The rise of digitization in architectural technology has completely changed the world of design. It has reduced the time and energy spent on manual processes, improving productivity while paving the way for innovation.
Staying abreast of these changes is the only way to thrive in this competitive industry. This article explores these shifts and how to leverage them for continued success.
What New Technologies Are Used for Architecture?
Architectural design is a sum of many different parts, meaning every step must be developed to perfection to get the desired outcome. The process can be time-consuming, but it is where technology in architecture can ease the way.
Technology helps architects provide the very best service for their clients. For example, software makes changing and editing designs in real-time easy so that all client comments can be accommodated with little effort.
Here are some of the technologies that can optimize architectural processes:
Generative design is a design exploration process that allows architects to explore hundreds of high-level design set options using a set of algorithms. It provides solutions to specific design requirements such as budget, materials, and other challenges to streamline the process.
When integrated with AI and machine learning platforms, GD can provide new and advanced ways to create designs, minimize manual labor, streamline communication, and unlock the creative power of designers and architects. GD is an application of technology in architecture that makes it easy to try features and designs previously thought impossible.
A single design piece goes through multiple cycles of creation, editing, and changes before being approved. Doing all of this manually can be quite time-consuming. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can change that.
This powerful tool can help architects improve their creative processes and increase optimization by analyzing tons of valuable data. Designers can access conceptual designs that will help them create smarter and more creative designs, all by changing a few parameters. AI can implement these small changes to the larger project in an instant.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual Reality is taking the architecture world by storm, and rightly so. It allows architects and designers to explain their ideas to team members and clients with a life-like simulation. Clients can explore the structure in all its glory—from the floor to the ceilings—long before construction begins.
In contrast, AR technology provides an interactive, computer-generated experience of the user’s experience of the real world. It integrate 3D models with real-world objects so architects can explore every design element. They can determine what changes need to be made, simplifying the troubleshooting process and minimizing the need to make expensive changes.
Mixed Reality is the combination of AR and VR in architecture. This blend of the physical and the digital world allows architects to display their projects to team members and clients. It is a fantastic tool to explore bolder and more innovative design processes, one that shortens the design process because they can make changes and edits on the go.
It also elevates each design pitch because the client can explore the structure from every angle, greatly enhancing the experience.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) / 3D and 4D Printing
Additive Manufacturing, also called 3D and 4D printing, leverages human and artificial intelligence to create stronger, lighter physical models of architectural designs. This application of technology in architecture replaces wood and foam models with digital ones created with high-level precision layer-by-layer for greater efficiency.
Data is everywhere, and more and more clients are demanding it from the structures that are being designed and built. In the 21st century, every element of a building can generate millions of data points: HVAC systems, doors, foot traffic, user experience, and more.
Architects must ensure that their designs will generate the data their clients want. This primarily involves the integration of smart technology in architecture across the board.
The Many Benefits of Technology in Architecture
Various technological developments have come together to enhance the design process and make it much easier, reducing the time, energy, and money spent on bringing models to life.
Here are some of the many advantages that technology has brought on:
1. Reduces Time Spent on Creating Architectural Models
3D and 4D printing significantly reduce the time it takes to produce architecture designs with minute attention to detail. It is especially helpful for incorporating tricky design elements, such as complex facades and unique layouts.
It saves a ton of time and effort that go into manual labor. Digital modeling can also be optimized to provide greater benefits. For example, integrating models with immaterialize will make cleaning and post-processing 3D designs a breeze. Pre-existing designs from SketchUp can be edited and rearranged with just a few changes, making them brand new.
2. Creates Better Quality Models With Various Materials
Pixelated prints are things of the past—architectural models can now be printed with an insane level of detail and clarity and in the material of your choosing. Most architects tend to go with polyamide (SLS), but if you need to add colorful elements to your design, you can opt for Multicolor.
If you’re looking for something more challenging and more modern, you can use transparent resin to incorporate 3D elements into your design.
3. Offers Flexibility with Changes and Edits
3D printing and architecture technology in architecture make room for quick fixes. For example, if you need to make changes to your initial design, you don’t need to remake the entire model from scratch. You can just make a few edits with programming software, share it with your colleagues to get their opinion, then print the updated model in whatever color or material you like.
4. Opens Doors for Real-Time Collaboration
Real-time collaboration ensures every team member is on the same page in all stages of design and construction. This is made much easier with technological advancements like Building Information Modeling (BIM).
BIM ensures thorough communication, accurate execution, and little room for confusion or conflict.
BIM also saves time by cutting back on back-and-forth meetings with team members and clients. The design is shared on a common platform so designers and architects can make changes in real-time. This efficient process significantly increases productivity by including experts from around the world in the design process, regardless of their location or time zone.
5. Reduces Cost
Technology in architectur significantly reduces project costs by streamlining processes with virtual reality and 3D printing. It also does away with the stress of changing a design or layout after construction begins, limiting wasted resources.
6. Makes Pitching An Idea Easy
Pitching a design is easier than ever. With 3D printing, you can create stunningly detailed models that are perfect representations of your initial plan. These accurate models take the guesswork out of the equation and give clients a tangible model of what the structure will look like upon completion.
This paves the way for an immersive, interactive experience, one that connects clients to the finished project before construction begins and sparks interest on a much bigger scale.
Final Thoughts on Technology in Architecture
Technological advancements can improve creativity and productivity and help architects tackle the many challenges they face in their day-to-day workflow. This change of pace can be a challenge, but it is best to embrace and evolve with it.
Technology in architecture will continue to evolve over the years, and it’s best to make the most of it.
Want to explore the many technological advances you can tap into for your architectural project? Feel free to contact us; we’ll be happy to help.