Intelligent Rainscreen Façade Video

By Akio
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Originally published on the Desktop Engineering blog. Written by Geoff Haines.

At Desktop Engineering, we aim to help our customers find ways of doing design or manufacturing quicker and of higher quality using software technologies.

Geoffrey M. Haines, Desktop Engineering

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

One of the approaches we can use is to use a rule based approach to capture knowledge to allow it to be re-used.

Rules are those simple set of instructions, something as simple as a cooking recipe, that one follows that determines an outcome. So it is with engineering. Capture those rules and then reuse them in software and then you have design automation.

We have done this with the design of Rainscreen Façades using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

By taking the elements of a façade rainscreen, encapsulating the design process as a set of rules, we have created an Intelligent Rainscreen Façade solution.

We can vary any parameter within the rules to automatically recreate a complete assembly.

As every part in the assembly has an associated fabrication drawing, then those are automatically recreated too. Preset reports then create a full schedule of parts, cutting lists and cost information.

So when your architect decides on a different variation in grid or material, it’s simple to recreate a design, determine a cost, and create full fabrication details.

We have a short video demonstration to highlight this process:

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Intelligent Rainscreen Façade Video @Desktop_Eng @3DSAEC #AEC #3DEXPERIENCE

Related Resources

Façade Design for Fabrication Industry Process Experience

WHITEPAPER Technological Changes Brought by BIM to Façade Design

AEC and the Future of Design

By Akio
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Design In the Age of Experience

DESIGN IN THE AGE OF EXPERIENCE™ is happening April 4-5, 2017 in Milan. This gathering of members of the global design community is an exciting opportunity to exchange best practices and explore industry trends.

AEC professionals attending in person or following along online will benefit from the conversations and experiences we have planned.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: #AEC & the Future of Design:
Apr 4-5, 2017 | #3DEXPERIENCE https://ctt.ec/Te1nf+

Trends in Design

We will explore 4 major forces driving the evolution of design today:

Designing Experience

Virtual reality enables designers to model complex products, buildings, infrastructures or even cities within their own virtual environment, and experience them before they even exist.

Design is Tribes

Design is social and collaborative. We draw inspiration from the wealth of talent and creativity in the ecosystem, driving co-creation for identity-changing experiences.

Design is Science-Driven

Automation and generative design technologies mimic the beauty of nature to accelerate and sustain the innovation process.

Design is the Business Plan

Design affects the way consumers interact with products, giving rise to new business models in which modern ecosystems reinvent product purpose and a range of new applications.

AEC Session Content

Live sessions particularly geared toward urbanists and architects will include:

Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna. (Day 1 Keynote Address)

Parag Khanna

clicktotweetTweet: Design In the Age of Experience, Milan 2017
feat. @paragkhanna #3DEXPERIENCE https://ctt.ec/Iu5nq+

Putting Science at the Heart of Design to Generate and Simulate Innovation, featuring SHoP’s John Cerone, Associate Principal and Director of Virtual Design & Construction. Algorithms, data-driven analysis, simulation: generative design technologies are playing key roles in creating products, systems and experiences for a more sustainable world. (Day 1 breakout session: Design is Science-Driven, 5:40 p.m.)

Designing Experience breakout session, featuring architect Toshiko Mori, IED Director Riccardo Balbo, and Hiroshi Kobayashi. (Day 2 breakout session: Designing Experience, 10:30 a.m.)

Designing the Construction Experience breakout session, featuring CadMakers CEO Javier Glatt. (Day 2 breakout session: Designing Experience, 11:30 a.m.)

Biomimicry and Generative Design Strategic Discussion, featuring Martin Tamke of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, and Chief Designer Toshiko Meijio. (Day 2 breakout session: Design is Science-Driven, 1:35 p.m.)

Disrupting Business Models in the Construction Industry, featuring CadMakers CEO Javier Glatt (Day 2 breakout session: Design is the Business Plan, 4:00 p.m.)

Download the full agenda for Design In the Age of Experience 2017

AEC Design Hackathon

Meanwhile, an exclusive 36-hour AEC Hackathon—a collaborative session between CATIA R&D experts and participants representing some of the world’s most progressive architecture firms—will culminate in prizes for the best designs created with CATIA on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

The results of the Hackathon will be revealed on Day 2 at 9 a.m.


Learn more and register for: Design In the Age of Experience

Design in the Age of Experience 2017 floor plan

Related Resources

AEC Industry Solution Experiences on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform

SHoP Architects Customer Case Study

Efficiency by Design: Visualization Technologies Help Zahner Build the Present and Plan for the Future

By Akio
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by Nick Lerner

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Efficiency by #Design: Visualization #Tech Helps
@azahner Build the Present & Plan for the Future @3DSAEC

For nearly 120 years, US based A. Zahner Company has been at the forefront of technology and innovation within the architecture, engineering and construction industry.

Recently, the company implemented a cloud-based design system to improve communication in what is oftentimes a fast-paced, fragmented industry.

Compass spoke with A. Zahner Company CEO and President L. William Zahner to understand how the company continues its success and innovation in a high-risk market.


A. Zahner Company is a family business. “That’s 210 families; one for each of our employees,” L. William Zahner, CEO and president, said.

L. William Zahner, President and CEO of Kansas City-based A. Zahner Company. (Image © Cameron Gee)

Founded in 1897, the architectural engineering and fabrication firm began making decorative metal cornices for buildings.

Now in its fourth generation of the Zahner family, it imagines, designs, fabricates and installs some of the world’s most innovative structures in cooperation with leading architectural practices including Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid Architects.

With a turnover approaching US$50 million, the company employs 30 design engineers; another 90 employees work on production and installation.

“Combining experience, skill, technology and craft, we make the complex simple and get buildings built on time and within or below budget,” Zahner said.

