A new method of project delivery is emerging in AEC.
Through new digital platforms, companies like A. Zahner Company are setting the example for how an integrated supply chain can significantly reduce rework on highly complex projects.
When the experts responsible for fabrication and installation can provide insight early in the design process, and all parties have the tools they need to collaborate closely throughout, construction waste can be reduced.
Owners are enjoying the benefits of collaborative project teams, which include:
stronger adherence to schedules
Collaboration is improving through the adoption of cloud-based 3D modeling solutions. Such tools assemble and empower teams across multiple organizations and geographies to create a single, live source for project creation.
By ensuring all project stakeholders are on the same page, from design through execution, owners gain tremendous transparency into a project’s feasibility, and all AEC parties have access to the knowledge they need to successfully speed projects to market.
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Chris Sharples, founding partner at SHoP Architects, believes that architects should think more like manufacturers and to try to pull as much off the construction site by getting things prefabricated and manufactured in a controlled environment and then assembling the modules on site.
“Generally, in architecture, there are many workflow inefficiencies, in the way disciplines, owners and trades interact with one another. A lot of time and effort is spent communicating intent between parties. With technology evolving all the time and computer processing power getting better, it is becoming more realistic to do real-time simulations and collaboration….
“Of course, we can approach projects in the traditional way but I think we can really blow the doors off the barn by taking advantage of a modular approach, which is very well developed in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform,” Sharples said.
For an architectural firm like New York-based SHoP Architects, expressing innovation means harnessing the power of diverse expertise in the design of buildings and environments to improve the quality of public life.
For Javier Glatt, CEO of CadMakers Inc., one of the chief benefits of digital modeling is the ability to capture knowledge that can be shared with collaborators and applied to future projects—whether or not those collaborators use digital tools.
In fact, he advised his audience in a presentation at the 3DEXPERIENCE Forum to find a business model that removes the burden on industry veterans of learning the latest technology, while still incorporating their invaluable knowledge.
For example, when working with mechanical contractor Trotter & Morton on a wastewater treatment plant, the CadMakers team was tasked with optimizing the workflow using digital modeling and improved collaboration, even though many of the individuals on the project didn’t use computers. (more…)
The construction industry is turning to the cloud for improved efficiency and profitability.
The rapidly growing global construction industry suffers from fragmentation, which increases risks, leads to wasteful practices and negatively affects project delivery and stakeholder interests. But now, cloud-based collaborative tools are replacing traditional industry practices with new business models that imagine, design and construct better buildings.
From the Construction Intelligence Center to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), most industry trackers agree that construction is in for a boom. A PwC–sponsored report entitled “Global Construction 2030,” published by Global Construction Perspectives with Oxford Economics, predicts a compound growth of 85%, to US$15.5 trillion, by 2030. That level of expansion is more than a percentage point higher than the 3.9% annual growth rate projected for the global economy as a whole, driven in large part by rapid growth in urban populations.
But a dark cloud looms behind those silver growth projections. The industry, experts agree, is so fragmented with numerous segments – architects, engineers, construction firms and dozens of trades both big and small – that it is not prepared to handle this level of expansion.
A LEGAL TANGLE
Javier Glatt, co-founder and CEO of CadMakers Virtual Construction, a Vancouver-based integrated construction technology firm, said the reasons for fragmentation come down to legal responsibility. “The causes of fragmentation are risk and liability issues and their apportionment through the industry,” he said.
Building owners, designers and contractors are increasingly realizing the benefits of modular prefabrication.
This trend transforming the way construction components are delivered is helping speed projects to market and leading to higher quality buildings.
This switch from stick-built construction to the assembly of manufactured components also makes the fabricator’s role more important than ever. Yet every manufacturer faces limitations that can impact their capabilities in delivering the optimum system to the jobsite.
When designers factor in manufacturer limitations, they can better select partners that can deliver the best possible end product.
CEO William Zahner predicts future facades will increase in complexity, including more dynamic and kinetic aspects, and requiring an integrated platform. Such a solution will “open up opportunities for the design and fabrication community to do some really amazing things.”
The Zahner team found that developing precise 3D models gives reassures to clients that their risk is mitigated.
In addition, they are better able to communicate openly, transparently with clients, contractors, architects, subcontractors throughout the project.
Because of its complexity and the amount of coordination required, the Chrysalis Amphitheater was the flagship project where Zahner used the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
Today’s AEC projects are more complex than ever, achieving heights, shapes and performance capabilities undreamed of a few years ago. Yet even as owners demand more from their buildings, many AEC professionals are still using processes that lead to redundant design, idle labor and significant rework.
There is now a solution available that harnesses the expert knowledge of the entire AEC team to create processes that are as efficient as the resulting project.
3DEXPERIENCity, Wind Simulation for Singapore City, Singapore
Traditional models of urbanism are challenged today by the growing and increasingly diversified population in cities. Urban planners will find they need a new planning model that takes into consideration the needs of hyper-dense cities. They will need to re-think how we imagine, plan, design, analyze, simulate, realize and manage cities in order to better plan for the future. New urban planning tools also are needed to foster better communication among governments, business and citizens.
One solution with the potential to transform urban planning is the 3DEXPERIENCE city map. By creating a data-rich virtual model of the city in all its complexity, and linking it back to actual existing conditions in real-time, we can understand through simulations the potential effects of various systemic changes before implementing them.