To BIM or not to BIM?

By Akio
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+

The following article was originally published by Geoff Haines on the Desktop Engineering Blog and is reprinted with permission. 

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: To BIM or not to BIM?
@3DSAEC @Desktop_Eng


Geoffrey M. Haines, Desktop Engineering

Geoffrey M. Haines, BSc(Eng), ACGI, C Eng, MIMechE, FRSA

I can’t claim originality to this Shakespearean title which has suitable gravity for many companies in the construction industry. It was thought up by Dr Steve Lo of Bath University for a one-day conference I attended organised by the “Future Envelope” community of façade designers and manufacturers.

Drawing from members of the European Façade Networks, the Society of Façade Engineers and Centre for Window Cladding technology, the aim of the conference was to discuss how BIM can help or even hinder the design and construction process of building facades.

To start off, early presentations included how professionals and companies can gain accreditation to be BIM Level 2 compliant. This is a requirement for any building design and construction contract delivered to the UK government since April 2016. Hence it’s a hot topic and the explanations given by BRE (Building Research Establishment) on their BIM Level 2 certification process were received well.

Certainly I see great opportunity for individual consultants to template the people, process and technology needs of BIM certification so smaller firms can overlay this on their business at minimum cost.

Other presentations discussed how both architects and engineers worked with different technologies to achieve the aim of clear communication of design intent.

Abdulmajid Karanouh of Ramboll gave a really thoughtful presentation discussing what architects really need to do to communicate to their supply chain.

What I really found interesting was the discussion on The Al-Bahr Towers, designed by Aedas of which Abdulmajid was part of the team. Aedas created a design specification that wasn’t a model, but a set of geometrical formulae and process that would create the design.

This is the ultimate “CAD’nostic” design.

Any CAD package that could be driven by some sort of scripting or formula could create this geometry – giving the geometrical definition of a 1000-person tower.

I found this approach quite revolutionary, taking the architect’s idea into a form that could be expressed mathematically – something my engineer’s brain could comprehend.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: .@Aedas created not a model, but a set of formulas and processes to produce a design | #architecture #BIM @DesktopEng

Ultimately, when the selected suppliers all delivered their design information, this was all consolidated into the Dassault Systemes CATIA based technology to deliver a BIM model. This approach caused some real heated interchange about an architect’s definition of form.

Overall, the conclusion to the day was mixed – the smaller firms seeing it as an overhead, the larger firms seeing it as a necessity – but one thought overriding all this discussion was ‘who pays for it?’

In automotive and aerospace, we all know that that more upfront design activity delivers lower costs downstream.

In construction, these two activities are delivered by different bodies, with different earnings streams – extra costs in design delivers savings for contractors.

So I’ll leave you with this – how do we square this circle?

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: To BIM or not to BIM?
@3DSAEC @Desktop_Eng


by Geoff Haines


Related Resources

Desktop Engineering, UK

Facade Design for Fabrication

WHITEPAPER: Technological Changes Brought by BIM to Façade Design

VIDEO: Facade Design for Fabrication Demo

How drones are helping Japan overcome a labor shortage

By Catherine
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+

By Catherine Bolgar

The “i-Constructioninitiative was unveiled last December by Keiichi Ishii, Japan’s minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism. Its goal is a 50% increase in construction workers’ productivity. Japan’s labor force is projected to decline to 56.8 million in 2030 due to a shrinking population, down 14% from 2010, and automation is seen as a strong solution.

The program mostly involves developing standards for integrating information and communications technology (ICT) with the construction industry. The new technology is being developed by the private sector.

Komatsu Ltd., a large Japanese construction company, is leading the charge. With experienced bulldozer pilots in scarce supply, Komatsu three years ago started looking for ways to make the job easier.

“Bulldozers move earth to get the foundation ready,” explains Christian Sanz, founder and chief executive of Skycatch Inc., a San Francisco company that uses its own specialized drones to create extremely accurate land surveys, which is working with Komatsu. “To do that, you need a really skilled pilot to cut the earth.”

With real-time, digitized 3D data about the volume and shape of the dirt, the bulldozers can be highly automated.

What is removed from the equation is how experienced the pilot has to be,” Mr. Sanz says.

Completely robotic trucks and equipment already are at work in Australian mines, but for safety reasons, the Komatsu bulldozers continue to have a person in the cabin. Automation allows less-experienced pilots to execute complex maneuvers and experienced pilots to do them even faster, vastly improving productivity.

Skycatch drones work in two ways. First, drones gather data to generate surveys of the site. A traditional survey done by humans takes about two weeks to complete on a typical construction site. Skycatch can do the same work in four to six hours, and the resulting data can be communicated to automate bulldozers.

