How technology and manufacturing can bring new efficiencies to a mature industry.
What’s missing is an overarching process with a comprehensive suite of software solutions linking design, engineering, and construction processes from the onset, to translate the content into a physical building successfully. The platform's integration with software services and tools creates an end-to-end solution that enables mass customization at scale across the global AEC industry.
Beyond the focus on the Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) approach, each component needs to be designed for flexibility, automation, and usability. As you might imagine, it requires data management to handle the range, scale, and scale complexity of a building. It must also allow for rapid design and engineering, provide immediate feedback on cost and schedule, and effortlessly manage that data flow through manufacturing and construction. Not a small feat.
Such a workflow allows teams to automate the process, from design to manufacturing, eliminating manual effort wherever possible. This would include construction documents, shop drawings, engineering calculations, and detailing of repetitive building elements, all typically consuming tremendous amounts of time from highly skilled professionals.
Putting IC to the test
Companies can easily manage the design, development of shop drawings, and fabrication of building components with an integrated process. Implementing a systematic and holistic approach towards structural engineering and platform design allows for consistency across the program at a national level. This includes the development of building platforms broken into wall panels with integrated mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) components and panelized composite roofing systems along with unitized glazing. These can be easily shipped to each site, where businesses benefit from unlimited design options, shorter build cycles, and improved quality. This approach can also consolidate and optimize the network of suppliers and the number of resources needed, allowing the development of potentially hundreds of buildings more quickly, at less cost, with less waste and fewer mistakes, even as the skilled labor pool shrinks.
For districts building across multiple campuses, structures can be designed for each school’s specific needs and have their own look and feel yet stem from the same building system. Utilizing an Industrialized Construction approach allows the development of a building system that provides consistency and efficiencies during design, engineering, and construction.
General contractors utilize repetitive content, such as bathroom pods, in almost 75% of their projects. Yet, every time a new project starts, the bathroom pods are being re-generated within the design models from scratch. Because every project has unique stakeholders and design constraints, countless documents must be organized and updated, with changes applied whenever design guidelines are changed.
Going back to the bathroom pod example, by breaking pod options into a defined set of parts, GCs can create a repository of reusable components that can be mixed and matched to concoct almost endless combinations. This enables the bathroom pods, down to the component level, to be managed and tracked easily, all the way from design to manufacturing. If a change occurs to the pod itself, including, for example, changes in ADA requirements, teams can make the change within their library, allowing each project manager at the factory floor to refer to the latest content and be confident it matches the requirements coming from the product development team.
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