Remodeling the Architectural Design Process

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

The following article is excerpted from the Dassault Systèmes SHoP Architects customer case study


Chris Sharples, founding partner at SHoP Architects, believes that architects should think more like manufacturers and to try to pull as much off the construction site by getting things prefabricated and manufactured in a controlled environment and then assembling the modules on site.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: “#Architects should think more like
manufacturers” – @SHoPArchitects #AEC @3DSAEC

“Generally, in architecture, there are many workflow inefficiencies, in the way disciplines, owners and trades interact with one another. A lot of time and effort is spent communicating intent between parties. With technology evolving all the time and computer processing power getting better, it is becoming more realistic to do real-time simulations and collaboration….

“Of course, we can approach projects in the traditional way but I think we can really blow the doors off the barn by taking advantage of a modular approach, which is very well developed in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform,” Sharples said.

He also believes in the power of technology and the determining role it has on the way his firm’s practice has evolved.

“One of our biggest challenges is moving from the traditional way of working using plans and sections – dealing with space and all the things that go into a structure like air flow and environmental controls – to working with 3D models.

“A traditional plan-and-section approach often leads to misunderstandings when presenting information to clients, consultants or to the build team. Working with 3D models that represent all aspects of a design from a structural, mechanical and systems point of view enables us to manage that complexity in a more collaborative way. We can then create a more seamless relationship between all the different disciplines that go into constructing a building. Working with 3D models can improve the way we design and communicate because it is more open and transparent.”

REDUCING TIME WITH DESIGN TEMPLATES

SHoP capitalizes its know-how and design practices with reusable templates in Design for Fabrication.

“Our designs often involve unique components, which would increase complexity and a duplication of information that could be a challenge to manage conventionally,” said John Cerone, associate principal at SHoP Architects.

“We can demystify design complexity by capturing our knowledge in templates and using them when similar concepts arise from one project to the next. Concept and deliverables are of course unique to every project, but preserving the process in templates is invaluable for efficiency.”

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Concepts & deliverables are unique but preserving the process in templates is invaluable -@SHoPArchitects #Architecture @3DSAEC

In addition to templates, SHoP relies on 3D to accelerate the design to manufacturing process.

“We’re going directly from digital model to fabrication,” Cerone said.

“The machines develop NC code directly from our CATIA models for the fabrication of the façade. And since everything is on a single platform, there is no loss of information because we don’t need to transfer data to and from heterogeneous systems. It’s all compatible and in one place.”

“If you look back to the renaissance or gothic periods, those who designed and those who built worked together,” Sharples said. “Ironically, designers weren’t using drawings in most cases, they were using models to explain the design to the craftspeople, who would look at those models and then climb up on the scaffolds to start building.”

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Historically, those who designed & those who built
worked together -@SHoPArchitects #Architecture @3DSAEC

“The 3DEXPERIENCE platform allows for that kind of collaboration to happen, starting at the predesign stage and watching the model, which is actually organic, alive and changing, grow through to construction or manufacture. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform enables this evolutionary process because it is a flexible and open platform. And what’s great about it is it not only covers design and construction, it covers a building’s entire lifecycle. It’s sustainable innovation.”

LIVE DASHBOARDING FOR RAPID DECISION MAKING

Moreover, 3DEXPERIENCE has delivered a level of efficiency to SHoP’s workflow, which just didn’t exist before.

“People are engaging the project at the concept level and watching it mature through its lifecycle,” Cerone continued.

“The 3DEXPERIENCE platform powered by ENOVIA allows us to create a social and collaborative environment around our projects. Anyone, with or without design experience, can access 3D representations, associate that with information posted on the platform by other disciplines, and create interrelationships between scheduled tasks and geometry. It allows more stakeholders to engage in the design process, which has changed the way we approach new projects. We find enormous benefit leveraging this technology at the conceptual level and seeing our concepts grow as we explore different options along the way. It’s a real eye-opening experience.”

SHoP uses the 3DEXPERIENCE platform’s live dashboarding capabilities with ENOVIA to allow people with specific roles and interests to participate in the project at various stages and maturities.

SHoP uses the 3DEXPERIENCE platform’s live dashboarding capabilities with ENOVIA to allow people with specific roles and interests to participate in the project at various stages and maturities.

“Stakeholders can tailor their dashboards so that they have a real-time view of the aspects of the project that interest them and to make informed and rapid decisions on issues as they arise,” Cerone said.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Remodeling the Architectural #Design
Process | @SHoPArchitects #AEC @3DSAEC

RELATED RESOURCES

On any given project, SHoP Architects manages various disciplines and a vast amount of information. Using Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud, including the Façade Design for Fabrication Industry Process Experience, SHoP designs and coordinates global stakeholders with a real-time, up-to-date view of project information. This enables stakeholders to make timely decisions, collaborate better and enhance innovation.

Download the full case study.

