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Top 3 Issues Facing Architecture

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Guest post by A. Zahner Company (Originally published on the Zahner blog)

Recently, we issued a survey asking architects, engineers, artists, and contractors to describe some of their pain points regarding collaborative construction processes today. Our hope is that by identifying the biggest issues we face in our industry, we can begin a dialog to find the best solutions.

We selected a number of answers to these questions and shared them below. Each of the responders had strong insights into what problems our industries face, and what we found may surprise you (including the fact that architects love the color black — who knew?!)

click to tweetTweet: Top 3 Issues Facing #Architecture: @azahner Survey | @3DSAEC
https://ctt.ec/fhca7+

Without further ado, here are the Top 3 Issues Facing Architecture + Design Communities, according to you:

1.Collaborative processes leave much to be desired.

We saw a number of responses describing how the collaborative systems in place are not yet fully there — and that they need to be.

Here at Zahner, our engineers are constantly investigating the latest tools. We’ve also discovered that there are some big missing pieces to achieving streamlined collaboration. From our survey, you feel the same way.

94% of responders were not completely satisfied with the tools available. Several participants expressed the need to include owners, contractors, and key fabricators at the beginning of project, calling for “Bold leadership to combine multiple disciplines.”

“Design-assist is needed almost more now than at any time in history, given the complexity and disparate groups that it takes to get a building constructed.”

2. Tools for BIM creation and sharing need improvement.


“We need better real-time coordination across platforms.”


“Need to harness design for fabrication…straight out of the model.”


Respondents expressed significant frustration with current BIM practices. One participant was awake at 2:05 am due to downstream workflow issues!

Among solutions offered were several apps, BIM, and CAD software you currently use. Others recognized and knew about Zahner’s use of Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform. A number of designers mentioned other well-established tools of the trade.

Each discipline should determine what works best, of course, but the key seems to be choosing, and sticking to, a workflow.


“We need better ‘translation’ of meaningful data from the designer directly into fabrication.”


3. Trust is imperative.

“There is no greater joy for me than to have an owner that trusts me and believes in me.”

Much like the process of designing and constructing a building, establishing and maintaining trust takes time and energy. Putting forth efforts to do this, however, pays off. As schedules and budgets are pressed further, knowing all parties will follow through on obligations is enormously important.

Creating a relationship of mutual respect will ensure a much smoother design and building process and more projects awarded down the road. To help navigate these relational nuances, we came across The architect, the client, and effective communication in architectural design practice an abstract from the Global Conference on Business & Social Science.

“It doesn’t matter what project type — the major issue is always money and how it is spent, and it’s all about trust. It seems to me that there’s more trust between the developer/contractors and owner, while architects struggle to gain the trust of the owner… How do we get this relationship back and earn owner’s trust?”

The challenges our industry faces effects each of us in different ways. At Zahner, we strive to provide open communication and education, regardless of client status. Through continuing to engage you, our clients and partners, we hope to improve upon the issues that frustrate you.


And finally, perhaps the most intriguing information of all… a summary of profession and color associations. We asked professionals from each industry, to identify what colors best represented their profession:

The above chart provides an idea of what professionals associate with the industries that we serve at Zahner. Turns out, architects really do like black!

click to tweetTweet: Turns out, #architects DO like black.
@azahner @3DSAEC https://ctt.ec/666DI+

Related Resources

Whitepaper: Supply Chain Integration and Collaboration for Efficient Facade Design and Engineering

A. Zahner Company

BIM and the G20 Meeting Hall

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

LU ZHI-HONG, YASHA

Article by LU ZHI-HONG, General Manager, Zhejiang YASHA Decoration Co., Ltd., BIM Center; Member, China Graphics Society BIM Committee; Deputy Editor of BIM Standards for Interiors and Curtain Walls, China Building Decoration Association.


When the 2016 G20 summit was planned to be held at the Hangzhou International Expo Center, Zhejiang YASHA Co., Ltd. took on the major project for the core meeting area.

This construction project involved dynamic designs, complicated construction techniques, a short timeframe, and special security requirements.

The overall design and construction work was very challenging, particularly the G20 main meeting hall.

The Building Information Modeling (BIM) team at YASHA used on-site 3D laser scanning, parametric modeling, streamlined design and fabrication, and other BIM techniques to help designers and project managers flawlessly complete their tasks and ensure the seamless construction of the G20 main hall.

click-to-tweetTweet: The story of #BIM & the G20 Meeting Hall in
Hangzhou, China | @3DSAEC @aeccafe https://ctt.ec/fdt1u+

Background and Goals for BIM on the Project

The Hangzhou International Expo Center is a landmark project for the city of Hangzhou. It was selected as the site of the 2016 G20 summit.

Because of the site’s special functions and the short construction timeframe, construction proved to be extremely challenging. Most difficult was the complicated design and high construction standards for the G20 main hall.

To address this challenge, our company began preparing our BIM technology well in advance of the project. Our company put forth its full effort, organizing designers, builders, and BIM personnel into a working group to employ BIM technology during the design and construction phases to ensure high standards. This allowed us to achieve our goal of high levels of quality, efficiency, and control.

(more…)

How Can BIM Software Locate Bridge Faults?

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, CATIA & ENOVIA applications help to vastly improve speeds on Chengdu’s Second Ring Road.

Chengdu’s Second Ring Road is the city’s largest municipal construction project. The road is over 28 km long and 8 lanes wide.

After completion of the first construction stage, it had only 6 overpasses.

Renovations were completed within a year, with simultaneous design, revision, and construction work resulting in the construction of 2,128 piers, 2,323 caps, and 6,785 piles by the hands of over 4,000 workers.

When the road was opened in May 2013, it was the city’s only express road devoid of stoplights. It serves over 200,000 people each day, significantly relieving traffic congestion.

(more…)

AEC Industry Trends: Driving Toward Connection, Digitization, Transformation

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

In his recent Architecture, Engineering & Construction Industry Trends presentation, Marty Doscher, Vice President, AEC Industry, Dassault Systèmes, identified four accelerating trends that are driving transformative changes across the industry:

  • Higher usage of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA), prefabrication, and modular construction.
  • More data-driven decision-making as a result of greater BIM adoption.
  • Expansion of Building Information Management (BIM) beyond design—in all stages of the project lifecycle, and by users across all disciplines.
  • Growth of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) as a social industry experience.

click-to-tweetTweet: 4 growing AEC trends: #prefab, data-driven decisions,
expanded #BIM, & #ARVR | @aeccafe @3DSAEC https://ctt.ec/M5fWd+

As these industry trends build momentum, demand is growing for solutions to overcome the barriers to greater success.

For example, with increasing BIM adoption, Doscher expects to see a further increase in the use of VR as a design tool that boosts collaboration.

The 3DEXPERIENCity “Experience Room” is one example of how AR/VR tools work for AEC: stakeholders are projected into a collaborative workspace through which experts from government, business, urban planning, infrastructure design, and so on, can work together in harmony to define a city’s future.

click-to-tweetTweet: #BIM data drives demand for #ARVR in urban planning |
#3DEXPERIENCity @aeccafe @3DSAEC https://ctt.ec/9mZb1+

The Experience Room, on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

The Shortcomings of BIM

BIM solves some of the AEC industry’s problems, but is not a total solution. BIM alone is incomplete.

click-to-tweetTweet: “#BIM alone is incomplete.” @MartyDoscher
@3DSAEC @aeccafe https://ctt.ec/Rp726+

Most projects are still over budget and behind schedule—even now, more than 15 years after BIM was introduced.

Today’s document-centric BIM methodology is still unable to break down silos among stakeholders. Too much energy is spent managing lines of communication that, when broken, lead to RFIs and heavy administrative costs.

Plus, design, construction, and operations remain separate from one another. Once a facility is built, the operations team may receive BIM data. However, this data is insufficient for what is needed to support long-term maintenance. Instead, the operations team typically creates their own “digital as-built” of the facility with the information they need.
(more…)

Intelligent 3D Curtain Wall Design

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

click-to-tweetTweet: Intelligent 3D #curtain_wall Design | @Desktop_Eng @3DSAEC @aeccafe https://ctt.ec/K4Z8n+
glass facade

Republished with permission from Geoff Haines, Desktop Engineering

Goethe said that “By seeking and blundering, we learn.”

Well I am not so sure that I would like to start a career in engineering knowing I was blundering in order to learn. But his point is bluntly put – that what we call knowledge is gained through making mistakes.

In other words, engineers push the envelope in design, making things bigger or lighter until they fail and then seeking out what went wrong.

