An unfortunate fact of the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry is that, between every stage of the process—from planning and design to construction and operations—critical data is lost.
The reality is, when you move data between phases of, say, the usable lifecycle of a bridge, you end up shuttling that data back and forth between software systems that recognize only their own data sets. The minute you translate that data, you reduce its richness and value. When a project stakeholder needs data from an earlier phase of the process, planners, designers, and engineers often have to manually re-create that information, resulting in unnecessary rework.
When it comes to building a bridge, what prevents it from having the most enduring and sustainable life span? What is its worst enemy? The answer is, simply, the bridge itself—its own weight.
Built with today’s construction processes, bridges and buildings are so overly massed with energy and material that they’re inherently unsustainable. While concrete is quite literally one of the foundations of modern construction, it’s not the best building material. It’s sensitive to pollution. It cracks, stains, and collapses in reaction to rain and carbon dioxide. It’s a dead weight: Take San Francisco’s sinking, leaning Millennium Tower as an example.
Modern, smart construction can and will do better. A convergent set of technologies will soon radically change how the construction industry builds and what it builds with.
Have you ever spent hours calibrating the nozzle of a 3D printer or preparing a print-ready file – only to find that the model has failed because of a missed zero-thickness wall? With this in mind, the Platonics Ark—a 3D printer currently being developed in Helsinki, Finland—has one simple goal: to remove all unnecessary set-up and technical processes by means of intelligent automation and, as a result, almost entirely eliminate the wasted time that architects and designers spend calibrating printers, or working up print-ready files.
Imagine you’re part of a crew constructing a new office building: Midway through the process, you’re on-site, inspecting the installation of HVAC systems. You put on a funny-looking construction helmet and step out of the service elevator. As you look up, there’s a drop ceiling being installed, but you want to know what’s going on behind it.
Through the visor on your helmet, you pull up the Building Information Model (BIM), which is instantly projected across your field of vision. There are heating ducts, water pipes, and electrical boxes, moving and shifting with your point of view as you walk along the corridors. Peel back layers of the model to see the building’s steel structure, insulation, and material finishes. It’s like having comic book-style X-ray vision—and soon, it could be a reality on a construction site near you.
The 'Customer Involvement Program' of Autodesk's research department has, over the years, compiled a database of over 60 million individual commands created by anonymized users. Each reveals shortcut paths and thought flows among its customer base. The team have visualized the product usage (here described as the Command Usage Arc project) by ordering known and new commands from the most-frequently-used to the least-frequently. Revealed as a sequence of infographics, the results demonstrate how people work – and how they often deviate from prescribed usage.
https://www.archdaily.com/869537/visualizations-of-the-most-used-autodesk-autocad-revit-and-3dsmax-commandsAD Editorial Team
At Autodesk's 2016 conference in Las Vegas, a team from Autodesk's BUILD Space led by principal research engineer Andrew Payne collaborated with manufacturer Quarra Stone, engineers Simpson Gumpertz and Heger, and University of Michigan assistant professor Sean Ahlquist to unveil its new Generative Design Pavilion. The project is an exploration of materiality, with stalagmite stone forms that rise up from geometric floor panels to meet fabric that stretches down from a canopy above. The junction of textile and stone aims to emphasize the distinct behaviors of the two materials.
We have previously published the best apps for architects, many of which try to boost creativity and productivity for project design. Now, we’ve put together a series of helpful apps for the development and management of construction projects. From digital measuring tools to instant software-generated reports of work progress, we hope this new construction technology will be most useful to you.
Starting an architecture firm may sprout from one’s love for and interest in the discipline, but running a competitive business requires more than just a tendency to enjoy the work. BIM could be the edge a firm needs in order to stand out from the crowd. There are many ways a firm can make use of BIM to become more profitable on their projects and successful in winning those projects in the first place; read on to find out more about six of them.
https://www.archdaily.com/799864/6-ways-bim-can-make-your-architecture-firm-more-competitiveAD Editorial Team
Committing your firm to BIM may seem daunting, especially with the time and cost investments that come with adopting new sets of software and a new workflow. There are hidden parallels however, between BIM and other processes within a firm, and therefore these changes to a new way of working may not be as demanding as they first seem. Here are five ways you may already be halfway to BIM.
https://www.archdaily.com/796478/not-ready-for-bim-here-are-5-reasons-you-may-be-wrongAD Editorial Team
Join Motion Media and Autodesk to learn about creating stunning & immersive experiences with Live Design.
Live Design lets you create stunning interactive visualizations of your architecture or designs. The immersive experience lets designers explore their creations in the virtual world accurately. Live design is more than just viewing, it's feeling and experiencing your design.
Learn how you can use Autodesk Revit, 3ds Max & Stingray to create Live Designs that will captivate your customers and make sure your proposal is the one they remember.
