The Future Of Virtual Design And Construction (VDC)
‘The design and construction of a building has for long been seen as a one-off enterprise in which a blend of art, human experience and craft produces a unique structure. ’ In this sense, automation in a natural progression, beyond the positive financial results and time efficiency. The definition has taken on a very digital meaning but that is not to the sacrifice of a unique building. To the contrary, it can provide innovative ideas in terms of design and functionality.
BIM models are ‘loaded with large parametric data (often called metadata)’ which creates a visual hub of performance. BD is ‘the scale of data collected, stored and manipulated’ and speaks to the large and complex volumes of data that keeps increasing and needs to be available, and appropriately contained and exchanged. ‘The challenges in processing these data sets include analysis, capture, search, sharing, storage, transfer, visualization and information security. ’ Project information use extends further into fabrication and manufacturing processes, such as digital fabrication - ‘a type of manufacturing process where the machine used is controlled by a computer. ’ With recent updates of Revit, exporting STL file format can be utilized for digital fabrication techniques such as CNC machine milling, 3D printing and laser cutting. ‘ Prototyping allows the gathering of feedback from testing and experimentation for performance and usability. ’
US Autodesk and Danish Sigma Estimates have formed a global brand-new partnership, based on a technological and commercial set-up, is an ideal example of how integrating programs facilitates faster and better results. ‘Sigma Estimates is the next-generation 5D BIM/VDC software for the AEC industry; built to be a BIM estimating platform, Sigma gives users an extremely advanced yet user friendly and intuitive solution. Unlike alternative solutions, Sigma is 100% adoptable and object-oriented like the fundamental principles of BIM. ’ The central model gives everyone with access ‘The opportunity to combine design, finance and real-time updates means decisions can now be made based on accurate and up-to-date information to minimize risk, improve collaboration, and save time – through one central model for all project stakeholders. ’ Take advantage of Direct Live Link to Autodesk Revit and BIM 360 This unparalleled and easy to use digital tool from Sigma Estimates is created for the AEC industry to gain a quick and easy way to create a 5D BIM/VDC model, budget or cost estimation from a 3D model or connect an existing 5D model. ‘Sigma allows you to
- :Build a 5D model, budget or cost estimate directly from a 3D model – in one click
- Extract quantities from a 3D model to connect with an existing 5D model, budget or cost estimate
- Visually understand and explore the connections of the 3D/5D models
- Slice ´n dice the 3D/5D connected model to validate data for outliers and missing information and present information to project members for reporting, feedback and smooth collaboration
- Build on your own historical cost data or take advantage of recognized construction cost information RSMeans data – from square foot to detailed 5D data that adds cost, activities, production rates, durations, descriptions and much more. ’‘
The platform provided by Sigma will enable users to embrace the next level of 5D VDC workflows as it offers easy to use, and time saving options for users of any level to participate effectively. ’
Potential uses AR/VR in VDC
‘Virtual reality (VR) is a relatively new tool and the technology concept need much development, nevertheless it has become a more and more often used tool in the Danish building sector and the rest of the world. Because of virtual reality the client is able to experience the project virtually through 3D glasses and similar tools before the construction is started. ’ Computer graphics have evolved through computer games initially and in recent years have reached the sophistication and realism required to create a new work environment with live response. AR and VR blur the lines between real and computer-generated and have current and future applications within AEC as mediums that offer more stimuli to experience the project model before actual construction. ‘VEs are generated by software that implements, manages and controls multiple virtual environment instances. ’ These instances are currently accessible, however not common practice yet. They are still being discovered and explored for future applications and provide another degree of automation.
Other applications of BIM data include ‘code checking, buildability simulations, comparative cost analysis and predicting alternative solutions and trends in scenario simulations’ amongst some. This account establishes VDC and shows the extent of automation in AEC is fairly extensive.