From the Design Team: The Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) demonstration project is a research and design collaboration of SOM and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Highly energy efficient, the 3D-printed building was designed by SOM to produce and store renewable power and to share energy wirelessly with a 3D-printed vehicle, which was developed by the DOE.

AMIE was created in the first year of the Governor’s Chair for Energy and Urbanism, a five-year collaboration by ORNL, SOM, and the University of Tennessee. The project illustrates the potential of a clean energy future for a rapidly urbanising world, by demonstrating the use of bidirectional wireless energy technology and high-performance materials to achieve independence from the power grid at peak demand times.


[Source: SOM]
[Source: SOM]
[Source: SOM]
[Source: SOM]


Constructed of C-shape forms and measuring 38-feet-long, 13-feet-high, and 12-feet-wide, the structure explores the potential to condense the many functions of a conventional wall system into an integrated shell. This could lead to zero-waste construction, reduced material consumption, and buildings that can be recycled and reprinted for new forms and uses.

The SOM team showed how 3D printing can allow for complex, organic geometries that are optimised to reduce localised stress and mitigate turbulent exterior airflow. Full-scale load testing was undertaken to confirm the performance of the structure.


3D printed materials [Source: SOM]
3D printed materials [Source: SOM]
Prototype in construction [Source: SOM]
Prototype in construction [Source: SOM]


AMIE’s high level of insulated solid surfaces (79 percent) to glazed areas (21 percent) results in an efficient energy-conserving enclosure. The panels’ interior ribs are designed to host super high-efficiency, atmospherically insulated panels.

Integrated into the roof, flexible photovoltaic panels work in tandem with a natural gas-powered generator located in the vehicle to supply energy for lighting and the central micro-kitchen, which was produced by GE. In addition to supplementing the vehicle energy source, the panels also charge the enclosure’s battery when the fixtures are not in use.


Prototype [Source: SOM]
Prototype [Source: SOM]