Cristiano Ceccato’s 4 Key Lessons for Integrated Design

By Akio
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Cristiano Ceccato, Architect at  Zaha Hadid Architects

Cristiano Ceccato,
Zaha Hadid Architects

During his keynote address at a recent Dassault Systèmes event in Japan, Cristiano Ceccato of Zaha Hadid Architects explained how techniques borrowed from other industries have been applied to some of his firm’s innovative projects.

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Ceccato also examined what happens when designers transfer digital data into the built realm, thereby moving away from the perfection of the computer into the “imperfections” of a real construction environment.

Here is his advice for the architecture community:

1. Build Like Boeing

During his cross-disciplinary research with Boeing, Ceccato saw that the firm was able to take on great risks to develop innovative ways of working.

Their 777 aircraft design required a completely new infrastructure; producing it required an entirely new way of thinking and they created it for a market that didn’t yet exist.

How did they do it? In short:

  • Integrated models of information allowed them to have a much more contained risk envelope, and to produce products much more efficiently across the board.
  • Parametrics allowed them to stretch and shrink the aircraft to meet different markets.
  • A decentralization of components and location helped share risk among partners and bring the product to market more efficiently.

Architects—who are building custom structures one by one around the world—can learn from Boeing’s approach, becoming more flexible and effective in producing solutions for clients.

When architects learn to better manage information and processes, they reduce risk and improve how people work together.

2. See the Pieces Within the Whole

Digital modeling allows for the more efficient production of highly complex projects through the repetition of simple elements. This works on two levels.

On the project level, consider the traits shared among projects. For example, towers as a group can be considered a “family” with an artificial DNA. Digital modeling allows designers to easily search through shared characteristics of towers—the need for privacy among units, certain zoning requirements, etc.—and apply specific solutions to a particular market.

On the component level, projects can be broken down into simple fabricated components that can be repeated in different ways to create the seeming complexity.

By working closely with fabricators, designers can create solutions that can be manufactured and assembled as a kit of parts. These kits can be repeated in a variety of ways to create an intricate end result that can be quickly and easily assembled onsite.

Information systems make it possible to define, correlate and repurpose simple parts on a massive scale.

Cristiano Ceccato, Architect at Zaha Hadid Architects

3. Maintain Interoperability

When using digital modeling platforms, interoperability—among components and tools used by the wide array of trades involved—is crucial.

Digital modeling requires strong managers who can invest time and energy resolving interoperability issues among models to make sure that the final result is a faithful translation of information among platforms and the final project.

This must be an ongoing process. The digital model is not a single, finite element. It must evolve to continuously progress the accuracy and level of development of information.

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4. Don’t Underestimate the Human Element

One challenge of working with a distributed team is ensuring all partners are working toward the same design interpretation. Advanced 3D modeling technologies are increasingly enabling the project contributors to efficiently collaborate, iterate, and come to a consensus on the design intent.

For example, 3D tools help fabricators match the designer’s vision by marrying early models with fabrication templates to ensure that what the fabrication team completes is a faithful interpretation of the original design.

And while mock-ups and site visits remain valid tools for incorporating owners into the design process, 3D tools build client confidence by demonstrating that what is proposed is possible within the given time and budget constraints—and will accurately meet the owner’s vision.

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Related Resources

Zaha Hadid Architects

Collaborative and Industrialized Construction

Watch an 8-minute demo of the Dassault Systèmes Industry Solution Experience Façade Design for Fabrication

3DEXPERIENCE FORUM: AEC Industry Track Recap

By Akio
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AEC leaders gathered in Las Vegas this week to take part in the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE FORUM, a unique event that explores innovation across a number of industries.

It was valuable to listen to real practices.”
– 3DXForum AEC track attendee 11/11/14

Collaborative Design and Industrialized Construction

The AEC track on the afternoon of November 11, 2014 inspired participants to take on industry challenges such as providing a high quality experience for tenants while completing under budgets, maintaining sustainability, improving project productivity and efficiency, and ensuring construction worker safety.

Attendees were also encouraged to envision the future of their firms by understanding how Owners, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Product Manufacturers, and Fabricators can collaborate using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform in a cloud environment to achieve efficient, industrialized construction practices and BIM Level 3 adoptions.

In the opening session, speaker Marty Doscher (Vice President, Architecture, Engineering and Construction, Dassault Systèmes) discussed how 3D adoption has spread through the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry and that now is the time to evolve to BIM Level 3.

This session explained how 3DEXPERIENCE Business Solutions provides the new and innovative scheme of design and construction processes delivering Building Life Cycle Management.

Industrializing Construction: Industry Solutions Based on Best Practices from Manufacturing

Peter Terwilliger (Solution Experience Director, Architecture, Engineering and Construction, Dassault Systèmes) demonstrated Dassault Systèmes Industrialized Construction solutions, featuring project modeling applications built on the cloud-based, collaborative 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform interface is beautiful and looks like easy to use”
– 3DXForum AEC track attendee 11/11/14

The comprehensive project management and execution solutions leverage the power of 3D to efficiently and consistently cover construction project requirements end-to-end, from planning to fabrication.


Related Resources:

Optimized Construction Industry Solution Experience

Façade Design for Fabrication Industry Process Experience


Advanced BIM Coordination and Delivery Practices

Speaker Becher Neme (Principal and Lead consultant of Neme Design Solution) led Advanced BIM Coordination and Delivery Practices, which outlined how Designers and Contractors can preserve design intent, lower risk, and improve efficiency during construction on complex project through the expert application of the latest 3D technologies.


