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Archive for the ‘AEC’ Category

Prefabrication Productivity

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

by Vicki Speed

From a residential high-rise in New York City to low-cost hotels in Europe, the application of prefabricated and modular objects and systems continues to capture the interest of owners, architects, contractors, fabricators and product manufacturers in the building industry.


Around the world, prefabrication proponents are finding ways to apply offsite construction techniques that go way beyond repeatable systems such as bathroom pods or mechanical pipe rack to more volumetric, pioneering, semi-customized solutions that address a wide range of common construction challenges.


BIM and Façade Design: Technological Implications [Whitepaper]

Thursday, January 15th, 2015


The following is the introductory section of “Technological Changes Brought by BIM to Façade Design”

Download the full whitepaper.

With the continuous progress of building industry technologies and people’s constant pursuit of sustainable buildings, Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been a new subject heatedly discussed and explored in the building industry.

SKY SOHU Project BIM models

SKY SOHU Project BIM models

Thanks to its advantages of visualization, coordination, simulation, optimization, and drawing-making, BIM has sparked great changes in engineering construction, and is becoming widely popular in Asian countries.

Countries including the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, South Korea, and Japan have issued BIM guidance standards for the application and development of BIM.


Customized Efficiency

Thursday, January 8th, 2015


The following is a reprint of a Compass: The 3DEXPERIENCE Magazine article by Vicki Speed.


The Permasteelisa Group, based in Italy, is a leading worldwide contractor in the engineering, manufacture and installation of architectural envelopes and interior systems.

Compass spoke to Permasteelisa IT project manager Federico Momesso and communication manager Massimiliano Fanzaga about how the company is adopting more standardized technologies and processes to better meet the construction industry’s growing demand for customized building systems on short timelines.


The Beauty of Renovation Is More than Skin-Deep

Thursday, January 1st, 2015


Renovating and retrofitting existing buildings can increase their longevity, reduce their energy use and beautify or modernize.


With commercial buildings that need renovation, “usually the target is to have a result that’s aesthetically nice, healthy and at the least cost,” says Marc LaFrance, energy analyst, buildings sector, at the International Energy Agency. “If somebody comes from that approach but says, ‘I want the least-energy-consuming building possible within my budget,’ that would lead to a different set of measures.”


Green Design Brings Nature into the Urban Jungle

Thursday, December 25th, 2014



A jungle is green and leafy, and the urban jungle should be the same, right?

Since 2010, more people live in cities than in the countryside for the first time in human history. The trend is expected to speed up in developing countries, with more than 60% of the world’s population living in urban areas by mid-century, the United Nations predicts.

Bringing nature into cities can make urban environments more sustainable as well as more aesthetic, more comfortable, and healthier.

“Many architects today already claim to do green design, some to a greater level of authenticity than others. I contend that in the next five to 10 years just about every architect and student will do green design as second nature in their work,” says Ken Yeang, a principal with T.R. Hamzah and Yeang, a Malaysian architectural firm focusing on ecoarchitecture, and of Ken Yeang Design International in the U.K. “Green design is just one of the criteria for good design.”

Tweet: #Greendesign will be second nature for architects and students in the next 5-10 years @3DSAEC @Dassault3DS #AEC

Click to tweet: “#Greendesign will be second nature
for architects and students in the next 5-10 years”

Architects often see green design as a matter of certification, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes, or the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) in the U.K. Beyond aiming for certification, “I take the holistic view of an ecologist,” he says. “I see green design as bio-integrating everything that we as humans make and do on the planet with the natural environment in a benign and seamless way.”

That requires integrating flora and fauna, water, humans, and the built environment in a holistic way. “We start design by looking at the ecology of the land and see how we can bring more nature back to a location and bio-integrate nature with the physical built environment,” Mr. Yeang says.

Solaris p2

The Solaris, designed by Mr. Yeang and part of the Fusionopolis research and development park in Singapore, has more than 8,000 square meters (9,567 square yards) of landscaping—13% more than the original site—thanks to roof gardens, planted terraces, and a 1.5-kilometer (0.9-mile) ramp of continuous vegetation that spirals up the 15-story building’s facade, helping to insulate as well as offering a range of habitats that enhances the locality’s biodiversity.

“I design buildings as ‘living systems’ and as ‘constructed ecosystems,’” Mr. Yeang says. “It’s not just about green walls. I bring back the native fauna that are not hazardous to humans and match these with the native flora selected to attract the fauna, now set as ‘biodiversity targets’ in a matrix. With this, I create the local landscape conditions to enable flora and fauna to survive over the four seasons of the year.”

The idea is spreading. A primary school and gymnasium in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, now under construction, was designed by architects Chartier-Dalix to be covered with a living shell and house local flora and fauna.

BLG-18-classrooms-school-and-sporthall p3

Argentine architect Emilio Ambasz built a multi-use government office building in Fukuoka, Japan, with 14 one-story terraces that make the one-million-square-foot building look like a green hill rising from the park in front of it. Mr. Ambasz also renovated the headquarters of ENI in Rome with curtains of vegetation.

Basel, Switzerland, has required since 2002 that flat roofs be covered with vegetation, in part to save energy and in part to protect biodiversity. While the peregrine falcon, one of the first species on the U.S. endangered species list in 1974, rebounded in part through urban nesting programs to nearly 100,000 birds world-wide today, less-glamorous endangered species, from spiders to beetles, also benefit from the increase in habitat. In the U.K., the Bat Conservation Trust has published a landscape and urban design guide for bats and biodiversity.

A green exterior is nice, but what goes inside—the design and materials—are important, too. “The building and products sector are seeing that environmental issues are moving up the agenda,” says Martin Charter, professor of innovation and sustainability at the Centre for Sustainable Design at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, U.K. “Construction, buildings and building products are associated with high carbon dioxide emissions on a macro level and big end-of-life waste issues. The sector does have a big-life cycle impact, not just in extractive phase but at other stages of life cycle as well.”

Concrete produces as much as a tenth of industry-generated greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers studying the molecular structure of cement found that changing the recipe to 1.5 parts calcium for each part of silica would cut cement’s carbon emissions up to 60% while making the resulting material stronger.

Tweet: Changing 1 ingredient in cement cuts carbon emissions by 60% & results in stronger material @3DSAEC #AEC #greendesign

Click to tweet: “Changing 1 ingredient in cement cuts
carbon emissions by 60% & results in stronger material”

Simple design considerations can make a building greener. The shape and the orientation can affect heating and cooling needs. Natural ventilation with mixed mode systems can alleviate the need for air conditioning even in tropical climates. Mr. Yeang designed the Menara Mesiniaga office building in Selangor, Malaysia, so even elevator lobbies, restrooms and stairwells in the 15-story building get natural ventilation and natural daylight.

Green design includes water management in rainfall harvesting and storing water, so potable water doesn’t have to be used to irrigate the vegetation. Design must close the water cycle within the site, combining water management, water reuse and recycling with sustainable drainage and constructed wetlands for black water treatment, he says.

“In nature, the only energy is from the sun. If we want to imitate nature, we should use only the sun,” Mr. Yeang says. “In nature, everything is recycled. Waste from one organism becomes the food for another. In human society, we have a throughput system where we use things and throw them away, but in fact, there is no ‘away’ in the biosphere—it just goes somewhere and pollutes the environment. If we imitate nature, we should have a closed system. As a design strategy, we need to study the attributes and properties of ecosystems as the basis for designing our built environment. When this becomes mainstream, there will be a stasis of nature with our built environment.”


Originally posted to Perspectives by Catherine Bolgar. For more from Catherine, contributors from the Economist Intelligence Unit along with industry experts, join The Future Realities discussion.


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Brings Nature into the Urban Jungle”

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Sensing the City of the Future

Thursday, December 18th, 2014


Say “architecture in the future,” and you’re likely to think of buildings with a radical design, like the Absolute World Towers near Toronto, which twist some 200 degrees from base to top. But while architecture in the future might still be a feast for the eyes, other senses and feelings are likely to get more satisfaction as well.

sensing city 1

Absolute World Towers   Mississauga, Ontario

“Over the last 100 years, architecture has been a conversation about style,” says David van der Leer, executive director of the Van Alen Institute, a New York-based nonprofit architectural organization dedicated to the belief that design can transform cities, landscapes, and regions to improve people’s lives.

“What still largely is lacking in the conversation is how do we actually respond to the spaces we inhabit. If we know how the mind or body responds to the city, we may look at completely different ways of designing buildings.”

Recently, the institute undertook a project to understand people’s reactions to the city around them. The researchers walked around New York with residents of that city to find out how one, for instance, responds to a busy intersection.

Often the subjects, who were wearing brain monitors, would respond that everything was fine, but “their brain activity says something else,” Mr. van der Leer explains. “If we don’t respond well to structures, why do we build them?”


