In this article Christian Ehl, who most recently set up the OpenBIM platform, bim+, within the Nemetschek Group, paints a fascinating vision of a future world in which robots are commonplace in society and bring their unlimited computing power to the building industry as well. He posits that “BuildingBots,” small software and later hardware robots, will play a major role in creating the buildings of the future, from planning and construction to operations and management. The change will be gradual but definite: in 2016, the first bots will evolve and make sure that all building data is available with 100% accuracy; in 2020, we will see the first self-optimizing buildings; and in 2025, the first self-building buildings will evolve. Software and robots are already reshaping the world completely, and they will do so for the construction industry as well.
While the concept of virtual reality is now very familiar to most technology professionals and its use commonplace in many industries including AEC, there is another concept that is slowly emerging and gaining ground in technology—that of augmented reality (AR) which “augments” physical reality with additional relevant content instead of replacing it altogether. This article describes the basic workings of the technology and captures the highlights of the “AR in Real Estate, Urban Design, and Construction” track at the recent Augmented World Expo (AWE), which provides some insights into the potential application of AR in AEC.
This insightful article by John Tobin, VP for Operations at EYP, discusses the segmentation of disciplines in AEC, the need to create a more expansive and fluid definition of the design profession, and how concepts like BIM and IPD are more indicative of segmentation than of the specialization they are commonly perceived to reflect.
3D laser scanning technology is increasingly becoming a standard tool relied upon by a number of diverse trades and professions from construction to archaeology. This article by Kevin Nelson, who works extensively with this technology, uses real-world examples to show how capturing “snap-shots” of conditions before (pre-construction), during (construction), and after (post-construction) project phases can provide extremely useful scan data. He also envisions a future when laser scanning technology will become ubiquitous and will be paired with virtual reality to provide a totally immersive VR experience, blurring the lines between past and present.
One of the technology catch-phrases that we are increasingly starting to hear more about is the “Internet of Things”—commonly understood as the notion that at some point in the near future, all devices will be Internet-enabled and able to communicate with each other. While this can certainly be used to make buildings with smarter controls and sensors so that they are more responsive to their occupants once they are designed, built, and inhabited, can the “Internet of Things” also be applied in the building design and construction phases? Can it help to make the tasks of AEC professionals simpler, smarter, and more efficient? It is precisely such questions that this article sets out to explore.
This article discusses some of the questions related to architecture and performance that emerged at the recent PER/FORM Live Design Competition held at Pratt Institute’s Manhattan campus in May, where competitors were tasked with designing a multi-family residential building that was judged on both energy and daylight performance as well as beauty, conceptual strength, and contextual appropriateness. It provides an overview of the winning designs as well as highlights the three very different approaches to achieving both excellent performance and high design that were in evidence in the competition entries: performance as subservient to design, design as subservient to performance, and performance as a partner in design.
Now that BIM has conquered the building industry and is here to stay, this article explores the application of the same “information modeling” concept to infrastructure, where all the individual components making up a city’s infrastructure are represented by intelligent data-rich 3D models that carry information about themselves and their relationship to other components. It also looks at Autodesk’s infrastructure modeling products, in particular at AutoCAD Civil 3D and the newer InfraWorks, a conceptual urban modeling tool that has the potential to create intelligent city models that can support analysis and evaluation of different urban design criteria.
In this article, Chris France, the author of many previous AECbytes articles on the implementation of the “cloud” in AEC, presents a detailed case study about the successes and challenges that Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, an international architecture and design firm, encountered on its journey to the cloud. It comes from his 11 years experience as the CIO of the firm, and his first-hand knowledge of its cloud initiatives captured in this case study, along with the lessons learnt, can be used as a strategy document for other AEC firms embarking on their cloud journey.
This article provides an overview of the Future City competition, an annual competition where middle school students design a “future city” based on a specific theme, creating a virtual model using SimCity as well as a physical model. It takes a closer look at how SimCity is used and discusses the many benefits students get from participating in it, while also highlighting some of the key problems with the competition itself and how it is conducted.
This article follows up on the recent overview of Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure 2013 Conference, with a dedicated look at the projects that were selected as the finalists in the building-related categories of Bentley’s annual Be Inspired awards, the winners of which were announced at the conference.