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:

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
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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

It’s Time to Provide More Than Design Intent for Architectural Projects

By Akio
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No car manufacturer in business would create an engine bay by interpreting a representative 2D drawing—yet it is still acceptable for AEC professionals to work that way.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: No car manufacturer would build from
a representative 2D drawing. Why should #AEC?

Today’s complex buildings should no longer rely on fragmented communication through 2D drawings or pdfs, said Robert Beson of AR-MA (Architectural Research – Material Applications Pty Ltd.), in a recent presentation at the 3DEXPERIENCE Forum Asia Pacific South 2016.

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Beson suggested that architects today have a responsibility to provide more than just design intent. When relying on 2D drawings, too much is left up to interpretation.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Architects have a responsibility
to provide more than just design intent

“It’s necessary to fully engage with the methods of construction, of manufacturing, assembly, logistics and installation,” Beson says. “We need to understand and engage our supply chain from concept through design.”

Adapting to New Processes

Moving to a collaborative platform based on parts and assemblies makes sense, but requires new skillsets from designers.

Today, every project AR-MA designs is comprehensively modeled in 3D.

Every project uses 3D laser point cloud scanning to verify work as it’s built onsite.

Every project uses 3D laser point cloud scanning to verify work as it’s built onsite.

The shift requires architects to interact in new ways with fabrication and construction professionals.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Architects must interact in new
ways with fabrication & construction pros 

Take connection brackets, for example. By combining 3D scanning and a just-in-time fabrication pipeline, it’s no longer necessary to design complicated 3-way adjustable brackets. The team can design simple laser cut plates, each of which are slightly different and ultimately improve the tolerances onsite.

The need for 2D drawings can be fully removed by laser cutting or engraving directions for assembly into the materials themselves.

To provide these fabrication-ready solutions, every member of the team at AR-MA writes code.

Every AR-MA team member writes code in order to directly send information to fabrication machinery.

Every AR-MA team member writes code in order to directly send information to fabrication machinery.

“It’s not enough just to model, and put together assemblies and parts, and think through the building process,” Beson says. “It’s crucial to engage with the means of production and be able to communicate with them. Often that means writing code and sending G-codes directly to the CNC machines.”

Comprehensive Modeling for Wynyard Walk’s Unique Components

For Wynyard Walk, a pedestrian walkway recently completed in Sydney, AR-MA was contracted to manage and execute detail design of the stainless cladding. The team had to deliver a fabrication-ready package of over 3,000 perforated stainless panels and lights, more than 50% of which were entirely unique.

Beson notes that it would not have been possible to work from 2D drawings of the mostly unique 3,000 perforated stainless steel panels at the Wynyard Walk pedestrian walkway.

Beson notes that it would not have been possible to work from 2D drawings of the mostly unique 3,000 perforated stainless steel panels at the Wynyard Walk pedestrian walkway.

The designers wanted a parametric model that was flexible enough to respond to ongoing design challenges.

The model had to accommodate an as-built primary structure, a glass reinforced concrete wall cladding, interfaces with the ceiling, and ongoing changes in the panel layout and perforations due to modifications in the façade mullions and setouts.

The contractor found the Façade Design for Fabrication powered by 3DEXPERIENCE platform best fit its needs.

Its integration of design and engineering, part and assembly paradigm, and scalability, among other features, allowed the team to produce a highly detailed and accurate 3D model of the entire project scope.

The integration of design, engineering and fabrication information made the 3DExperience a strong solution for this project.

The integration of design, engineering and fabrication information made the 3DEXPERIENCE a strong solution for this project.

Not only did the comprehensive model prevent problems before they arose, but it allowed designers to minimize the number of part drawings by providing fabrication-ready geometry that was sent directly to the fabricator.

This saved time in the office and factory, and removed any error from misinterpretation of the 2D drawings.

For example, the tremendous time crunch made it necessary to release all fabrication information in batches. Façade Design for Fabrication helped the team to coordinate and track those batch releases, as well as any revisions.

Technical Support of Creativity

Beson pointed out that architecture has long been considered a creative endeavor, but what unifies the team at AR-MA is a belief that architects must unite creativity with technical ability.

“Both are necessary to produce the types of innovative and formative buildings our cities require today,” he says.

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Design Intent for Architectural Projects”

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