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14 Nov, 18 / post / Technology
Digital Construction Week 2018

Digital Construction Week is the show where construction meets the digital world.

Having started out on a drawing board, I attended my first CAD course in 1989 and my then employer said, “Why do you want to do that? It’ll never take off.” !!

Since then, I have always tried to stay at the forefront of technological innovations, to improve our services and keep Cityzen relevant and ready for shifts in the industry.

Digital construction

Digital construction

The advancement of software continues to transform working practices for professionals within the construction industry, and Digital Construction Week does a great job of showcasing the latest innovation and technology in the built environment. If you’ve never been, I’d highly recommended checking it out next year (16/17 October 2019).

The 2018 show featured all of these things and more:

  • Mapping
  • Surveying
  • Drones
  • Point Clouds (digital laser scans made up of millions of dots to recreate an accurate scan or map of a building)
  • 4D and 5D BIM (scheduling and cost modeling)
  • Architectural Visualization
  • Rendering
  • 3D Printing
  • Augmented Reality
  • Virtual Reality
  • AI
  • IOT (‘internet of things’ where products and equipment talk back to the building and provide data)
Digital construction

For us, there were two exhibitors that really made our visit to the show worthwhile – polar opposites in terms of what they offer, but both help reduce time and reduce errors.

AI-powered BIM software

Kreo, a small startup company, has developed an amazing suite BIM software for architecture, engineering and construction.

Kreo Design simply requires you to choose a shape in plan, specify the number of floors and select a build system (timber, concrete, steel frame, etc.), and then it can design the whole building for you! Using AI and preset parameters, it can work out cores (access points such as stair cores, lift shafts and risers, etc.), room sizes and so on. Say goodbye to time-consuming work on standard buildings at concept stage! Just small adjustments, where required, to meet clients’ individual needs.

Kreo Plan offers automated construction cost estimation and scheduling. The software can look at alternative build systems and man-hours based on thousands of historic projects and data. With a base plan generated so quickly, we can then apply our expertise and specific information to revise the costs/scheduled. It even produces Gantt charts for project management.

For me, the software isn’t 100% perfect yet, but there’s no doubt the AI future has arrived – wow! An investment in this kind of software could give architectural practices the competitive edge for standard build projects; anything that aids the design process can help shorten the build programme and help to reduce costs.

Tracking design changes

The other big find of the day was purely by chance. We get our Autodesk products from Excitech so I though I’d stop by their stand for a chat, only to find out about BIM360 (an upgrade from A360) which is a digital construction management platform for managing and controlling documents.

A big challenge we currently face is ensuring that the entire project team keeps track of design changes. When we issue drawings they are often classed as uncontrolled documents we are sending ‘into the wild’, i.e. we don’t know what the recipients will do with the documents or who they will forward them on to.

BIM360 can manage the outward documentation process from our office, tracking it directly from our Revit/CAD software. This upgrade allows clients and contractors to mark up a model or drawings, check and comment on revisions. All of this will save time and make tracking changes so much easier!

The Cityzen team believe that coordinated design and collaborative working are key to the successful delivery of projects. And we embrace technologies that can help us provide our services as efficiently as possible. Call us on 01273 915010 or email us to find out how we can help you and your professional team.

Digital construction

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john smith
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