3D Technology – the essential partner to dynamic, value-driven Construction
World-leading, innovative technology is being used successfully to make the aerospace and other manufacturing industries more responsive to demand, dynamic in development and increasingly efficient in delivery. I would argue that the construction industry is crying out for this innovation to drive efficiency, generate sustainability, improve safety and reduce waste. The techniques of Building Information Modelling (BIM), being applied in some areas of the industry, take us part-way but the full value has yet to be realized.
The technology used by the aerospace industry embraces the full spectrum: from initial design, detailed 3D digital mock-ups, to testing and proving in the virtual digital world. The 3D model is reviewed, revised, redesigned and tested to destruction without injury or damage. The same platform of collaborative data then tracks materials requirements and the manufacturing process, following the aircraft from assembly to sale and delivery. It integrates data across the life cycle of the programme, to generate efficiency, reduce cost, cut waste, increase sustainability, improve safety and create value.
Like an aircraft, a building is a system – superstructure, foundations, air conditioning, useable spaces, arteries providing power, water, waste processing – a system for people. The building becomes more than concrete, steel, glass, bricks and mortar – it becomes a space for living, working or leisure, an intelligent space connected to other intelligent spaces – an intelligent system – an intelligent community. This building, this intelligent space, lends itself to digital design, 3D digital mock-up, review and revision in the virtual world and the ongoing provision of through-life management. It is a complex logistical system which is simplified, made efficient, given value and given life through data integration and collaboration.
The architect Frank Gehry gave life to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao by approaching Dassault Systèmes to use its leading-edge technology from the aircraft industry to imagine and create the impossibly fluid lines of his building. In the architect’s own words, this was transformational, and signalled a cultural change in modern architecture. The building was completed on-time and well within budget, achieving financial savings of 18% in the process. That act was to prove to be a game changer.
The imaginative use of this technology has the potential to make buildings not only iconic and sympathetic with their place in the landscape, but to be intelligent, energy-efficient and sustainable. The manipulation of data enables the integration of retained, legacy buildings, harmonized sensitively with the new development to create places which are special; balancing the old with the new, seamlessly merging the ideas of yesterday with those of tomorrow. This information provides the arteries which allow the dynamism of the construction provider to flow and the imagination of the client to be realized. It harnesses the desired outcomes of the client, the strength and capabilities of the construction industry, and the power of leading-edge technology, significantly improving the quality of sustainable construction and creating assets which are fit-for-purpose, environmentally sensitive and of lasting value.
Posted by John Stokoe Head of Strategic Development at Dassault Systèmes. For more information contact here.