The Rise of the Construction Digital Prototype
It amazes me that some people are still discussing whether or not the construction industry is behind in technology adoption or. They discuss this trend from their mobile phones, all while connected to their almost self-driven cars, while they say, “Hey Google, play my favorite song,” 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. Today, we have to be careful about how we approach the use of technologies around them. We have seen new companies born and grown to become 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 every day? 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 technologies. 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, and how it will impact what is out there.
We need to rethink how the end-user, one that usually has little or no understanding of drawings and design, can be an active part of the process since day one. Our buildings are –except 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 Digital Construction 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.
The Digital Construction Project represents the ability to engage future users with the process, so they have a say in the story.
Our work is for our communities and to make the life of those who use our buildings better.
Here are 3 paradigm changes the Digital Construction Prototype® is creating:
- 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.
- Consultants are islands that only need sporadic communication. Experience shows savings of up to 25% in project fees if they all work together since day one.
- Contractors ruin designs, so they’d 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 Digital Construction Prototype ® for a leaner, cleaner, and more integrated design-build process.