Generative design is real. Here's where I saw it being used and why I think it's exciting.
I recently had the distinct pleasure of seeing fantastic generative design work by MT Højgaard (MTH). MTH is one of the largest general contractors in Denmark and has an amazing building information modeling (BIM) and virtual design and construction (VDC) program. MTH demonstrated how generative design is being used on a project very important to them – the self-built construction of a parking garage for the new main headquarters.
For this upcoming project, MTH is their own client – they'll design, build, own, and operate this parking garage. In order to evaluate the site, they used Dynamo to automatically create the parking garage structure. By identifying the parameters of the garage – number of levels, number of parking spots, entry and exit locations – MTH quickly created Revit models using the visual scripting tools of Dynamo. With Dynamo, designs could be quickly created, evaluated, and measured. But it didn't end there. MTH then used Project Fractal to do optimization scenarios. Using Fractal, they create thousands of garage scenarios, optimized on parameters of their choosing.
Why is this important? We see three reasons:
1. More than building facades
For so long, computational design has been the province of building facades. Building facades are a very visible part of a project, represent a cost driver on budgets, and are conducive to computational scripting. This project by MTH is a departure from building facades and occurs at a building scale, which we think is exciting.
2. Project Fractal
We're very excited that we've now seen a test case with Project Fractal. Project Fractal, when used with Dynamo, creates a generative design environment that has the outstanding potential to promote optimization in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry.
3. MT Højgaard is a general contractor!
MTH is primarily a general contractor. While it does have a design and engineering department, this work demonstrates how the traditional roles of designer, engineer, and contractor are being shifted. It won't be long before MTH starts to use these tools in many other parts of the business. Imagine competing against a company that uses generative design tools to create 5,000 logistics scenarios for an upcoming project pursuit.
The work by MTH in generative design is very exciting and we look forward to seeing much more as they hone their Dynamo and Project Fractal skills. Special thanks toJesper Wallaert and Sylvester Knudsen for sharing their work.
Make sure to check out the work we’re doing in computational BIM and the automation of MEP modeling. BuildingSP is at the forefront of the application of generative design to AEC, and we look forward to better tools changing how we specify BIM on projects. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.