Read more:

Spotlight on Becher Neme: BIM Expert Pushes a Zero-Change-Order Approach


From Concept to Fabrication, BIM Implementation Practices: Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Speaker Kerenza Harris of Morphosis Architects illustrated the application of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to enable new collaborative environments in her session, From Concept to Fabrication, BIM Implementation Practices: Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

The team at Morphosis continually seeks new ways to implement BIM technology, from early design development to final fabrication and shop drawings.

With a specific emphasis on the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Harris spoke about the integration of Advanced Computation and BIM platforms into project workflow.


Read more:

Spotlight on Morphosis Architects’ Kerenza Harris: Teaching the Value of Parametrics from Concept to Fabrication


Parametric Tendencies and Design Agencies: Preparing For the AEC Industry Through Design Centric Collaboration and Performance

Dr. David Gerber (Assistant Professor of Architecture, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California) presented the evolution of CATIA-based teaching, consulting, and research in his session, Parametric Tendencies and Design Agencies: Preparing For the AEC Industry Through Design Centric Collaboration and Performance.

This discussion highlighted the importance of bottom-up and top-down educational and research strategies, and linked these strategies to meeting the needs of AEC industry challenges and value propositions.


Read more: 

Spotlight on Dr. David Gerber: Building a Storied Career Around Easing Design Complexity


Mobility Services to Gain Quality of Life in 2030: the Modul’Air Experience

Stephan J. Clambaneva (Design Business Consultant Director, Design Studio, Dassault Systemes) presented Mobility Services to Gain Quality of Life in 2030: the Modul’Air Experience, a seminar on the power of 3DEXPERIENCE for future city development.

Modul’Air, a radical rethink of the mobility experience, is based on an innovative system of seamlessly connected pods transporting passengers and freight. These pods scale up and down according to volume patterns, and integrate with ground transportation modes.


Read more: 

Modul’Air: Design Thinking and Simulation Technology Help Redesign Public Transportation


Related Resources

Façade Design for Fabrication Industry Process Experience

Optimized Construction Industry Solution Experience

Collaborative and Industrialized Construction

What Is BIM Level 3?

By Marty R
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The following is an excerpt from End-To-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3: An Architecture, Engineering & Construction Industry Solution Based on Manufacturing Best Practices.

Download the full paper here.


Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been the Design & Construction industry’s answer to improve the flow of data through the building process, and, therefore, help to create efficiencies.

Industrialized practices work well when design information is structured appropriately for downstream application by builders, fabricators, and operators. BIM data standards have been gradually maturing to meet this purpose.

Building owners and operators are driving the industry to achieve higher levels of BIM maturity by demanding process improvements and technological innovations that reduce costs, increase value from suppliers, and increase sustainability.

Much of the industry is now moving from BIM Level 1 to Level 2, thanks in part to a directive by the U.K. government to adopt BIM practices by 2016.

An Updated Building Information Modeling (BIM) Maturity Model

From Computer-Aided Design to Building Lifecycle Management

BIM Maturity Model DASSAULT Building Lifecycle Management

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Maturity Model: From CAD to BLM”

Some companies are trying to find efficiencies with BIM Level 2 processes, traditional workflows, and point solutions.

The industry innovators are rethinking collaboration and leveraging integrated BIM Level 3 technologies to become more competitive.

Construction teams that successfully adopt BIM Level 3 processes benefit from strategic advantages: they create less waste, deliver in less time, and produce a better outcome while retaining a healthy profit margin.

BIM Level 2 vs. Level 3

In 2013, the U.K. government mandated that all government projects utilize BIM Level 2 by 2016 in order to reduce information ambiguity. While BIM Level 2 has indeed brought significant benefits to architects, Level 2 tools tend to focus on design coordination problems, and do not maintain much of a role in construction processes.

Models produced using Level 2 point solutions are ultimately exported and imported into disconnected systems. This handoff can create unintended consequences: data silos, errors, version control problems, and rework.

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Data produced by the design team at the beginning of the project does not flow seamlessly through to the rest of the project delivery.

Architects ultimately miss the opportunity to adjust for means and methods, lose control of their design intent, and are pulled into a reactive process of responding to Requests for Information (RFIs).

Under Level 2, with no integrated system to leverage BIM data, builders and suppliers are removed from fully collaborating on the model and are left to absorb the cost of rework.

BIM Level 3 is the only approach that fully connects the data chain from start to finish, helping to create end-to-end efficiencies.

In a Level 3 system, BIM data is not converted into files and emailed or sent via FTP sites to various parties. A Single Source of Truth is established, stored in a database on the cloud, and accessible by all project contributors through web services.

BIM Level 3 allows data to be transactable for construction, fabrication, and even facility management purposes, enabling open collaboration and building lifecycle management.

A robust Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system creates an efficient environment for coordinating complex Architecture, Engineering & Construction data.

Adding BIM data to a PLM system creates a Building Lifecycle Management (BLM) system, which enables BIM Level 3.

BIM + PLM = BLM

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Cover: END-TO-END COLLABORATION ENABLED BY BIM LEVEL 3 An Industry Approach Based on Best Practices from Manufacturing

Related Resources

Download the Dassault Systèmes whitepaper, “End-To-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3: An Architecture, Engineering & Construction Industry Solution Based on Manufacturing Best Practices”



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