It's always such a great feeling waking up on a Friday. And the first Friday of fall? Even better! Here's a look back at what caught our eye in the last week of summer.
Generative design is not a prospect, it's a reality. We work with it every day, but we were fortunate enough to see it used in an entirely different capacity in the work of MT Højgaard (MTH). As one of the largest general contractors in Denmark, it seems counterintuitive that they would have a use for generative design systems. Luckily, that's not the case. They have existing design and engineering departments, but for their latest project, which engages Dynamo and Project Fractal, they are designing, building, and using the finished product. This allows them great freedom in the design process and the chance to experiment with something truly revolutionary. With Dynamo and Project Fractal, MTH was able to define specific parameters and then literally let the computers do the work. From the options generated, they can then refine until they find the optimal solution. We can't wait to see the final product of this highly individualized design-build process.
MTH uses Dynamo and Project Fractal in the planning phases of a parking structure. (Source: BuildingSP)
MTH may very well be placing itself at the forefront of a design revolution. Although not the first company to utilize generative design, the scope of their project is groundbreaking and lays the groundwork for other design teams to follow suit. What is notable in their approach, as well as that of all generative design enthusiasts, is that they embrace working with the computer programs involved. While many speculate on the negative impacts of intelligent machines and software, we at BuildingSP, like MTH, are focused on how those programs act as assistants in the design process. Rather than "us vs. them," design is becoming a collaboration between human and machine that allows for increased productivity, greater creativity, and ultimately, better designs.
This may be the new face of collaboration. (Source: WNYC)
From design to autonomous vehicles, the media keeps telling us the "machines are coming," but what does that really mean for the construction sector? We are used to heavy machinery; it's an integral part of how we get things built. But as machines get "smarter" and more autonomous, their impact on how we build is sure to change. We took a look at how wearables, drones, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) are poised to transform not just design, but the actual building process. Already traditional masons are working alongside bricklaying robots, and drones have been a huge benefit for surveying and scanning areas that are tricky to access. There are still hindrances to anything like a fully autonomous backhoe, but as technology improves and prices fall, autonomous machines will become commonplace.
Drones make waves on construction sites. (Source: DroneVolt)
Of course, we always love hearing about all things BIM. One of the greatest roadblocks to BIM adoption is a lack of understanding of just how it all works. This is not aided by the fact that terminology can differ from country to country. But whether the barriers are linguistic or cultural, no two building projects are ever the same. It stands to reason, then, that no two BIM teams will ever be the same. Paramount in adopting and refining a successful BIM strategy is determining just what is required of a particular project and ensuring that message is successfully translated to all relevant parties. In an increasingly connected world, there has to be some understanding of how BIM functions in different cultural settings. Additionally, there needs to be an awareness amongst all members of any given BIM team about just what it is they are trying to accomplish, and the most resourceful ways of achieving the necessary levels of collaboration.
Getting on the same page isn't as easy as it sounds. (Source: Medium)
The world can be a nutty place these days, so we always welcome good news, positive thoughts, and the prospect of change for the better. Check out this recent TED talk by architect Michael Murphy. If you're in need of a little hope, this should do the trick. Have a great weekend!
This Rwandan school designed by architect Michael Murphy definitely looks like it has healing powers to us! (Source: University of Arkansas)
Development and beta testing of GenMEP continues. In response to user feedback, we have now added all standard conduit angles for routing electrical systems. Floating network licenses have been running flawlessly for over a month now using a cloud license server. We continue to look for additional beta testers! Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.