Intelligent Construction: Transforming the Industry in the Digital Age

By John S.
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Excerpted from the keynote address, “Strategic Business Transformation for the Building & Construction Industry,” delivered to the BIM-MEP AUS Construction Innovation 2016 Forum on August 4, 2016 in Sydney, Australia.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Intelligent Construction: Transforming
#AEC in the Digital Age | @bimmepaus @3DSAEC


John Stokoe CB CBE Head of Strategy EuroNorth, Dassault Systemes

John Stokoe, CB, CBE, Head of Strategy EuroNorth, Dassault Systèmes

The fourth industrial revolution – the Digital Age – is creating the drivers to transform the Construction Industry as it seeks to exploit the significant advantages to be derived from the effective and efficient use and management of data.

Industry-leading technology, developed for other sectors, is exponentially improving value and efficiency, and can be employed to propel Construction into the digital age.

This impacts not only the Construction Industry but also the logistic supply chains which support it, improving capability and skills, and contributing to the economies and construction potential of the countries involved.

The considerable amount of data which is created during the design, development, construction and utilization of the built asset, if properly configured and integrated, can be harnessed to drive value, cut costs and waste, and used to create a digital asset. This data-driven digital equivalent, when used by the end customer, can provide a dynamic platform on which to manage legacy, sustain the present and plan the future.

Effective configuration management will drive operations and ongoing maintenance, leading to an increase in the return on equity.

With Singapore as a reference, cities across the globe are getting smarter with data sources and multiple sensors connecting people, services and things, so they can engage with each other.

Bringing together infrastructure, social capital and technology fuels sustainable economic and social development, with the aim of providing better lives and urban environments for all. Cities are not just trying to be smarter, but are using technology to engineer their futures.

Cities are on an upward technology path. The construction industry, however, is not taking the same dynamic trajectory.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: “#Cities are on upward technology path;
#AEC is not taking same dynamic trajectory” -@stokoe_john

Construction itself is often an outdated, dangerous, and low-productivity industry. The Industry must start driving value and keeping pace with the development of future cities.

But steering the Construction Industry in the right direction has challenged planners for decades. This is especially true in the UK, which lags behind many countries and much of Asia for modern building practice.

Process models for construction have remained largely the same for hundreds of years.

As a stark example, though materials were very different, the construction techniques employed to build the 72-story Shard tower in London were not that different from those employed to construct St Paul’s Cathedral nearly 400 years ago. (However, St Paul’s took 35 years to build, the Shard three, so some things have improved!)

Essential transformation is emerging.

  • Automated manufacture of building components is leading to lower construction costs, improved quality, and significantly reduced waste.
  • On-site work consists of assembly of quality-assured parts, each guaranteed to be fit for purpose.
  • 3D technology has made significant inroads into architectural design and fabrication to excellent effect.

But process modeling at the construction phase is virtually non-existent. When we get it right, we will see Building Information Modeling literally take on new dimensions, at the design stage, during construction, and ultimately in building management, enabling built assets to be managed economically and effectively using real-time sensor data fed onto the platform; this breathes life into the digital equivalent.

Using shared 3D experiences to simulate cities and developments reveals potential problems that may not be seen by any other means. Overlaying data reveals new views. And it is possible, with this technology, to predict events in transport systems and hubs, in public services, in utility provisioning, and in security.

Seamlessly linking the system to financial software allows cost planning and budgetary predictability. By this means, potential problems and their outcomes can be observed, costed and fixed before they occur.

A significant business opportunity appears as this scientific approach is extended into the supply chain.

When collaborative practices, which have powered other industries into innovation, are applied to building, they produce stunning results.

A construction supply chain, sharing closed data, can have a major positive impact on the time and cost to deliver a project, adding value to the overall process.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: “Sharing closed data w/#AEC supply chain = major impact
on project time & cost” @stokoe_john @bimmepaus @3DSAEC

Many building projects overrun and outspend their budgets by more than 20% and end in expensive and wasteful litigation.

Between concept and delivery of a finished building lie the stages of design and engineering, contracts, bids and awards, fabrication and construction.

Each stage is fraught with risk, and stakeholders’ risk in a building project of any kind can be more than financial. Buildings define their locations and neighborhoods; people have emotional attachments to them.

Much of this risk can be reduced when clients, architects, contractors, communities and stakeholders work on the same current unified knowledge platform, where guesswork and misinterpretation are removed, and open yet secure collaborative integration is a given.

Litigation at, during, or after a construction project is commonly the result of poor communication between systems and people.

Errors with building components and services are expected, and usually occur, but are absolutely avoidable.

Simply unifying the change order system on a building project allows people to work collaboratively. They have access to the current status of the building and its information. This enables better informed strategic and tactical decision making at all stages and virtually eliminates errors caused by wrong or superseded instructions being acted upon.