In addition, objects, such as trees or construction equipment, on the job site have to be removed before human surveys—a labor-intensive process that can take another week. Software can remove such objects for digitized surveys.

The survey process usually is done twice, once before work starts and then a refresh after the machines have started cutting the earth. That means the drones can speed up work by over a month.

Skycatch’s drones and technology can deliver surveys that are accurate to between one and three centimeters. “You need accuracy within centimeters in order to automate,” Mr. Sanz says. “Our margin of error is almost zero. Human surveys are extremely accurate and reliable, but they take two weeks on average.”

Surveyors can map a few hundred points per day, whereas Skycatch drones can survey a few million points in about 15 minutes.

While Skycatch makes its own surveying drones, it also can use its software to enable other drones that have the ability to collect imagery with GPS and create survey images, but at accuracies of 10 centimeters to 15 centimeters.

Komatsu compares the digital surveys with engineers’ completion drawings, which also have been converted to 3D, in order to calculate the precise area and volume of earth to be moved. Then, the data is used to run simulations of each stage of work.

Komatsu also uses fleets of Skycatch drones to gather information during digging, in order to guide the bulldozers, in what Komatsu calls Smart Construction. Conventional bulldozer pilots follow small wooden stakes planted in the ground, but Smart Construction bulldozers don’t need stakes.

The future of drones in construction isn’t in building, but in gathering data to give machines eyes, Mr. Sanz says. “Drones will never pick up something as heavy as a boulder and move it somewhere,” he says. “The visibility and accuracy of automated machines moving things is what drones will be able to create.”

The construction industry tends to be conservative, he says. “People are married to the old way of doing things. But having i-Construction become the standard in Japan is going to force every company to move in that direction.”

Japan’s i-Construction initiative is a good model for other countries, he says, by differentiating regulation of drones for commercial use—such as construction—from consumer use. The regulations will set requirements for accuracy, cameras on drones, equipment validation and quality of data to ensure quality and safety.

As for the future of drones in construction, the sky’s the limit. “Komatsu has a vision for 10 to 20 years that will blow people’s minds,” Mr. Sanz says.

 

Catherine Bolgar is a former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe, now working as a freelance writer and editor with WSJ. Custom Studios in EMEA. For more from Catherine Bolgar, along with other industry experts, join the Future Realities discussion on LinkedIn.

Photos courtesy of iStock

World Cities Summit Hosts Government Leaders & Innovators Solving City Planning Challenges

By Akio
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Govt Leaders & Innovators Gather at @WCS_16
to Solve #CityPlanning Challenges | @Dassault3DS

Today’s cities consume as much as 75% of natural resources, 70% of global energy consumption and energy-related carbon emissions—and are growing at a rate of 1.3 million people each week.

To grow cities more responsibly, sustainably and satisfyingly for residents, government leaders from around the world are coming together to discuss shared challenges, and potential solutions, at the 2016 World Cities Summit.

world cities summit logo

The summit, scheduled for July 10-14, 2016, welcomes to Singapore leaders of some of the world’s most forward-thinking cities, as well as academics, AEC professionals and other industry experts to discuss city challenges and share solutions.

Under the theme Livable & Sustainable Cities: Innovative Cities of Opportunity, the event is a platform for discussions of how cities can perform long-term planning in a way that better serves their residents, and improves resilience, through policy, new technology and social innovation.

Several presentations are set to highlight the benefits that can be reaped from using technology to develop smart cities. Smart cities integrate physical, digital and human systems to deliver benefits that include healthier ecosystems, safer cities, and even greater comfort for residents. Other sessions will discuss the ways in which governments can work together with the private sector to apply smart city technology in a way that broadens both financial and social improvements, or how to harness smart sensors to create these smart cities.

3DS_2016_Compass_City_webDassault Systèmes, a proud sponsor of the World Cities Summit, will be highlighting how to create a clone of a city with 3DEXPERIENCE® City. The event provides the perfect forum for highlighting the technology for analyzing data to manage city services and resources.

Singapore has been using this technology to create a digital equivalent, a Virtual Singapore.

The digital city uses real-time feedback that is helping city planners to optimally grow their city to meet the needs of an ever-increasing population.

City planners can also use the data to simulate “what if” scenarios before making real changes to infrastructure.

The 2016 World Cities Summit is set to take place July 10-14 at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Govt Leaders & Innovators Gather at @WCS_16
to Solve #CityPlanning Challenges | @Dassault3DS

Related Resources

For more information about the 3DEXPERIENCE® City, visit www.3dexperiencecity.com

To schedule a meeting with Dassault Systèmes at the World Cities Summit, visit www.3ds.com/3ds-events/world-cities-summit-2016/.

For more information about Industry Solution Experiences from Dassault Systèmes for AEC, visit www.3ds.com/aec



Page 1 of 3312345...102030...Last »