(more…)

Case Study: 3DEXPERIENCE Enables KKAA to Renew Its Focus on Materials

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Kengo Kuma and Associates (KKAA) have taken on larger and more complex projects, and expanded around the globe. Through this growth, as KKAA worked to maintain data accuracy, a strain was put on its previous 3D modeling software.

The company therefore adopted the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud—and the Design for Fabrication industry solution experience—to accurately manage a wide variety of parameters in real-time, across multiple disciplines, during the development of architectural projects.

As a result, KKAA streamlined its design creation and change processes, created a single database of revisions for future reference, and improved design quality while retaining the essence of the “Kengo Kuma” design philosophy.
(more…)

Reimagining Manufacturing and Architecture

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

While architects once straddled a chasm between creative thinking and technical knowhow, that gap has closed in recent years. Technical tools continue to blow away the restrictions that have hindered architecture in the past.

This was one takeaway at a presentation given during Design in the Age of Experience 2017.

John Cerone, director of Virtual Design and Construction, for SHoP Architects, explained that architects are increasingly looking to step outside of their traditional roles.

“The AEC industry is restricted by a lot of traditional methods. We’ve realized that to create the design you want, you have to step out and speak with the people manufacturing the pieces and parts,” Cerone commented.

click-to-tweetTweet: Architects have to speak w/the people #manufacturing the pieces & parts @SHoPArchitects @3DSAEC @aeccafe https://ctt.ec/Wemb3+

David Wong John Cerone

David Wong (left), head of the Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center, Nanyang Polytechnic, explained with John Cerone, director of Virtual Design and Construction, SHoP, how new manufacturing processes are pushing possibilities in architecture.

Additive Manufacturing Creates New Opportunities

One of the technologies delivering new freedom to design professionals is additive manufacturing.

David Wong, head of Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center, Nanyang Polytechnic University in Singapore, shared the stage with Cerone to explain how the growth of this new manufacturing process isn’t just transforming the possibilities available through architecture—it’s also pushing the design process further as design and manufacturing professionals together explore the need for new processes.

(more…)

No Holding Back: Infrastructure Engineers Push for BIM Standards

Thursday, May 18th, 2017
JONATHAN RIONDET, AEC Solutions, Dassault Systèmes

“BIM must extend beyond buildings to support infrastructure and Smart Cities” JONATHAN RIONDET, AEC Solutions, Dassault Systèmes

“BIM must extend beyond buildings to support infrastructure and Smart Cities” JONATHAN RIONDET, AEC Solutions, Dassault SystèmesMuch of the productivity-boosting potential of BIM for transforming the AEC industries has been inspired by the use of digital mockups in the manufacturing and aerospace industries.
(more…)

The Chrysalis Emerges: Celebrating the Success of a Powerful Collaboration

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

A dedication ceremony for the Chrysalis — part sculpture, part amphitheater, part park pavilion — tucked in the woods of Columbia, Maryland, allowed the community and project stakeholders alike to fully experience the structure’s scale and precision firsthand.

chrysalis from air Dassault

Images courtesy of @azahner

The endeavor was shepherded by Michael McCall, President of Strategic Leisure (on behalf of the Inner Arbor Trust), and designed and delivered by A. Zahner Company, Arup, Living Design Lab, THEVERYMANY, Whiting-Turner, and a suite of other talented AEC professionals.

As the Downtown Columbia Partnership observed, “Seemingly no line stands still. Its look is dynamic and flows in a manner of ‘calculated serendipity’.”

Chrysalis-Press Release image1

Image © 2017 Inner Arbor Trust

(more…)

Leveraging the Full Value of BIM’s Interoperability Potential

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Despite the widespread adoption of BIM tools among design professionals, the AEC industry is still in many ways at the surface of the true benefits BIM platforms can offer.

“BIM should not be seen as just a way to do a beautiful 3D image from the project, but as a tool for true collaboration that should be the industry standard,” commented Jonathan Riondet, AEC industry solution technical director for Dassault Systèmes, during a recent presentation at BIM World.

click-to-tweetClick to Tweet: “#BIM is not just for beautiful 3D imagery—
it’s a tool for true collaboration” @jonathanriondet

Riondet explained that interoperability—across trades and data platforms—is key in realizing the great collaborative power of this data tool.

JONATHAN RIONDET, Director of AEC Solutions

“The collaborative BIM platform brings new services for all” – JONATHAN RIONDET, Director of AEC Solutions, Dassault Systèmes

(more…)

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