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The Raise of the Construction Digital Prototype

POSTED BY MARTIN AMENGUAL

It amazes me that some people are still discussing whether the construction industry is behind in technology adoption or not –all from their mobile phones, connected with their almost self-driven cars, while they say “hey Google, play my favorite song” and sitting down to watch a movie trailer made by their 5-year-old boy, one that renders George Lucas’ original work almost useless and only 25 years later.

Architecture, engineering, and construction are traditional processes and there has to be some care in how we approach the use of technology.s around birth today.We have seen new companies born and grown to Fortune 500 in less than 10 years, and startups become huge enterprises in only a few years. But why does it feel we move in slow-motion inside a movie that goes faster and faster? Well, some things are just not easy to accelerate. A baby will be born 9 months later, no matter how much technology is around birth today. Architecture, engineering, and construction are traditional processes and there has to be some care in how we approach the use of technology.



I believe the time has come to adopt the technology. We are now pushed by faster schedules and arguably lesser fees, yes. But it is time we add more value to the process. It is time we realize we are part of a big machine called society that needs to understand how we work, what we are planning to do, how it will impact what is out there. We need to rethink how the end-user, one that usually has little or none understanding of drawings and design can be an active part of the process from day-one. Our buildings are –with the exception of a few- built only once and in real scale. We don’t get to build prototypes over and over until we are sure everything works. At least not until now. The Construction Digital Prototype ® is more than just a BIM model. It is the opportunity to add value to the design-build process, to solve problems before we hit the ground. And it represents the ability to engage future users in the process and has their say in the story.

At the end of the day, our work is for our communities and to make the life of those who use our buildings better.



Here are 3 paradigm changes that the Construction Digital Prototype ® is creating:

  1. The Design is an art that only the artist can conceive and won’t have any meaning until finished. Let there be light, sooner rather than later.
  2. Consultants are islands that only need sporadic communication. Experience shows savings of up to 25% in project fees if they all work together from day one.
  3. Contractors ruin designs so they better not interfere until the design is finished. Yes, in that 0.1% of projects that are unique and inspirational, it may be. But in the projects that our communities need, where investors need clarity and precision, cost control and easy building maintenance, we need the design to have both feet on the ground.

The days of “DD and CD” are over. Welcome the era of the Construction Digital Prototype ® for a leaner, cleaner and more integrated design-build process.



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