The firm works on signature architectural projects where design intent must be retained, despite the inefficient complexities of what Zahner describes as, “a very fragmented AEC industry.”

In this often unstructured environment, the company aims to reduce the building industry’s biggest challenge: risk.

The Inner Arbor Trust (IAT) contracted A. Zahner Company for architectural engineering of the Chrysalis Amphitheatre designed by Marc Fornes & THEVERYMANY. Michael McCall, President and CEO of IAT, said the 5,000 square foot performance space consisting entirely of curves will “feel as if it’s a living part of the environment, blending into the forest and the sky.” (Image © Michael McCall, courtesy of Strategic Leisure)

RISKY BUSINESS

“What we do is highly risky because we make large-scale things that seem very complex and have never been made before in an industry well known for going over budget and into court,” Zahner said.

To reduce risk and shrink project costs, the firm uses cloud-based 3D visualization to communicate designs and precisely define how those designs will be engineered and manufactured.

“This reduces waste, labor, materials, weight and cost while improving quality,” he said.

Complexity is inherent in the firm’s need to engage with many diverse owners, partners, stakeholders, building contractors and interest groups, including city planners and regulators, even as it develops grander and more complex structures.

Too often, Zahner said, perceived risk limits creativity and discourages innovation.

But by communicating ideas and plans visually through a digital representation over the cloud, the firm succeeds in explaining its vision in terms that anyone can understand, in any language and at all levels of expertise.

This accords with the British government’s “Construction Strategy 2016-20” which states that improved relationships and engagements across clients and the supply chain are key to increased innovation and reducing risk while cost transparency and collaborative working deliver value for money outcomes.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

“Building where there are no straight lines can be confusing,” Zahner said. “Our job is to make that simple, which increases people’s confidence to explore, collaborate and then innovate with new ideas.”

Improved understanding also generates efficiencies that help to reduce process redundancy and save as much as 20% of project cost.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Improved understanding helps save
as much as 20% of #AEC project cost @azahner @3DSAEC

Zahner recently used this process to cut project redundancy for a federal courthouse building that was US$6 million over budget, delivering the project for US$1.5 million less than the original budget.

The Inner Arbor Trust (IAT) contracted A. Zahner Company for architectural engineering of the Chrysalis Amphitheatre in Columbia, Maryland (designed by New York-based Marc Fornes & THEVERYMANY).

IAT President and CEO Michael McCall said the 5,000 square foot (465 square meters) performance space consisting entirely of curves will “feel as if it’s a living part of the environment, blending into the forest and the sky.”

“Communicating designs and ideas with cloud-based 3D dashboards gives us the ability to see progress and understand the fine detail of this complex project even though we are at a distance,” McCall said.

“It gives us confidence in the design and it’s fun to use.”

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Cloud-based 3D dashboards for complex #AEC projects gives confidence in #design (and it’s fun) – @azahner @3DSAEC

McCall also appreciates that, “in an era of transparency, the software gives us a sense of the challenges and solutions so we know about things that would otherwise be invisible to us. Their commitment to cloud solutions convinced us that A. Zahner Company is on top of things and at the cutting-edge of their industry.”

In today’s most iconic designs that incorporate visually stunning curved façades, detailed precision edges and junctions are key to achieving the aesthetic. “We work on beautiful buildings that require a beautiful finish,” Zahner said.

“We produce digital visualizations of buildings that some clients believe cannot really be built. So we invite customers into the factory and show them physical examples to prove that designs can be made that exceed their expectations and are a lot more beautiful than they ever believed possible.”

One such building is the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, which opened in December 2015 after a US$90 million refurbishment.

The Los Angeles Times architecture critic, Christopher Hawthorne, described its new stainless steel and red aluminum façade, engineered by A. Zahner Company, as among “the most extroverted ever built in a city famous (and in some quarters infamous) for architectural exuberance.”

WORK OF ART

Many of Zahner’s ideas are inspired not only by visionary architects and designers but also by sculptors who hire the company to manufacture their work.

“When you put artists and engineers together, new ideas come out of that collaboration,” Zahner said. “The artists see what is possible and engineers understand the physics in the art.”

Zahner holds an annual sculpture competition and then manufactures the winning artist’s work. “The sculptures can be very challenging to make, but the rewards in terms of inventive input and technical R&D are considerable,” Zahner said.

“And it’s a lot of fun working with some of the most creative people you’ll ever meet.”

SMARTER TOMORROW

After 120 successful years as a family business, the company now is investing for future generations. “In the future, buildings will dynamically adapt to their environments with structures that respond to the needs of smart cities, smart populations and changing climates,” Zahner said.

“New surface finishes will be invented that can generate and store energy and even clean the air. Robots will be doing a lot of physical construction. We may even see the emergence of master designers, people who tackle AEC industry fragmentation and inefficiency in the historical role of master builders who use technology to see how everything fits together.”

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Prediction: Master #designers will take on
the historical role of master builders – @azahner @3DSAEC

In line with its company principles, “be smarter tomorrow,” A. Zahner Company is researching and innovating in business developments that capture and capitalize its knowledge and experience using cloud technology to keep everyone informed and empowered.

“We are reinventing ourselves to be at the forefront of this industry with new spin-off companies that enable employee ownership and success for everyone,” Zahner said.

Thus ensuring that advanced technology, robots, new thinking and a strong artistic and maker temperament will carry its families forward for the next 120 years.

Originally published in COMPASS: The 3DEXPERIENCE Magazine

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Efficiency by #Design: Visualization #Tech Helps
@azahner Build the Present & Plan for the Future @3DSAEC

Related Resources

Façade Design for Fabrication Industry Process Experience

WHITEPAPER: Supply Chain Integration & Collaboration for Efficient Façade Design & Engineering



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