In summary, technology can forever change the popular perception of the Construction Industry as one which is labor-intensive, wasteful, costly, and financially and physically risky.

A dynamic, effective, high-value Construction Industry will attract investment and become an economic driver.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: “An effective Construction Industry can be
an economic driver” -@stokoe_john @3DSAEC #AEC

Effective configuration management will drive operations and ongoing services and maintenance, leading to an increase in return on equity, and the ability to compete more effectively in a demanding industrial and economic climate, leading in turn to national economic growth able to withstand global economic shocks, as well as expanding job opportunity and stimulating economic activity and increased GDP growth.

Integrated and configured data on a dynamic business experience platform gives the politician, the business leader, the developer, and the people who are forging global and national economies, a window into their world – a window into what might be as they shoulder the legacy of the past, manage the reality of the present, and shape the vision of the future.


MEMKO and Dassault Systèmes' Exhibit at the 2016 BIM-MEP AUS Construction Innovation Forum

MEMKO and Dassault Systèmes’ booth at the 2016 BIM-MEP AUS Construction Innovation Forum

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Intelligent Construction: Transforming
#AEC in the Digital Age | @bimmepaus @3DSAEC


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Collaborative, Industrialized Construction

Design for Fabrication Industry Solution Experience: Connect Your Design Data from Concept to Delivery

Optimized Construction Industry Solution Experience: Eliminate Waste and Increase Profits

To BIM or not to BIM?

By Akio
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The following article was originally published by Geoff Haines on the Desktop Engineering Blog and is reprinted with permission. 

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@3DSAEC @Desktop_Eng


Geoffrey M. Haines, Desktop Engineering

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

I can’t claim originality to this Shakespearean title which has suitable gravity for many companies in the construction industry. It was thought up by Dr Steve Lo of Bath University for a one-day conference I attended organised by the “Future Envelope” community of façade designers and manufacturers.

Drawing from members of the European Façade Networks, the Society of Façade Engineers and Centre for Window Cladding technology, the aim of the conference was to discuss how BIM can help or even hinder the design and construction process of building facades.

To start off, early presentations included how professionals and companies can gain accreditation to be BIM Level 2 compliant. This is a requirement for any building design and construction contract delivered to the UK government since April 2016. Hence it’s a hot topic and the explanations given by BRE (Building Research Establishment) on their BIM Level 2 certification process were received well.

Certainly I see great opportunity for individual consultants to template the people, process and technology needs of BIM certification so smaller firms can overlay this on their business at minimum cost.

Other presentations discussed how both architects and engineers worked with different technologies to achieve the aim of clear communication of design intent.

Abdulmajid Karanouh of Ramboll gave a really thoughtful presentation discussing what architects really need to do to communicate to their supply chain.

What I really found interesting was the discussion on The Al-Bahr Towers, designed by Aedas of which Abdulmajid was part of the team. Aedas created a design specification that wasn’t a model, but a set of geometrical formulae and process that would create the design.

This is the ultimate “CAD’nostic” design.

Any CAD package that could be driven by some sort of scripting or formula could create this geometry – giving the geometrical definition of a 1000-person tower.

I found this approach quite revolutionary, taking the architect’s idea into a form that could be expressed mathematically – something my engineer’s brain could comprehend.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: .@Aedas created not a model, but a set of formulas and processes to produce a design | #architecture #BIM @DesktopEng

Ultimately, when the selected suppliers all delivered their design information, this was all consolidated into the Dassault Systemes CATIA based technology to deliver a BIM model. This approach caused some real heated interchange about an architect’s definition of form.

Overall, the conclusion to the day was mixed – the smaller firms seeing it as an overhead, the larger firms seeing it as a necessity – but one thought overriding all this discussion was ‘who pays for it?’

In automotive and aerospace, we all know that that more upfront design activity delivers lower costs downstream.

In construction, these two activities are delivered by different bodies, with different earnings streams – extra costs in design delivers savings for contractors.

So I’ll leave you with this – how do we square this circle?

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: To BIM or not to BIM?
@3DSAEC @Desktop_Eng


by Geoff Haines


Related Resources

Desktop Engineering, UK

Facade Design for Fabrication

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VIDEO: Facade Design for Fabrication Demo

Redefining How AEC Can Apply BIM for Digital Design & Construction: A Recap of BIM World 2016

By Akio
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for Digital Design & Construction http://ctt.ec/yS7Y_

Each year, BIM World aims to bring together all of the members of the AEC chain to discuss how BIM tools can improve the processes of individual companies and people in the industry forward as a whole. This year, a number of innovative presentations redefined how BIM can benefit AEC professionals.

Strong attendance at this year’s event, which took place this year in Paris, April 6-7, demonstrated just how much the adoption of BIM tools and technologies has grown in France. The theme of the event, “breaking the innovation code of real estate industry and urban design,” attracted an audience that included software vendors, as well as architects, general contractors and subcontractors.

