The past few years have been challenging for the AEC industry, as architecture firm owners worked to maintain business continuity amidst an unfolding pandemic and economic disruptions while simultaneously addressing an escalating client demand for more sustainable, ethical design. The demands have called upon architects and designers to find new ways of working and to deliver results that will benefit their clients and the communities served by their projects well into the future.
Throughout external disruptions beyond its control, the AEC industry has learned important lessons that are helping to redefine the industry and shape future work. In this article, Roderick Bates, Head of Integrated Practice at Enscape, highlights five of the most powerful of these lessons.
This research paper by Ashit Harode and Walid Thabet of Virginia Tech and Michael B. DuLaney of UCHealth describes the creation of a low-level Digital Twin that allows visualizing and monitoring five key parameters that measure the air quality in an operating room suite at a health care facility in Denver, Colorado. Data captured from various sensors or simulated are transmitted to the Digital Twin Power BI platform using the Raspberry Pi 4 and Azure Services. This implementation provides vital, near-real-time monitoring of the air quality within a critical space of a facility.
Last month, the leading AEC technology vendor, ALLPLAN, had its annual Infrastructure Day event, in which the company showcased the latest developments in its solutions and highlighted how they were being used in infrastructure projects around the world. The implementation examples were presented by the AEC firms executing these projects, and they provided the opportunity not just to learn more about ALLPLAN’s solutions but also to learn more about the projects themselves, especially in countries that are not typically on the public radar such as Croatia and Romania.
The use of Excel is pretty much ubiquitous in most industries including AEC, and the idea of being able to open up a BIM model inside Excel and work with its data is brilliant in its simplicity. This review explores a new application, CellBIM, which actually does this. With it, you can bring a BIM model into Excel, work directly with its elements, query it, perform calculations, take-off quantities, and explore any aspect of the design visually.
This article describes how the BIM application for HVAC, FineHVAC, was used by the firm, GKA Engineers, for the design of the HVAC network installations in the Qatar Foundation Stadium, a host venue for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup™ and one of the principal sports complexes in Qatar.
“The program’s ability to handle a wide range of projects of different types and scales is a big plus, but even more important is the flexibility it provides to the user in the smart ΒΙΜ modeling of any HVAC project, which is critical for the automatic generation of the final case study drawings and calculation reports. Equally important is the accuracy in calculations provided by FineHVAC that follow current international standards such as Ashrae, EN, BS and others. In contrast, most other BIM solutions for HVAC and MEP design simply focus on the creation of drawings and tend to rely on third-party applications for the piping, sizing, and proper selection of the equipment.”
A few weeks ago, I attended a webinar by a UK-based organization called thinkBIM on the topic of the “Golden Thread,” which was something that I had been increasingly hearing about in the context of AEC technology of late. The references were intriguing, as was the name. During my education as an architect, we had learnt about the concept of the “Golden Mean,” and its use in organizing and proportioning in architecture. But what was this “Golden Thread,” and that too in relation to AEC technology? I attended the thinkBIM webinar to find out more and dig a little deeper. In addition to learning about what the Golden Thread is, I was also able to learn more about the thinkBIM organization and the latest updates on the AEC technology front from the UK.
In the course of researching the article, “AI in AEC Updates, 2022,” published in February, I found that the construction stage of AEC had the largest number of applications using AI (Artificial Intelligence) — they were being used to handle a variety of tasks such as project planning, scheduling, progress monitoring, quality control, jobsite automation, and improving jobsite safety. Earlier this month, I was able to learn about the actual implementation of AI technology at a construction firm through an on-demand ENR webinar. The firm was Gilbane Building Company, a large integrated construction and facility management services firms with locations and projects worldwide, and the AI technology it is using comes from a London-based construction technology startup called Disperse.
As reality capture technologies have advanced in AEC, users have been able to generate increasingly detailed and accurate surveys, each image formed from millions of data points. However, this depth of information also raises some information challenges, particularly if site-based personnel want to access and interact with the data. In this Viewpoint article, Steve Salmon of Pointfuse discusses the importance of intelligent meshing technology in a much more efficient representation of point clouds, benefiting the construction as well as subsequent operation and maintenance (O&M) of buildings and infrastructure.
This year’s annual NVIDIA GTC conference, which was held last week, had its Omniverse technology even more front and center than it did last year. And because AEC is one of the key target industries for the Omniverse, there were also many more presentations focused on the AEC industry at this year’s GTC than there have been in the past, both from AEC firms that are implementing Omniverse, as well as from AEC technology vendors that are partnering with NVIDIA on it. The highlights of some of these sessions are captured in this AECbytes article.
While digital twin technology — used to create the digital replica of a physical object that is always in sync with it — promises to be the next big thing in AEC technology, it is still early days to find actual implementation examples that can be used to guide widespread implementation in the industry. Which is why I was extremely impressed to come across what seems to be a fully realized example of a digital twin in action. This is the “smartBRIDGE Hamburg” project, which I learnt more about in a recent buildingSMART webinar showcasing some of their 2021 award-winning projects.