Efficiency in design and construction depends on better connecting designers with makers.
New delivery methods, such as design-build and IPD, are a response to this need, but these new methods must be supported by new tools to see the full benefits desired. A cloud-based platform that provides high-fidelity, live design information to a host of parties, from design through fabrication, allows project stakeholders to control project cost and quality in ways not previously seen in the industry. As projects progress, the number of people involved in the decision-making process increases. Institutional projects already begin with a multi-layered set of stakeholders. Adding in specialty engineering disciplines, general and trade contractors, fabricators, suppliers and installers, the number of team members grows rapidly. Likewise, the risks of diluting the original goals and relinquishing individual responsibility grow. At every hand-off to a different discipline and every switch in deliverable medium — whether shop drawing, fabrication model mock-up, or other — the risk of a departure from the design intent increases.
Digital continuity allows for the clear communication of the project goals, vision and intended execution throughout the process to ensure everyone involved understands what they are working towards and need to ultimately achieve. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform, for example, allows the entire design and construction ecosystem to share the same model. With no one working in complete isolation and everyone using the same data, the inherent inefficiencies that happen though rework are averted. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform minimizes re-drawing and re-modeling and reduces the potential for reinterpretation of the design intent or the generation of iterative cycles in isolation. It supports a continuously evolving and flexible environment that remains nimble and is able to absorb change, saving time and providing a more effective and innovative outcome.
A Central Repository For Project Knowledge
Given the extensive amount of information and collective knowledge it takes to create buildings, the digital model on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform essentially becomes a central repository that includes information about project goals, decisions, parameters and the evolution of solutions. Everyone sees the same data and contributes to a truly integrated project repository. They immediately and collectively evaluate the impact of changes on project goals. A central repository allows the input of material, system, fabrication or installation parameters as early as possible, leading to more intelligent design. By applying installation limitations early in the process, there are fewer adjustments during construction—adjustments which are costly and may negatively impact building occupants. This approach also mirrors the non-linear method by which most construction projects are delivered today. For example, laser scanning during construction can feed as-built data back into the model to determine if details need to be adjusted in order to account for elements out of tolerance. Having fabrication knowledge during the design phase helps minimize material waste, reducing both cost and impact on the environment. Adoption of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform nurtures trust, open minds and a willingness among the complete project team to share responsibility—an antidote to the risk-averse and litigious nature of the construction industry.