Traditionally, engineering firms review the architect’s conceptual designs and independently develop their engineering drawings. This is a wasteful step, which duplicates work and can misinterpret the architect’s intent. This disconnect between the designs also makes it incredibly difficult to test new ideas or incorporate changes from the architect.
It provides the ability for all stakeholders to collaborate on and visualize a virtual mockup of the project from start to completion in digital form, improving speed and building trust that the desired outcomes will be met. (more…)
Future Testing is a process that leverages virtual design and construction, simulation, and rapid iterations. With Future Testing, AEC project stakeholders are able to anticipate issues and opportunities early, reduce risk, take advantage of innovative ideas, and gain an edge on the competition.
An excellent example of a company employing the Future Testing method is CadMakers Inc., a construction and manufacturing technology company.
They work closely with AEC businesses to streamline projects from design to construction, leveraging leading engineering software solutions. Their design approach includes modeling all the building systems — architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing, civil and geotechnical — and mapping them virtually in an accurate, virtual 3D model. Then, they get everyone — the project architect, engineers, and various subcontractors — together to view the model and crowdsource solutions to identified problems. (more…)
Every building and infrastructure design is unique. Whether a project is an artistic work or a more utilitarian design, it has unique requirements for piping, ductwork, structure and other elements that must be designed and coordinated in context.
These elements are typically left to later detail design stages of the project. Modernizing craftsmanship with Future Testing allows the 3D digital model from the architect to be extended and enhanced with detailed construction information. It’s then used to virtually construct the building and learn from that experience before doing work in the physical world.
These innovators use precise digital models to simulate the construction and the sequence of steps needed to build it, and iterate on this “digital mockup” multiple times to learn and improve.
In this way, Future Testing makes the first-time building a unique, “one of a kind” structure as efficient as if the company had made it for the 100th time!
Future Testing also allows AEC companies to incorporate downstream feedback on constructability by collaborating on the virtual model with makers to build in downstream efficiency. Then, as they gain real-world experience executing the project, they continue to update the models with better ways of working, and run simulations to prove them out.
This way of working shortens the feedback loop so they can apply new methods to the current project, learning as they go and “leaning out” the process at every phase. (more…)
An advanced process in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) allows project stakeholders to anticipate issues and opportunities early, therefore reducing risk, taking advantage of innovative ideas, and gaining an edge on the competition.
We call it “Future Testing” and it enables AEC teams to:
The time is now for AEC companies to replace Problem Solving with Future Testing. Those that don’t take advantage of the opportunity will fall behind. Those that adopt Future Testing will build confidence and trust with their customers by showing they can anticipate issues and opportunities in advance, and adapt to inevitable changes as they occur with speed and precision.
Industry leaders are learning to uncover opportunities for innovation, and avoid issues, by experiencing the build process in a digital, virtual environment before the windows of opportunity close due to limitations of what’s already been constructed.
They’re moving beyond the era of firefighting by anticipating and avoiding problems through simulation.
In addition, they’re employing a Future Testing Cycle to learn from physical and virtual work and improve and simplify construction processes as they go.
The benefits of Future Testing apply not only to the owner, but also to architects, engineers, suppliers, contractors, and the whole team. This approach gives every constituent confidence in the process and the outcome because they’ve experienced it virtually.
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.
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.
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.
Research indicates that construction is one of the only industries where efficiency and productivity has actually fallen over the past 50 to 60 years. While processes exist to optimize construction, one of the biggest challenges in overcoming this inefficiency is the fact that few AEC companies see their own inefficiency. (more…)
To create truly innovative structures, today’s AEC professionals must look first at their creation process. Pushing the boundaries requires new technologies, new strategies and a new mindset.
The truly innovative AEC professionals are looking beyond what’s been done, to what’s being done across other industries.
Here you’ll gain insight from experts on the cutting edge of the industrialization of design and construction. Discover how to apply the efficiency of industrialized manufacturing strategies to any project, and the significant advantages this approach can yield.
If we look beyond traditional AEC methods, we can transform the efficiency with which projects are delivered and operated. (more…)
Have you heard of hyper-loops, undersea hotels, and made-to-order 3D-printed buildings? These were just concepts a few years ago, but are reality now.
These structures need to be designed for either transporting people through natural surroundings, protecting them from natural surroundings, or allowing them to interact with natural surroundings.
The commonalities that underlay these structures consist of intricate linkages between product, nature, and life.
In fact, the original charter of the Institution of Civil Engineers describes the civil engineering profession as “the art of directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and convenience of man”, and herein underlies the role of product, nature and life. (more…)
Even as digital technology is transforming AEC processes, emerging digital platforms stand poised to transform construction products themselves.
Paris-based XtreeE is seeking to lead an industrial revolution in construction, civil and mechanical engineering by using 3D printing for large-scale architectural applications.
Through integrated consulting, manufacturing and technology, XtreeE provides education on how to use additive construction in the construction industry, while also developing end-user solutions and the technology needed to fabricate products.
Watch this 360-degree video to experience the process of designing and 3D printing a concrete structure:
(Tip: Use the directional controls to pan around the room as the video plays.) (more…)