will also be available. Content searches are facilitated by content-related metadata and ontologies.

Knowledge transfer through practical relevance

The overriding goal of platform development is to provide users with interdisciplinary knowledge of how details work in context. Students in particular are to be methodically prepared for planning processes in the office, and for young architects the previously widely scattered knowledge will be presented in compact form.

The baukobox platform has officially started after a beta phase and is already used by more than 3,000 registered students, teachers and architects. The platform is financed by sponsoring of building product manufacturers, who can place their products in the context of already realized projects. 

The architects Christian Wolf and Sebastian Lelle bring in years of professional experience to the young company. Both have gained teaching experience at the TU Kaiserslautern, where they worked together with Professor Johannes Modersohn. The start-up is completed by DFKI scientist Dr. Martin Memmel who developed the technical platform for the web application. Professor Andreas Dengel, DFKI site manager in Kaiserslautern, partner and mentor of the start-up, on the further expansion plans for the system: “Through the already successfully implemented integration of semantic technologies for intelligent knowledge representation, the baukobox is ready for the use of further AI methods such as intelligent image recognition and search or the automatic assignment of project information.”

The founders were supported with an EXIST scholarship of the Federal Ministry of Economics (BMWi) in the initial phase 2017. They were also supported by the founding office of the Technical University and the University of Kaiserslautern. They are financially supported by the Investitions- und Strukturbank Rheinland-Pfalz (ISB). 

Sustainable start-up strategy of the DFKI
The start-up company already has eleven employees and was recently awarded the title of Foundation of the Year by the TUK and the Science & Innovation Alliance Kaiserslautern (SIAK). The foundation is thus further proof of DFKI's successful spin-off strategy: In the meantime, more than 90 companies with more than 2,500 highly qualified jobs have been created through spin-offs.

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Contact:

Sebastian Lelle

baukobox GmbH

Christian Wolf

baukobox GmbH

Dr. Martin Memmel

baukox GmbH / DFKI

Press contact:

Team Corporate Communications Kaiserslautern

DFKI

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Interactive three-panel projection with product and manufacturer information.

German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz