Oh Friday, how we do love thee! Let's take a look back at some of our favorite buzz from around the biz this week.
Every mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) tradesperson understands the horror that is clash detection. We hate it so much, we decided to develop clash avoidance. We shared our thoughts on what that means and pointed out why we're confident that the era of clash detection will soon be a thing of the past. Instead of light tables and vellum and hours on end hunched over with a red pen, we harness the power of generative design to autoroute MEP systems. Yes, it sounds too good to be true, so check out our demos and see for yourself.
We would definitely like to avoid these clashes. (Source: Bexel Consulting)
Innovation is rapidly becoming the buzzword of choice in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) world. Armados Omega, a firm just outside of Mexico City, has designed a truly innovative "jigsaw" brick system that the company claims can cut building time in half. The clever design incorporates steel rods, poured concrete, and spaces for MEP systems, and, as Global Construction Review reports, "The result is a hybrid of traditional brick and reinforced concrete that can reproduce the decorative features of traditional brickwork." As a bonus, they also say the bricks reduce costs by about 25%, and because of their simplicity can be assembled without the addition of highly skilled labor.
These are five of the six available "jigsaw" brick shapes. (Source: Global Construction Review)
Innovation, of course, is just one of many buzzwords being tossed around in the AEC lexicon these days. Disruption is another. We thought it would be interesting to ponder what it would take for Amazon to bring its particular mode of disruption to the construction industry. We analyzed how Amazon streamlined supply chain management into a highly efficient workflow, since, as we've noted previously, efficiency is not necessarily the norm in the construction sector. Our conclusion was that Amazon would have to overcome challenges in packaging, delivery, and issues that can arise when dealing with specialized products and materials. Yet for an industry teetering on $1 trillion in annual revenue just in the US, if the folks at Amazon could find a way, we would certainly reap the rewards.
Do you think Amazon's time in the AEC industry will come? (Source: BuildingSP)
In the meantime, there is another option for revolutionizing the industry in the form of venture capital. Thus far, VCs haven't taken a great deal of interest in AEC, but we think that's about to change. We took a look at just a few of the ways construction stands to gain traction with the interest of venture capitalists. Just as they have been the key to success for much of the Silicon Valley set, VCs have the potential to bring cross-industry expertise and shake up stagnant productivity (our other favorite topic these days). As new technologies relevant to construction are developing at an almost exponential rate, it won't be long before savvy venture capitalists see the opportunity that lives beyond the borders of Menlo Park and Palo Alto.
Think of the gains AEC could make with some VC backing! (Source: BuildingSP)
Finally, it's great to see the ways that innovative thinkers are using tech and modern assembly methods to do some good in the world. Formula 1 designer Gordon Murray has taken a break from racecars and created the OX, a truck that comes in a flatpack (think IKEA), and can be assembled in just 12 hours. The project's main goal is to provide affordable, lightweight, and durable vehicles to underserved communities, particularly in Africa, where reliable transportation is scarce. We think that's pretty cool. Have a great week!
This lightweight vehicle ships in a flatpack! We're rooting for this incredible and potentially life-saving design to take off. (Source: Wired)