The Week in Summary: A Machine-Human Coexistence, Most Useful Tech Trends & Blended Buildings

We've found our way to Friday again! We love to be weekend warriors, but first let's take a look at what's been happening in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) space this last week. 

It's been a big week for us at BuildingSP, as momentum around ClashMEP, our new tool for Autodesk Revit, continues to build. Along with our partners at Ideate, we outlined some of the many features that make ClashMEP a game changer for the AEC world. We discussed the difference between traditional "batch" processing of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) clashes and what we introduce as "continuous" processing. Clash detection has long been a tedious process for MEP modelers, but we aim to change that. Our platform offers real-time clash detection as you model, with deeper metrics and enhanced connectivity. We were excited to chat with the ConTechTrio about our progress, what we see for the future of MEP modeling, and why it's a game changer for building information modeling (BIM). You can listen to our talk here.

All roads lead to ClashMEP! (Source: Ideate)

Technology is not only changing how we design, but also how we build. BIM processes, drones, 3D printing – tech advancements are affecting everything from building processes to construction safety. For example, The Manufacturer reports, "Sending a drone to fly along the power lines to check for damage or locating downed lines is cheaper and safer than sending human teams to climb or drive along them." Drones are also useful for surveying construction sites, while 3D printing can allow companies to produce building components on-site, thereby reducing transportation costs.

While some are wary about the future of drones, others see them as an opportunity. (Source: RC Subscription)

Artificial intelligence (AI) has garnered a great deal of attention in recent months. Many are concerned that machines will replace human jobs, but we believe that machines and people will come together to change the way we work. A recent McKinsey report agrees, proposing that a collaboration between human and machine will spur innovation and productivity, without eliminating the human element: "Our analysis shows that humans will still be needed in the workforce: the total productivity gains we estimate will only come about if people work alongside machines. That in turn will fundamentally alter the workplace, requiring a new degree of cooperation between workers and technology." Sounds like we better get used to the idea of our new coworkers.

Curious about which jobs are replaceable by machines? The easiest way to find out is by analyzing the daily activities of your role. (Source: McKinsey)

The rapid advancement of technology requires that we stay on top of what's new and what's next. Fortunately, Architect Magazine has provided a handy guide to the top tech trends that will be most useful in 2017. Covering everything from virtual and augmented reality to a slew of new offerings from Autodesk, architects weigh in on what they consider game changers. Our favorite takeaway: "The most sophisticated piece of technology in buildings today is the people inside them. They know what works and what doesn't, what gives them joy, and what makes them uncomfortable. Imagine how great our buildings could be if we made them more responsive to their users and set up feedback mechanisms that could learn from their patterns of use and inform better design." As is the case with integrating automation and human input, people are ultimately the key to better design.

What works and what doesn't work in architecture will always be informed by the people using the spaces. (Source: Architect Magazine)

In need of a little zen in your cityscape? Check out these incredible buildings that "blend nature and city" by connecting people and creating community in this TED Talk. Have a great week!


Cover image: "Generative Design" is a processing bot that takes the latest abstract pictures from Flickr using an API and re-designs them by shifting groups of pixels randomly to the left and right. You can contact Ondina Frate of @GenerativDesign at

If you work for a general contractor, subcontractor, or design firm and want to collaborate on whitepapers that quantify how computational methods of working will change our industry, reach out to us and let's talk about what we can do. We're open to collaborations worldwide and have lots of ways of measuring performance indicators to gain insight into change in our industry. Contact Brett Young at

Tags: BIM Artificial Intelligence Generative Design

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