Watch the SHoP Architects team explain how they think about using technology to evolve the practice of architecture and construction:

YouTube Preview Image

See Also:

Industry Process Experience: Façade Design for Fabrication

Whitepaper: Technological Changes Brought by BIM to Façade Design

Harnessing the Power of Cloud-Based Collaboration on an Architecture Project

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

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Harnessing the Power
of the Cloud in #Architecture

Botswana Innovation Hub

Expressing Innovation

For an architectural firm like New York-based SHoP Architects, expressing innovation means harnessing the power of diverse expertise in the design of buildings and environments to improve the quality of public life.

“Architects want to delight people with their designs,” Chris Sharples, founding partner at SHoP Architects, said. “This is why we focus on first understanding what our clients want, what function a building will serve and imagine a design that will help them achieve that.”

SHoP is also involved in public works, entire infrastructures, and cultural as well as institutional projects.

“We constantly seek innovative ways to build by using traditional materials like wood and prefabricated or modular systems for high-rise construction,” Sharples said.

“We are currently working on some exciting projects like a very tall residential tower in midtown Manhattan that we are dressing in beautiful terracotta and bronze. Another project is a complex of two adjoined buildings in San Francisco, California’s Mission Bay neighborhood that will contribute to transforming this developing stretch of Mission Bay into a dynamic, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. It’s our way of demonstrating how innovative architecture can play an important role in transforming a community.”

Iconic Symbol of Diversification

Another of the firm’s iconic projects is the Botswana Innovation Hub in Gaborone, Botswana.

“The Innovation Hub is a government-driven initiative to support innovation in research and development and entrepreneurship in the region,” John Cerone, associate principal at SHoP Architects, said.

“It is a huge investment for the Botswanan government to diversify its economy and to move from one primarily based on diamond extraction toward a more knowledge-based economy,” Sharples added.

“Our client expressed a desire for a timeless building that features the latest advances in green technologies,” Cerone continued.

One of the systems SHoP developed is an energy blanket rooftop that combines sustainable energy techniques and large overhangs to passively shade the building’s interior. The Innovation Hub is also equipped with mechanisms to collect and reuse water, and passive and active photovoltaic systems to harness solar energy.

“One of the biggest challenges we faced is managing the graceful, morphing shape of the building and the many different parts, which are fabricated in Cape Town, South Africa, that are required to achieving this flowing structure,” Cerone said.

“There are many variables and tolerances are very tight. It requires a high level of control and the ability to coordinate the fabricator and the construction site, both thousands of miles away from our design offices in New York.”

A Shared Experience Enabled by the Cloud

The Botswana Innovation Hub façade was entirely designed for construction with Design for Fabrication and the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform.

CATIA model of the Botswana Innovation Hub in Gaborone, Botswana

CATIA model of the Botswana Innovation Hub in Gaborone, Botswana

“We used the 3D modeling application CATIA and the collaboration application ENOVIA on the cloud for this project,” Cerone said. “We would not be able to attain the level of control and detail required to complete this project without the 3DEXPERIENCE technologies.”

Since the cloud operates 24/7, 365 days a year, it makes collaboration easier as stakeholders are on different schedules and time zones.

“We’re coordinating people across the globe in real time,” he continued. “It is a completely different way to engage a project as it contextualizes every aspect into a holistic approach.”

SHoP has, in fact, been using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud for years, and was one of the first customers to use the platform as part of Dassault Systèmes’ Lighthouse program. During that time, the firm realized the value of working on the cloud and decided to continue using it on new projects.

“On the cloud, everyone has instantaneous access to the most up-to-date information,” Sharples said. “It creates a sense of order because it’s not in somebody’s drawer somewhere; it builds a shared experience.”

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: “Working on the cloud builds a
shared experience” @SHoPArchitects @3DSAEC

To continue pushing the envelope of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, SHoP receives services and support from Vancouver-based CadMakers Virtual Construction, a Dassault Systèmes certified business and education partner.

“CadMakers is much more than ‘resellers’ of Dassault Systèmes’ solutions – they are power-users that approach problem-solving with an intimate working knowledge of our industry,” Cerone said. “They feel like an extension of our team, and their support has been focused and impeccable.”

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Harnessing the Power
of the Cloud in #Architecture

Related Resources

On any given project, SHoP Architects manages various disciplines and a vast amount of information. Using Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud, including the Façade Design for Fabrication Industry Process Experience, SHoP designs and coordinates global stakeholders with a real-time, up-to-date view of project information. This enables stakeholders to make timely decisions, collaborate better and enhance innovation. Download the full case study.

CadMakers Virtual Construction. A Dassault Systèmes partner based in Vancouver, Canada, CadMakers is an integrated construction technology company focused on applying manufacturing and automation processes, people and technology to the construction industry. www.cadmakers.com

Watch the SHoP Architects team explain how they think about using technology to evolve the practice of architecture and construction:

YouTube Preview Image

See Also:

Industry Process Experience: Façade Design for Fabrication

Whitepaper: Technological Changes Brought by BIM to Façade Design

Using Digital Engineering to Capture Knowledge and Drive Innovation

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

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Using #DigitalEngineering to Capture Knowledge &
Drive Innovation #AEC @CadMakersCo @3DSAEC

For Javier Glatt, CEO of CadMakers Inc., one of the chief benefits of digital modeling is the ability to capture knowledge that can be shared with collaborators and applied to future projects—whether or not those collaborators use digital tools.