What is Building Lifecycle Management (BLM)?

Thursday, December 11th, 2014


Building Lifecycle Management (BLM) is the practice of designing, constructing, and operating a facility with a single set of interoperable data.

BLM puts into practice a BIM Level 3 approach that enables a highly efficient Extended Collaboration process based on Manufacturing industry best practices.

BLM is operationalized via a robust Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)* system, which creates an efficient environment for coordinating complex AEC data.

[*The traditional Product Lifecycle Management term commonly becomes Project Lifecycle Management when applied to AEC.]

Adding BIM data to a PLM system creates a BLM system:


Benefits of BLM

BLM enables BIM Level 3 and can increase construction predictability, long-term value for project owners, and profitability for AEC project contributors.


Adapting Manufacturing Industry Best Practices to Improve AEC Outcomes

Thursday, December 4th, 2014


The following is an excerpt from End-To-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3: An Architecture, Engineering & Construction Industry Solution Based on Manufacturing Best Practices.

Download the full paper here.

Tweet: Adapting Manufacturing Industry Best Practices to Improve #AEC Outcomes @Dassault3DS #BIM to tweet this article: “Adapting Manufacturing
Industry Best Practices to Improve AEC Outcomes”

Extended Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3

An Extended Collaboration model synchronizes productive interactions between designers, suppliers, and builders.

Extended Collaboration proactively addresses errors and omissions, reduces rework, enables predictive process simulations to reduce risk, resolves issues in real-time to drastically reduce RFIs, and improves quality and safety.

Extended Collaboration improves project outcomes.

Innovative projects delivered by industry-leading design and construction teams have shown that collaboratively planning a building’s structural, façade, HVAC, electric, and interior systems can provide significant productivity gains over siloed processes, which depend on RFIs to reconcile issues.


How Traditional AEC Processes and BIM Level 2 Reinforce Silos

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014


The following is an excerpt from End-To-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3: An Architecture, Engineering & Construction Industry Solution Based on Manufacturing Best Practices.

Download the full paper here.

Click to tweet this article: “How Traditional AEC
Processes and BIM Level 2 Reinforce Silos”

Siloed Collaboration with BIM Level 2

Construction project contributors can be categorized into teams:

  • Design Team: Architects, engineers, and special consultants
  • Supply Team: Building product manufacturers, fabricators, and suppliers
  • Construction Team: General contractors, sub-contractors, and trades
  • Operations Team: Owners, operators, and facility managers

Feedback loops, task management, design coordination, and other limited collaborative elements certainly exist within each team; however, the ambiguity, rework, and RFIs that persist between teams are symptomatic of broken collaboration across the extended project delivery team.

Research by the U.K. Construction Industry Council indicates the benefits sought by owners—reduced costs, increased value, increased sustainability—are not achievable by BIM Level 2 only.

The inherent handoffs and rework processes prevent integration among the teams and lock value within silos:

Traditional Design, Construction, and Operations Process

BIM Level 2 Benefits Are Locked in Silos

Traditional Design, Construction, and Operations Process: BIM Level 2 Benefits Are Locked in Silos | Dassault Systèmes AEC

Collaboration on documentation and deliverables exists within each silo, but a lack of collaboration between teams causes errors, rework, RFIs, and inefficiencies.

Tweet: With traditional #AEC Design-Construct-Operate processes, #BIM Level 2 benefits are locked in silos | @Dassault3DS to Tweet: “With traditional AEC Design-Construct-
Operate processes, BIM Level 2 benefits are locked in silos”


Cristiano Ceccato’s 4 Key Lessons for Integrated Design

Thursday, November 20th, 2014



Cristiano Ceccato,
Zaha Hadid Architects

During his keynote address at a recent Dassault Systèmes event in Japan, Cristiano Ceccato of Zaha Hadid Architects explained how techniques borrowed from other industries have been applied to some of his firm’s innovative projects.

Tweet: How techniques from other industries are applied to @ZAHAArchitect's innovative projects. @Dassault3DS #AEC to tweet: “How techniques from other industries
are applied to @ZHA_News’ innovative projects”

Ceccato also examined what happens when designers transfer digital data into the built realm, thereby moving away from the perfection of the computer into the “imperfections” of a real construction environment.

Here is his advice for the architecture community:

1. Build Like Boeing

During his cross-disciplinary research with Boeing, Ceccato saw that the firm was able to take on great risks to develop innovative ways of working.


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