Remodeling the Architectural Design Process

By Akio
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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:

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See Also:

Industry Process Experience: Façade Design for Fabrication

Whitepaper: Technological Changes Brought by BIM to Façade Design

Better Batteries Stabilize the Electric Grid

By Catherine
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By Catherine Bolgar

Energy storage for the electric grid is taking off as the technology improves and battery prices fall. The global capacity of storage connected to the grid is expected to grow to 15-fold to 21 gigawatt hours this year, compared with 2015.

Energy storage can take many forms: freezing ice, then using a fan to blow over it and cool a building, replacing air conditioning; melting salt, then splashing water on it to create steam that powers a turbine; compressing air or other substances; pumping water up a hill behind a hydroelectric dam; flywheels; rechargeable flow batteries that use liquids; and solid-state batteries.

“There are so many ways to store energy. All are viable in their own way. All have applications and scale that they are suited for,” says Matt Roberts, executive director of the Energy Storage Association, a Washington, D.C.-based industry group. “The lion’s share being installed today is lithium-ion batteries.”

Industrial sites may use energy storage, often in the form of batteries, in order to reduce their peak power demand and cut their electricity bill by two-thirds to three-quarters, he says.

Most storage, though, is for controlling the frequency on the grid—60 Hertz in North America and 50 Hz elsewhere, which is achieved when supply and demand for electricity are in sync. If there is too much supply, substation transformers may be damaged; too much demand can cause brownouts.

Traditionally, the fluctuations in supply and demand have been smoothed out by peaking power plants, often fueled by natural gas. However, they may take three to five minutes to react, Mr. Roberts says. “In that time, the entire thing could swing in the other direction. Using a natural-gas plant for frequency control is like using a club for a surgical procedure.”

By contrast, battery storage can react in 100 milliseconds or less, says Andreas Ulbig, research associate at the Power Systems Lab of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) and co-founder of Adaptricity, a Zurich start-up that simulates active distribution grids. “Batteries are able to fill the gap with rapid response for balancing out renewables or reacting to any change in grid operations.”

In Europe, ancillary services—regulating frequency—from conventional sources and batteries get paid the same, he says. But in the U.S., the PJM Interconnection, which coordinates wholesale electricity in 13 Midwestern and mid-Atlantic states, pays battery owners a bonus for providing frequency control because they are so much faster, and therefore higher quality.

Under the PJM system, “a gas-powered plant chasing the grid signal can run at 99.9% efficiency 100% of the time,” Mr. Roberts says. “It means more profits, a better emissions profile, and less wasted energy on the grid.”

Energy storage is key to making smart grids and super grids work by balancing fluctuations over wider areas, using automation and modeling.

However, “most modeling systems are based on outdated asset class systems”—electricity generators such as power plants and photovoltaic arrays—Mr. Roberts says. “An energy storage system doesn’t generate electricity, but when it pushes energy onto the grid it looks like a provider. But it can also look like it’s absorbing energy. Current simulation systems aren’t sophisticated enough. They still model for the power plant spoke-and-hub model of the 1970s.

Models and simulations are improving. ETHZ and Adaptricity have created algorithms that allow battery owners to provide ancillary services that use less battery energy capacity while providing the same control services, Dr. Ulbig says. “It shows that smaller batteries can provide the same ancillary services as those with higher energy capacity.” Energy capacity is the biggest factor in the cost of batteries, so being able to get the same results with smaller batteries can cut costs significantly.

The importance of energy storage is set to grow as renewables make up a bigger share of the energy mix. The way that conventional power plants generate electricity, with gigantic rotating masses, creates slower deviations in frequency. With more renewables on the grid, “changes in grid frequency may happen faster. So it will be particularly useful to have faster frequency control,” Dr. Ulbig says.

Energy storage is set to grow, because it can “create a grid that integrates renewables, is flexible and resilient,” Mr. Roberts says. “It’s more cost effective and valuable.”

 

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

 

 

 

 

What are immersive technology’s future implications for business?

By Alyssa
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By Jason Jerald

In the latest issue of Compass, I wrote a piece summarizing some key points from my book The VR Book: Human-Centered Design for Virtual Reality  and about how immersive virtuality (iV) technology is just now starting to find its value in business. As head-mounted displays come down in cost, any employee will have the tools to virtually teleport themselves anywhere and to work in ways and on projects that are limited only by the imagination.  Clearly, this has the potential to dramatically shift the dynamics of the workplace.

In Compass, I examined some of the most immediate impacts:

  • Experts will be able to easily communicate their work to others. Example: an architect can show clients spaces and vistas that don’t yet exist.
  • As quality hand input is introduced, users can interact in the virtual world: no longer will there be just passive viewing, but instead interactions that are similar to real-world working techniques.
  • Businesses will need to embrace a testing approach to figure out what applications are best suited to their customers’ needs and goals; while the options are nearly limitless, one size does not fit all.

Immersion is a visceral experience that cannot be described or planned with words alone, or even with pictures or video. Only by diving in can you be inspired with a vision for how to adapt the technology for a specific business or application.  Read the full article in Compass now and let me know in the comments section below what you think iV can do for your company.

 

Jason Jerald is Co-Founder & Principal Consultant at NextGen Interactions. He also serves on advisory boards of companies focusing on VR technologies, and is Adjunct Faculty at Duke University and the Waterford Institute of Technology. Jerald has worked on more than 60 VR projects with more than 30 organizations over the past 20 years. He has authored numerous publications, most notably The VR Book: Human-Centered Design for Virtual Reality.

 



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