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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. He is a member of buildingSMART.

AEC & Global Construction Markets – 2023 Strong Outlook and Opportunities

October 22nd, 2022 by Akio Moriwaki

The AEC industry continues to experience unprecedented growth with a strong long-term outlook. The global AEC market is projected to reach $15,842 Million by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 10.7% from 2021 to 2028 (Allied Market Research). Segments with the greatest growth potential include residential building construction, highway, street, and bridge building, building equipment contractors, and residential land planning and development (Global Newswire).

The growing demand for construction and infrastructure services creates new opportunities for the sector. At the same time, many firms are also experiencing growing challenges with higher costs, reduced operating profits, supply chain constraints, and labor shortages.

Forward-thinking AEC leaders are using this period of business growth to streamline and optimize their businesses. Let’s look at five AEC business priorities that are helping to support sustainable growth.

Top AEC Business Priorities to Support Growth

  • Protecting Operating Profits
  • Attracting and Retaining Talent
  • Making Better Informed Decisions
  • Communicating/Software Interoperability
  • Maximizing technology investments

Strategic technology investments are helping innovative organizations navigate these market challenges while ensuring sustainable economic growth.

Protecting Operating Profits

For AEC organizations of all sizes, rising costs are a significant concern. Increased material, labor, IT, and project costs are eroding operating profits. AEC professionals are reviewing budgets and looking for opportunities to reduce spending and minimize customer price increases.

Before your design software contract is set to renew, it makes sense to do a little homework and compare 2D CAD products and licensing options to help you find what you need at the best price. Start by identifying what tools and capabilities will be the most beneficial for your team. Would you like network licenses? Do you need 3D design tools and advanced productivity tools?

In the world of CAD, many customers have experienced frustration with some providers discontinuing network licenses. DraftSight continues to offer a choice of licensing. For big companies with casual users, network licenses can make a huge difference in extending team access to CAD without overspending on unused seats.

DraftSight is easy-to-use with comparable, if not greater capabilities than alternative 2D CAD solutions, while giving you more control in how you invest your resources. In addition to network licensing and support for organizations, DraftSight can also help you increase ROI and free up your IT budget for innovation without sacrificing quality or productivity.

Attracting and Retaining Talent

The AEC industry is experiencing heightened competition for the top talent. There is a desire to invest in technology that will improve workflows and make everyone’s jobs easier, which also supports efforts to find and retain staff. The right design solution will help your team spend more energy advancing design and less on non-value-added repetitive tasks that can be automated. One of the biggest requirements in considering a new CAD product is maintaining and even improving current workflows.

Remote and geographically dispersed teams make collaboration tools even more crucial in streamlining workflows. 3DEXPERIENCE DraftSight allows AEC teams to experience even greater benefits by connecting DraftSight to the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform for additional project management and data management capabilities.

Making Better Informed Decisions

We know that real-time project information helps business leaders make better-informed decisions and develop alternative strategies as projects evolve. However, synthesizing all of the data has become increasingly challenging as the volume of project data continues to grow. The only way to really understand what project data means is to transform data into information. This is a unique capability of connecting DraftSight to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

Real-time dashboards and reports provide stakeholders with critical information to be more responsive and make better informed decisions. All the project data can easily be accessed from the job site, with the ability to make changes and revisions while maintaining digital continuity–all in one single solution and collaborative workflow.

Communicating/Software Interoperability

If you are evaluating a transition from a legacy CAD software, compatibility is a critical concern. You’ll be looking for software that is 100% compatible with DWG files (blocks, dimension styles, layers), as well as time-saving file translation and editing.

DraftSight gives you all the professional tools and functionality you expect, along with full DWG file compatibility. DraftSight is also known for its amazing file opening/saving capabilities and data compatibility, making it easy to work with legacy files. You can import, save, and export drawings in a variety of formats, and in some cases, DraftSight saves back even further than AutoCAD® does. You can save a DWG all the way back to Release 12 – from way back in 1992!

In addition to 2D CAD interoperability, DraftSight integrates seamlessly with other Dassault Systèmes solutions and services, including SOLIDWORKS and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

Maximizing Technology Investments

The right software investments can make all the difference in reducing repetitive work, saving time, and allowing AEC professionals to focus on high-value activities. DraftSight has multiple productivity tools and automations that can save your team hours, and even days including the enhanced Sheet Set Manager, Configurable Blocks, PDF Import, and many more.