BIM World expo floor

Dassault Systèmes was on hand with information about all of its product offerings, from the latest versions of CATIA to its 3DEXPERIENCE platform. At the 2016 event, Dassault Systèmes received more than double the number of inquiries compared to last year. Part of that expanded interest could be attributed to presentations given by Dassault representatives and customers.

Presenting Solutions for Big- and Small-Scale Needs

The BIM World presentations featured a unique range of Dassault Systèmes solutions—from the very large to the very small.

On the large end of the spectrum, Alexandre Parilusyan, vice president, Business Transformation, Smart City and Asia Pacific South, Dassault Systèmes, co-presented on the use of 3DEXPERIENCity in constructing a Virtual Singapore, a government-mandated digital initiatives of the existing city.

The goal of this unique project is to create a collaborative platform for city departments and businesses, and a communication platform between the city and its citizens. The digital twin is set to incorporate real-time data from a number of state departments that, through 3DEXPERIENCity, will provide useful updates of activity around the city and the potential impact of any construction or other projects.

The first phase of the project, the 3DEXPERIENCity Platform, is set for completed in 2018.

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But solutions from Dassault Systèmes aren’t just for the large scale—a separate presentation proved how these tools can be adapted for designing an apartment.

HomeByMe is a service from 3DVIA that helps consumers create an online 3D home through which they can create, plan and manage any type of home-related project.

This unique B2C solution uses the power of Dassault Systèmes technology to help consumers better visualize their purchases before making an investment. It is a community that is growing in popularity among home builders, kitchen retailers, architects, and consumers around the world.

Digital Solutions Support the Transition to Energy Efficiency

BW16 ENGIE Valentin Gavan (3)\

Valentin Gavan, Ph.D., Building Energy Efficiency Project Manager at ENGIE Lab, presenting First Steps to the Development of a 3D Generic Modeling Platform for Urban Infrastructures.

Beyond using 3D technologies to model the construction and assembly processes, a building’s “behavior” can be modeled to simulate energy usage and optimize building performance. CATIA, powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, offers building energy efficiency analysis capabilities.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: A building’s “behavior” can be modeled to simulate
energy usage, optimize performance | @ENGIEgroup @3DSAEC

Arbodomia Demonstrates How the Smallest Businesses Can Benefit From Digital Design

BW16 Arbodomia (3)

Thierry Albert, CEO of Arbodomia, presented another unique use for BIM:

While the AEC industry has long seen the value of digital engineering for large-scale, highly innovative projects, few small businesses have understood the potentially high return an investment in these tools could earn them. Not so for Arbodomia.

This single-family home builder with a staff of four has not only seen speed and efficiency improvements through its use of CATIA, but also is selling its subcontractors on the benefits.

Albert became familiar with CATIA during his work in the automotive industry, and later applied his digital skills toward industrialization of sailboat manufacturing.

About five years ago he launched Arbodomia to optimize the construction of single-family homes. His specialty is homes that use cross-laminated timber (CLT), an engineered wood solution growing in popularity in northern Europe, as well as the United States and Canada. This prefabricated wood panel is known for being lightweight and quick to install, while offering high thermal, acoustic, fire and carbon storage benefits. These large panels can be cut and prepared in a factory environment and then assembled onsite, making it a perfect fit with the trend toward industrialized construction.

It’s unusual today for such small business owners to put these high-tech tools to use, but Albert sees big benefits through his use of CATIA.

First, using highly accurate digital design tools, Arbodomia is able to produce energy-efficient passive houses. In fact, Albert finds CATIA to be invaluable in this regard because it helps manage the intersections among various trades, where efficiency can be lost.

Second, Arbodomia is able to accommodate design changes late in the game without a significant impact on the overall schedule.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: .@Arbodomia can handle late #design changes
w/out significant sched impact #AEC @Dassault3DS

When working in residential design, the schedule is based upon the whim of the homeowner. But Albert is able to add changes into the design and easily update the entire model to get updates on materials needed, drawings to be generated for the construction permit, etc.

Arbodomia also has been able to generate savings for its subcontractors. The company works primarily in small towns with local family businesses, few of which have sophisticated design tools on hand. But Albert takes subcontractors drawings and integrates them into his 3D mockup while the subcontractor watches.

This 3D run-through becomes a “site preview” that helps the team to identify issues that may arise onsite, and the type of tools necessary to solve any challenges. This process has helped small subcontractors reduce workflow and costs by about 40%.

New Understanding to Lead to New Application of Digital Design

Armed with this new insight that nothing is impossible when armed with the right digital design solutions, this year’s BIM World attendees are prepared to expand their application of these tools.

Next year’s BIM World event is set for March 29-30 in Paris. Visit www.bim-w.com for more information.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Redefining How #AEC Can Apply #BIM
for Digital Design & Construction http://ctt.ec/yS7Y_


Related Resources

Collaborative & Industrialized Construction with 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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