Modern tools provided through digital solutions have become more prevalent and popular. These include machine learning and artificial intelligence to work with fabrication technologies and Big Data. Its impact on our daily lives has captured the interest of various firms regardless of size and scope. The digital aspect of construction is being utilized in every infrastructure and communications technology.
Here are some useful high-tech solutions used by every architecture firm:
Modernization of Prefabrication
From 3D printed models to precision-made construction materials, digital fabrication has made some headway in the architectural industry to create precision products and prototypes at an improved pace along with the versatility to accommodate changes. And it is through the high technological innovations such as precise laser engraving and CNC cutting that has become possible to realize even the most sophisticated design ideas. Because it’s driven by sophisticated software solutions, it is now relatively easy to create high-quality designs using various materials, which could have been tedious and costly if done manually.
When coupled with advanced virtual reality design models, prefabrication has evolved in its quality and precision. This reduces the variability of the project and allows for better control of resources. The modern technologies that are available off-site have compensated for the shortage of skilled workers on-site. Production plants also have a controlled environment specifically configured to optimize the manufacturing and assembly of the required components. This allows for better checks and reviews to improve quality control as well as maintain the safety of all the workers involved.
Modern production control methods use RFID tracking to control supply chains of prefabricated materials. With tracking devices attached to every component, it makes it easy for them to streamline the process and effectively coordinate with other processes. Modern designers can benefit from this technology in reducing waste regardless if it’s a housing project or a major infrastructure endeavor.
Today, going green is the only way to be a responsible member of the architectural industry. Using sustainable methods means reducing your negative impact on the environment from the building perspective. But how does it benefit a firm? On the business side, with the widespread awareness of climate change, consumers have begun to tag and criticize irresponsible business practices while praising and endorsing those who are mindful of the environment.
Designers consider different aspects of the structure and its surroundings as well as its process to come up with a sustainable strategy. Some of the things taken into account include:
Active and Passive Sustainable Designs
Architects and engineers use efficient electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and other systems to reduce the project’s environmental footprint. Passive methods make use of the surroundings like climate and sun orientation when considering window placements and how to manage sunlight and natural ventilation. This reduces the need for electricity for the HVAC and lighting. In certain places, they use thermal mass techniques which use solar energy by incorporating thick walls to absorb heat during the day to provide heating during the night.
Renewable Energy Systems
The use of solar energy has recently become more popular because of the advancement in producing affordable solar cells to convert light into energy. Buildings and houses integrated with systems that harness solar or wind energy have become more common as designers and consumers recognize the value of renewable energy.
Green Building Materials
The use of recycled materials is not only environmentally friendly but is also cost-effective. Architecture firms make it a priority to source raw materials as well as prefabricated components from vendors that are environmentally responsible to ante up their sustainable strategy.
Virtual Reality and 3D Printing
For many decades, Computer-Aided Designs (CAD) have become pervasive in architecture stemming from other industries such as shipbuilding, aeronautics, and automobiles. It changed traditional techniques as designers can now create complex 3D designs as opposed to a 2D representation. However technology did not stop there, nowadays, many architecture firms use augmented reality or virtual reality. This transformed designs from being visual to achieve a sense of being physically performative.
Simulations allow architects to embody temporality, fluidity, change, and motions consequently influencing people’s interaction with their surroundings. From the initial concept of the building to the last finishing touches, virtual reality lends itself to provide an architectural experience to the user. During the design stage of the project, it allows clients to explore the structure far better than a 2D image, they can take a closer look at each corner of each floor and request changes prior to its implementation. Firms can invest in Virtual Reality and make a great impression on clients as they make real-time changes to accommodate their requests.
Although 3D printing technology has been around since the 1980s, it wasn’t until the last decade that it has become more accessible and affordable. 3D printing saves time in making models in two ways: it can virtually create unlimited copies of an object and revisions are easily done through its programming software.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things refers to a concept of connectivity, this particularly involves connecting basic or “dumb” things to the internet. You may have Alexa or any other smart devices in your homes like your thermostats, video doorbells, and coffee makers but designers are taking this concept to drive changes in the design and construction ecosystem.
Building Information Modelling (BIM)
BIM generates a model of the building and sorts out all of the plans. This enables different building plans to be updated simultaneously. By installing sensors into the building to read energy usage, foot traffic, temperature trends, and more, designers will be able to make the right adjustments or improve on future plans.
Humans tend to forget a lot of things and one of them is to turn off the lights when you leave the room. Through IoT, a designer can reduce the building’s energy consumption and CO2 emission without relying on the people.
Technology generally pulls other technologies forward. With the advancement of modern applications to provide better solutions, the building industry can benefit from these developments to take the business to the future. As architecture proceeds to make a physical and socioeconomic impact on the people around them, they have taken a deeper look into the digital solutions and advanced methods to cater to the demands of today’s market.