The right technology investments are streamlining and optimizing AEC and Construction services by connecting people, data, tools, systems, and processes to deliver nimble innovation. Connecting DraftSight to the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform ensures that project data is always available in real-time, secured and saved with the continuity and traceability to move projects from design to build more efficiently and sustainably. All stakeholders are connected in a single, unified, collaborative environment. 3DEXPERIENCE DraftSight enables AEC and Construction Management teams to innovate continuously, faster, smarter, and better as one.

DraftSight Helps AEC Organizations Prepare for Growth

AEC teams around the world are growing their businesses with DraftSight’s professional 2D design. DraftSight makes it easy to create, edit, view, and mark up any DWG file with speed and ease. With DraftSight’s familiar user interface and common commands, your team will be acclimated in hours, not days. You can customize your toolbars, ribbon, keyboard shortcuts, and import your AutoLISP® routines and Script files. DraftSight makes getting started intuitive, supporting an easy transition. Your team will also gain some time with DraftSight’s productivity features and automations.

Your team can download DraftSight’s Free-30-day trial to put DraftSight through its paces.

Interested in learning more about DraftSight? Join us for the DraftSight Virtual event October 25-27, 2022. Get tips, tricks, and best practices: the #DraftSight Virtual event features a diverse agenda demonstrating how CAD users of all levels benefit from DraftSights’ power and ease of use. Register today!

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Microfactories serve integration-ready, multi-trade modules for construction efficiency

August 25th, 2022 by Akio Moriwaki

Microfactories are a new category of value chain players. A microfactory is a popup manufacturing facility located within a short distance of the construction site that fabricates parts and multi-trade assemblies into integration-ready modules.

Distinct from prefab shops, which simply move trade-based processes off site, microfactories are distributed manufacturing operations that can be structured to service multiple construction clients through standardized components and modular platforms.

Once manufactured, the locally-produced, integration-ready, multi-trade modules are transported a short distance to the construction site for installation by unskilled laborers.

Microfactories are creating new value pools in a changing industry.

The construction industry is facing extreme demands for speed, sustainability and customization. The only way to meet these demands is to break free of the constraints of today’s trade-based prefabrication and subcontractor coordination mentalities.

Productization drives more value, offers more scalability and bypasses financial sinkholes rampant in trade-based industrialized processes. As productization becomes more widespread, construction value chain players will reorganize and collaborate more closely through virtual twins. GCs will serve as prime integrators of multi-trade modules. Specialty contractors will morph into virtual makers. Microfactories will become more prevalent.

Forward-thinking business leaders are already adjusting their business models around virtualized processes, digital deliverables and off-cycle product management. Construction teams will ultimately maximize value with integration-ready construction modules that include multi-trade assemblies, generative variants and standardized interfaces.
Read the rest of Microfactories serve integration-ready, multi-trade modules for construction efficiency

FLOVEA: A success in interface standardization for generative plumbing solutions

August 18th, 2022 by Akio Moriwaki

Plumbing remains a traditional domain. FLOVEA is very attached to its craftsmanship expertise and its value. At the same time, the company was born with a strong will to provide plumbing with the benefits of scientific and technological advances. FLOVEA has invested much in designing new solutions based on basic research and engineering. It aims to develop and produce concrete solutions to facilitate the daily life of plumbers and their clients and partners.

FLOVEA performs a constant technological watch on its core of business and is committed to creating innovative technologies through partnerships with research centers and laboratories. As part of a research partnership, FLOVEA has committed with NOBATEK which is an important research laboratory based in Bordeaux (Gironde). It mainly focuses on nondestructive testing, process engineering,  civil engineering and energy.

The sanitary plumbing and heating solution of FLOVEA is a real time saver on site and a guarantee of homogeneous and leak-free installation. In the assembly of a boiler, it could be easily assembled and installed on the site with fixing tools as the structure was pre-engineered, pre-soldered, pre-tightened, pre-tested and ready to be mounted!

Read the rest of FLOVEA: A success in interface standardization for generative plumbing solutions

How 4,000 unique parts created a unique design challenge

August 11th, 2022 by Akio Moriwaki

Jet Contractors is a fully integrated group that operates in Morocco and across Africa, offering 30 years of expertise in engineering, procurement, manufacturing, construction and historical knowledge. The team uses innovative tools to create complex shapes and architectural designs for public infrastructure, residential, industrial and service-oriented programs, including metal works of art.

