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 3DEXPERIENCE Construction
Akio Moriwaki
Akio Moriwaki
As head of global marketing for the AEC Industry at Dassault Systèmes, Mr. Moriwaki launches and promotes groundbreaking Industry Solution Experiences including "Optimized Construction," "Façade Design for Fabrication," and "Civil Design for Fabrication." He is a member of buildingSMART.

Behind the Scenes: How SHoP Designed an Innovative, Modular Brooklyn Brownstone [VIDEO]

April 24th, 2014 by Akio Moriwaki

Last month, Fast Company named SHoP Architects as the world’s most innovative company in architecture of 2014.

This is no surprise to us at Dassault Systèmes. SHoP is a long-time customer and uses 3DS technology to develop high-profile projects such as the iconic Barclays Center in New York City, home to the Brooklyn Nets. Using the 3DS platform, SHoP designed and engineered the Center’s façade, then developed data for off-site fabrication and on-site construction coordination of 12,000 uniquely sized steel panels.

SHoP has always embraced the idea of a new challenge. So when approached to design and fabricate a four-story modular residence for Red Hook, an area in Brooklyn hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy, the firm was quick to rise to the occasion.


In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the United States’ Northeast coast flooding streets, tunnels, and subway lines and cutting off power to 8.5 million people. After the hurricane, the long rebuilding process began.

As a local business, SHoP took on the challenge to create, develop, and build a unique, prototypical housing solution in Brooklyn’s Red Hook area.

“We take on challenges that most firms would not, and look at each one as a unique opportunity to express an architectural design and deliver it for the community.”
— Jonathan Mallie, Principal of SHoP Architects and Managing Director of SHoP Construction

Tweet: [VIDEO] Behind-the-scenes with @SHoPArchitects and @Dassault3DS #AEC Red Hook project could hardly be more different from Barclays Center. It is tiny by comparison: a 3100 square-foot, two-family residence. The modular design includes a three-bedroom primary unit on three upper floors, and a smaller one-bedroom unit on the first floor.

SHoP also saw the project as an opportunity to implement 3DEXPERIENCE, Dassault’s collaboration platform.


Watch the following video for insights into SHoP’s processes, and a peek at the technology they used:

 SHoP’s modular Brooklyn brownstone projectTHE OUTCOME

SHoP’s design called for four modules to be fabricated off-site, then stacked and mated on site in just 48 hours.

The modules sit on a foundation of concrete micropiles, raising all living spaces, mechanical and electrical equipment above flood elevation.

The real-world test of that function came when SHoP began working with Island Exterior Fabricators, based in Calverton, NY, to translate its design into the first actual construction modules.

The detailed 3D model of each module was used to create the data to drive CNC (computer numerically controlled) machining – a major departure from traditional construction methods.


“Without the 3D model created in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, the design would have been delivered through drawing sets – detail views, assembly drawings, annotations – hundreds and hundreds of pages of documentation,” explained John Cerone, director of virtual design and construction.

“It would be an incredibly intense exercise in documentation, and it would require a much larger team than was actually employed for this project.”

Using 3DEXPERIENCECreating drawings opens up the design to interpretation rather than strict adherence to the 3D model. Instead of drawings, the 3D model becomes the sole source of information.

That is how SHoP operates today – and where the entire AEC industry is ultimately headed.

“We’d love to never make another drawing again,” Cerone said with a grin. << CLICK TO TWEET


All the project’s stakeholders collaborated to make the project a success.

“One of the keys to improvement in the AEC industry is collaboration. That means not working in an isolated environment in our office, but creating a single source of truth, which is the project model, and having all the stakeholders – the owners, the engineers, the architects and the contractors – all work from the model,” Mallie said.


SHoP implemented the following:

  • 3DEXPERIENCE®: cloud-based platform
  • IFWE Compass: navigation and dashboards
  • CATIA:  3D modeling app
  • ENOVIA: collaboration app

SHoP’s chosen technology platform supported the team’s industrialized construction processes, such as integrated planning, collaboration, modularization, and prefabrication, and enabled the team to accelerate schedule, increase productivity, and maximize savings.

Tweet: [VIDEO] Behind-the-scenes with @SHoPArchitects and @Dassault3DS #AEC
Click to Tweet


Façade Detailing enables you to extend conceptual and design data through to fabrication. After developing models, you can break them down into assemblies that convey design intent. Learn more.

CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE on the Cloud enables collaboration between façade designers, fabricators and architects. Learn more.

More on 3DS solutions for AEC.

More on SHoP Architects and SHoP Construction.

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Categories: AEC, Business Processes, Collaboration, Dassault Systèmes, Industrialized Construction, Prefabrication, Technologies

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