Advances in architecture technology make nearly everything easier, efficient, and faster than before. Nowhere is that more evident than in architecture. Computer-assisted drawing (CAD) has become the norm, along with a host of other tools that bring a wide range of possibilities to the drawing table.
Because of these new technologies, the role of the architect is also changing. With access to more data than before, architects can focus on innovations as well as design.
BIM (Building Information Modeling)
BIM is a process starting with the creation of an intelligent 3D model that develops into an entire project. BIM’s intelligent data can be used throughout the entire lifecycle of a project, from planning to operations and maintenance.
BIM helps designing and construction teams to work more efficiently. Multiple individuals, teams and stakeholders can collaborate on the planning, design and construction within a single 3D model. Design and documentation can be done at the same time. Documentation can be changed as needed to reduce setbacks and work stoppage.
One of the many benefits is that BIM can capture all the data they gather and create during the process and pass it along to the maintenance and operations teams. Construction sites can become safer because hazards are visible before anyone sets foot on it, because they can be mitigated ahead of time.
BIM is similar in scope to other collaborative tools such as Basecamp and Slack. The difference is that BIM allows all the stakeholders involved in a project to collaborate in a single 3D model. This includes the planning, design, and construction phases, as well as gathering up all relevant data. After completion, the owners and other stakeholders can use that same data to make important decisions for the building.
Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
Most people know virtual and/or augmented reality as part of video games. Just a few years ago, Pokemon Go’s augmented reality had kids and their parents walking around their neighborhoods looking for virtual creatures on their smartphones. People are still playing the game, but both virtual reality and augmented reality can do much more than entertain kids and teenagers.
Virtual reality lets architects, their clients, and others walk into a place that hasn’t been built yet. Seeing a structure in a virtual reality environment allows architects and their clients to visualize how a room, home, or other structure will look upon completion. VR also allows for changes made in real-time long before the structure is built, and enables mistake correction prior to construction.
Shopping apps such as Wayfair, Target, IKEA, and Houzz utilize augmented reality for customers to “try out” furniture before buying it. Using these apps will show a customer how the actual product (such as a couch) will fit and look in their home.
Architects can use augmented reality in the same fashion, involving the client deeper in the design process. AR lets an architect “walk into” an existing structure and add, subtract or make changes on a screen before any construction begins. This can mean fewer mistakes and potentially lower costs.
AR makes it easy to see something in an environment and visualize if it will actually work. One option is by overlaying 2D collateral such as building plans on the 3D BIM model. For instance, a homeowner who wants to add a wet bar into their living room may not realize that it will not fit in the space where they want to add it. The architect can show the homeowner with AR the difficulty in making it a reality and offer alternatives.
3D Printing And Designing
Describing a design to someone is one thing, but showing them in real-time is quite another.
The increased availability of 3D printing means that models can be made much faster, easier and more accurately than hand-made models. They can also be less expensive since it just takes sending the design to the printer and letting it run overnight.
Architects can print multiple iterations of a model to test out different design elements. Multiple copies also show potential issues that aren’t always visible in a computer simulation.
Today’s 3D printers can print architectural designs with a high level of detail and smooth surfaces. Your design can be made from a number of different materials as well as one or more colors. Is the client requesting a change? Your design can also be saved, edited, and reprinted as needed.
Pro Draft For All Your Architectural Design Needs
Considering building or remodeling your Maui home? Pro Draft is ready to help. We can help with architecture, drawings, blueprints, permits, and to answer all of your questions before the construction begins. We’re also experienced with green building and will work to ensure your project is exactly the way you envision.