On the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, Jet Contractors started with a geometry and generated 4,000 unique parts to encase a double-curved architecture. With CATIA’s xGenerative design tools, the team referenced shared geometries and parameters to generate a whole assembly.

The model aided the manufacturing and assembly processes, reducing risk while increasing productivity and quality. The developers understood how the design performed in virtual twin experiences, enabling automated processes through production and lifecycle management.

Orange Côte d’Ivoire headquarters under construction

Unique double curved parts of the façade

Manufacturing and assembly of double curved parts of the façade

This article is excerpted from THE PRODUCTIZATION EFFECT: How integration-ready modules will transform the roles of general contractors, specialty contractors and the entire construction value chain. This white paper maps the path to productization and defines how general contractors, specialty contractors and the entire construction value chain can leverage virtual twins on an end-to-end collaboration platform, transcend the limitations of classic industrialization and leapfrog to personalized construction.

Related links:

Specialty contractors become virtual makers

August 5th, 2022 by Akio Moriwaki

Today, specialty contractors capture value only after they have installed the physical product. This arrangement subjects these subcontractors to the same potential financial sinkholes around budget and timeline faced by general contractors.

With the adoption of productization, specialty contractors will see their business model evolve as they embrace new roles and revenue streams by shifting to so-called “virtual makers.” Virtual makers contribute to the virtual twin by applying trade-specific knowhow in the upstream design and simulation phases. They collaborate on a single model of a construction project in a virtual environment along with fellow specialty and general contractors — and are compensated accordingly for their time, expertise and continuous access to their virtual creations and intellectual property.

It’s important to note that as the productization transformation unfolds, specialty contractors have the opportunity to continue to offer existing trade-based services at the off-site manufacturing and assembly phases. The newfound virtual maker role will be a second function to perform as industry-wide change progresses in the coming years. Over time, the physical installation work will take a backseat to the virtual work.

Virtual makers are positioned to collaborate more strategically with owners and GCs and to contribute to a more successful construction outcome. An experiencebased understanding of trades is incredibly valuable and contractors can be compensated proportionately for contributing this knowledge upstream. With the rules of a trade virtualized and integrated into a virtual twin of construction, specialized skills can scale.
Read the rest of Specialty contractors become virtual makers

Defining and integrating construction modules

July 28th, 2022 by Akio Moriwaki

In an optimized design and construction process, the virtual twin captures the architect’s intent: the types of materials desired, styles of rooms, types of constraints to address, etc. The construction team can then assemble the building based on a list of integration-ready modular systems identified in the virtual construction twin.

With this approach, the GC (as prime integrator) orchestrates the work from virtual makers, prefab shops and microfactories, and determines the construction experience needed to deliver and install productized modules in the field.

Assembly OSM: A Modular Strategy in Action

A rendering of the still under-wraps future full building project.
(Photo courtesy of Assembly OSM)

New York-based Assembly OSM, founded by SHoP Architects co-founders Bill and Chris Sharples, was established as a modular construction company. The team engineers components and sub-assemblies (structural steel chassis; unitized facades; wall, floor and ceiling cassettes; mechanical, electrical, plumbing and environmental systems; kitchen, bathroom and casework pods; building cores with elevators and stairs) to fit a single platform of infinite combinations.

Read the rest of Defining and integrating construction modules

Implications of productization on construction roles and responsibilities

July 21st, 2022 by Akio Moriwaki

Today, each construction project is managed as a discrete effort and building models are still commonly delivered as drawings. General Contractors analyze the drawings, itemize the parts needed, order them from suppliers and ship them to a site where they are installed by craftspeople.

With off-site manufacturing and assembly, parts are first shipped to a prefab shop and pre-assembled so tradespeople are not running into each other. Some specialty contractors can work indoors. Processes have industrialized, the work is somewhat more efficient, but the traditional sequencing of processes remains the same.

In the near future, construction will be organized like a multi-tier manufacturing chain, which is exponentially more scalable. What does this transformation mean for the individual players within the construction value chain?

