Architecture Engineering & ConstructionApril 14, 2023

Weather tower brings smart construction vision to life

Central-South Architectural Design Institute in China successfully used system thinking and virtual twin technology to develop its innovative weather tower.
Avatar Rebecca Lambert

The Wuhan Next Generation Meteorological Radar Tower is not a typical weather tower. Inspired by a cyclone, its outer façade twists in a double spiral – a complex design made up of more than 1,000 glass-fiber reinforced concrete exterior wall panels.

The tower has been developed by Central-South Architectural Design Institute (CSADI) in China and is set to play a critical role in the nation’s meteorological disaster monitoring network. It also brings to life CSADI’s vision of using advanced technologies to achieve smart construction, where everyone in the value chain is connected, and the building’s design is refined in the virtual world before physical construction.

CSADI’s ambition is backed by a wider drive in China to embrace smart construction.

“Our vision is to transform into a high-tech enterprise to manage all elements in urban construction,” said Li Ting, president of CSADI. “In recent years, China’s construction industry has supported the concept of engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC), and a series of policies drive this concept. In EPC, design takes the lead, and the general contractor integrates all disciplines.”

The aim of this approach means that product and process design is considered concurrently, and all stakeholders from across the value chain are brought together within a single environment so that everyone’s requirements are taken into account.

For CSADI, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform provides that centralized environment, bringing together all involved disciplines, covering structure, water, heating, electricity and geotechnical engineering, to achieve truly collaborative design. It also delivers the 3D modeling and simulation capabilities CSADI sought to create a virtual twin of the cyclone-shaped tower. Being able to refine the design of the weather tower and simulate how it would be constructed in the virtual world has helped to remove any unknowns from the construction stage, saving CSADI time and money.

And this is only the beginning. The company is now looking at how it can use the 3DEXPERIENCE platform in other projects and develop industry standards for using the technology to achieve even greater levels of efficiency.

Read the full story to learn more about how CSADI is leading the way in the sustainable transformation of the architecture, engineering and construction industry.

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