In fact, he advised his audience in a presentation at the 3DEXPERIENCE Forum to find a business model that removes the burden on industry veterans of learning the latest technology, while still incorporating their invaluable knowledge.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Remove the burden on #AEC industry veterans to learn the latest tech, but retain their knowledge @CadMakersCo @3DSAEC

For example, when working with mechanical contractor Trotter & Morton on a wastewater treatment plant, the CadMakers team was tasked with optimizing the workflow using digital modeling and improved collaboration, even though many of the individuals on the project didn’t use computers.

Glatt’s team worked closely with the project contractor to essentially capture his 30 years of insight into the digital project.

Through their combined knowledge, they were able to ultimately determine areas that could be prefabricated offsite and reduce the onsite labor from 20 people to 5.

Glatt points out that despite the focus on 3D, it’s important to use tools that can still deliver information in traditional ways. Being able to deliver a cut sheet and an automated bill of materials to fabricators reduces the barrier of entry for those shops.

“If we can provide information that’s really easy to understand, just about anyone can cut that pipe,” Glatt says.

More Reliable Innovation

Glatt also explored how digital design can help contractors innovate more easily than ever before.

When working with property developer UBC Properties Trust, CadMakers helped explore the use of mass timber in an 18-story building.

Because codes only regulate the material in the first six floors, the project team turned to a digital environment to demonstrate to code officials that mass timber could safely be used in this application.

The first step was a digital mockup that tested 16 different connection points. While Glatt says it proved helpful to later build a live mockup, the digital mockup helped the builder to immediately select a preferred connection. Once the mockup was complete, the project overall was 60% faster than a traditional build of a concrete building of a same size, Glatt says.

From there, the digital model would ultimately include details as specific as every nut and bolt and screw. That level of detail was absolutely necessary in this unique project. For example, in the design phase the team was considering using highly specific mass timber screws coming from Germany, at $2 per screw, posed a risk from a cost perspective.

Every floor was detailed down to every stud in order to provide fabrication data directly from the model. And given the fire risk for a timber building, the encapsulation layer was thoroughly detailed to communicate compliance with all fire regulations.

The mechanical room was another area that proved ripe for prefabrication—it holds a lot of complexity in a small area, and relatively few trades are involved in its production. The team used DELMIA to break down the room’s master assembly into each subassembly by system and then to the part level to integrate a manufacturing-like bill of materials.

According to Glatt, this process reduced work from roughly 1,000 labor hours to approximately 320.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: How @CadMakersCo reduced work from 1,000 labor hours to 320 on an 18-story timber project @3DSAEC

The ultimate benefit was speed to market. The under construction project, originally planned to build in 20 months, is projected to be complete 4 months ahead of schedule.

The model was followed exactly by the contractors onsite. Because the project was built virtually numerous times before ever being constructed, each part and process was finely tuned.

Data-Driven Certainty

CadMakers also helped developer Westbank (ICON Construction is their in-house General Contractor) to use data-driven decision-making to create a complicated glass facade.

The project called for a dual radius curve of glass for the windows, with dual radius curve extrusions for the top and bottom sills, and pre-cast concrete to match. Each component was produced in a different country, so precision was key.

Using numerical analysis to precisely determine the geometry essentially changed the way the project was bid, Glatt says.

“You used to go out to the market with a façade, do a few drawings, throw it out to multiple fabricators and ask, ‘How much does this façade cost?’” Glatt says. With that strategy, there are typically surprises, and change orders are the norm.

Instead, the team used CATIA to write a script that created 2,020 unique total panels and slab edge panels automatically.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: With @3DSCATIA, the @CadMakersCo team scripted >2000 unique panels automatically @3DSAEC

The geometry was exported so that instead of offering rough drawings out to multiple fabricators to bids, the builder or architect is able to tell the market with precision what was needed, and get more precise costs in return.

By precisely detailing the amounts of parts needed and the geometry of those parts in the conceptual stage, the designer can determine feasibility early on and get more precise bids from fabricators.

Paying Knowledge Forward

Glatt emphasized that every project presents an opportunity to learn and build new value through digital engineering. “We learn at scale, build use cases and automation tools to solve those problems, and incrementally get better each time,” Glatt says.

By capturing, digitizing and scaling knowledge through rules and catalog components, lessons learned on each project can be shared among the entire team and applied to future projects.

“As a business owner, I don’t want to lose the value of learning when I have someone work on a really interesting project,” Glatt says. “If we can capture that [knowledge] in a rule, as a reusable tool, then it helps me. I can have 10 people who didn’t work on that project get all the benefit of that learning from one individual, and then we can apply that to the next incremental project.”

Related Resources

Watch Javier Glatt’s full presentation

Learn more about CadMakers

Design for Fabrication Industry Solution Experience

Optimized Construction Industry Solution Experience



Page 1 of 4012345...102030...Last »