In The Next Normal in Construction, McKinsey & Company projects that GCs risk losing 20% to 25% of their value in a fully productized value chain in the coming years and specialty contractors risk 9% to 13% of their already modest slice. By resisting change, GCs will be disintermediated from the building delivery process. They will find themselves competing against module manufacturers and the firms that partner with them. In contrast, those who embrace productization and adapt as follows will retain the most value and demonstrate the most resilience through the transformation of the industry.

Read the rest of Implications of productization on construction roles and responsibilities

Productization vs. industrialization in construction

July 14th, 2022 by Akio Moriwaki

Productization drives more value, offers more scalability, and bypasses financial sinkholes triggered by trade-based interference.

Advanced Modularization Techniques

With integration-ready, multi-trade modules, the construction virtual twin-based approach can ultimately extend upstream to realize model-driven procurement, as well as microfactory-powered manufacturing and assembly processes.

Standardized interfaces reduce the complexity of materials needed on site and support procurement automation. Microfactories are structured to service multiple construction clients by manufacturing customized modules with standardized interfaces. Using a microfactory drastically reduces the cost of designing, manufacturing, and assembling these custom building blocks. With the growing adoption of integration-ready modules, generative configuration and variant management will open the door to a construction module marketplace complete with virtual construction experiences.
Read the rest of Productization vs. industrialization in construction

How are integrated-ready modules transforming construction processes?

July 7th, 2022 by Akio Moriwaki

A modular approach to building design offers a high degree of configurability. It also enables the engineering of building systems outside of a project cycle, increasing scalability and cost efficiency. Virtual construction twin enables a construction project team to develop integration ready modules for this new approach. They include standardized interfaces, multi-trade assemblies, and generative variants.


Standardized Interfaces Accelerate Installations

Interfaces are the mechanisms by which a module connects to another module or to the larger build. Integration-ready modules must allow for interchangeability, with flexible outcomes and a wide range of end-product variants.

Construction modules can offer great value with standardized interfaces. By decoupling trade-centric knowledge from the physical tasks of the construction job, module interfaces can be designed such that unskilled labor can perform on-site installations at scale.

Much like consumers are able to insert a standardized electrical plug on a home appliance into a wall outlet without the support of an electrician, any laborer can be trained to install construction modules with standardized interfaces without the need for tradespeople on site. Read the rest of How are integrated-ready modules transforming construction processes?

Productization drives radical new levels of value and scalability in construction

June 30th, 2022 by Akio Moriwaki

Today, technology is available to support a radically different approach to construction. Productization is a strategy for delivering hyper-customized, efficient construction solutions at scale. This approach uses virtual construction twins to enable the application of generative, configurable design strategies to the factory construction and management of modular systems.

In contrast to off-site manufacturing that preserves trade-based workflows, productization delivers to the construction site “integration-ready modules” that offer substantial gains in quality, speed and versatility.

Integration-Ready Modules: Rethinking the Core Elements of Construction

Modularization is a key concept in productization, yet it is often misunderstood. A recalibrated take on modularity reveals how these elements can be easily configured across a platform without sacrificing creativity. Modules can be much more sophisticated than mobile trailers, as is the misconception in the United States.

In the automotive industry, we see that vehicle production gains cost efficiency because each vehicle is an assembly of standard, modular components that can be engineered en masse. However, cars all take the same general form. Buildings, on the other hand, are approached as one-off projects, each with a unique shape. Uniformity is not achievable in construction — nor should it be the goal. No one wants the same building as their neighbor and variation between site requirements makes this idea impractical.


Uniformity is not achievable in construction — nor should it be the goal.

A modular approach to building design offers a high degree of configurability. It also enables the engineering of building systems outside of a project cycle, increasing scalability and cost efficiency.

We can already see construction productization in action on a small scale with elevators, which have been integrated into buildings as complete assemblies for decades. In essence, an elevator is a module that contains a complex array of components and systems. Taking an “everything is an elevator” mentality can give birth to a whole new industry of multi-trade, integration-ready construction modules.

An integration-ready module is one that includes standardized interfaces, multi-trade assemblies and generative variants. You can learn more about what productization means for the construction industry. Read more in our white paper.

This article is excerpted from THE PRODUCTIZATION EFFECT: How integration-ready modules will transform the roles of general contractors, specialty contractors and the entire construction value chain. This white paper maps the path to productization and defines how general contractors, specialty contractors and the entire construction value chain can leverage virtual twins on an end-to-end collaboration platform, transcend the limitations of classic industrialization and leapfrog to personalized construction.


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