While BIM is increasingly becoming a necessity in architecture, it is still difficult to quantify the benefits it is bringing to the industry. Currently, there is no industry-standard method for calculating BIM’s Return on Investment (ROI) and, due to the complexities of the calculation, many firms have not adopted any consistent measurement practices to determine the monetary benefit that the technology has brought to their practice. The difficulty centers upon the fact that traditional analysis of ROI is unable to represent intangible factors that are important to a construction project such as avoided costs or improved safety.
Therefore, as the leading providers of BIM technology, Autodesk was interested in researching the subject. Their study, “Achieving Strategic ROI: Measuring the Value of BIM,” reveals that the role of ROI in technology decision making is shifting in that leading firms are seeking a more nuanced view of ROI to inform their strategy of investment and innovation.
Transcending the traditional “profit versus cost” calculation, companies are looking into different dimensions of the company to develop well-informed quantifications of their ROI for BIM.
https://www.archdaily.com/793443/how-do-you-know-if-bim-is-worth-the-investment-for-your-firmAD Editorial Team
So you’re convinced that BIM will be a good addition to your firm. Unlike more conventional CAD, BIM is composed of intelligent 3D models which make critical design and construction processes such as coordination, communication, and collaboration much easier and faster. However, for these reasons BIM is also seen by many as a more complicated software with a steep learning curve, with the potential to take a large chunk out of a firm’s operating budget during the transition period. So how do you actually transition an entire firm’s process to BIM? Here are ten steps to guide you on your way.
https://www.archdaily.com/791767/10-steps-to-simplify-your-firms-transition-to-bimAD Editorial Team
There’s so much to learn about architecture, yet so little time. The smart architect knows to have a variety of sources for their architectural knowledge, and that's why we’ve put together a shortlist of our Top 12 Architecture Channels on Youtube, and picked some of their best videos for you to see. Read more to find out the best architecture videos, from sketching and rendering tutorials to architecture documentaries.
These days, BIM is becoming standard practice. Most people involved in the construction sector—from the architects and engineers who use BIM to the governments that are implementing mandates for BIM in certain project types—are well and truly sold on the benefits it brings, including efficiency, collaboration, cost-savings, and improved communication. As a result, many practices these days that haven’t yet switched to BIM give the same reason: the dreaded transitional period.
Of course, these fears of transition are not entirely unfounded, as new software, staff training and teething problems are an inevitable part of upending your existing workflow. These initial costs create a barrier for many busy practices who simply can’t afford the time or money right now that would enable them to unlock BIM’s benefits down the line. The key to solving this conundrum of course is to minimize the initial costs—and one way of doing this that many experts recommend is to start your firm’s transition to BIM with a single pilot project, in which you will be able to establish a workflow and define standards that suit your practice, and transfer these lessons onto later projects.
But what is the best way to select this pilot project? Should you work on a large or small building? A complex work or a simple one? Here, three early adopters of BIM share what they learned from their own pilot projects, each with very different characteristics.
https://www.archdaily.com/790251/how-to-adopt-bim-3-ways-to-approach-your-firms-pilot-projectAD Editorial Team
A team of engineers at Autodesk have been pushing the limitations of conventional 3D printing -- not by redesigning the machines themselves, but by creating a network to harness their collective power. Autodesk's "Project Escher" is a new printing system that utilizes the power of several 3D printers at once to fabricate complex parts in unison, reports FastCoDesign. The new system can increase production speed by up to 90%.
1. INTRODUCTION “The Obama Presidential Center will bring to life the vision and legacy of President Obama, including inspiring an ethic of citizenship, expanding opportunity in a global age, and promoting peace, justice, and dignity throughout the world.” (Source: Obama Foundation)
This competition challenges designers to create an exceptional presidential library for U.S. President Obama (OPL). We look for design proposals with wide reaching architectural interventions that deal with the challenging South Side of Chicago, and make a case for a sustainable urban and economic growth. There are currently two potential site locations – one on the east side and the other on the west side of the University of Chicago (see p1.jpg): The Washington Park site and Jackson Park site. You are asked to make a choice between the two sites. There were numerous alter-native site proposals, e.g. sites in New York, Hawaii, Chicago etc. The Obama Foundation has identified these two properties as the ones with the most potential, based on key assumptions, opportunities and limitations relative to their contexts.
The benefits and capabilities of building information modeling in large-scale architectural practices are well known. But is BIM really necessary for smaller firms? Many small firms have been operating using traditional CAD methods for some time now, and switching technologies can seem a daunting task, especially for companies that operate on small budgets and without the specialized personnel of large international firms. But this is 2016 and the economic landscape has changed, with more and more expected from architects all the time. Time is more valuable now than ever. Where BIM software programs were once seen as simply nice to have, their large range of benefits have now made BIM an essential part of the design process. And as the following reasons show, BIM is just as important a tool for small offices as it is for larger ones.
https://www.archdaily.com/782695/7-reasons-why-transitioning-to-bim-makes-sense-for-small-firmsAD Editorial Team