• breakwithanarchitect

Digital construction and architecture

Updated: Mar 12



#Technology is continuing to evolve and the impact on architect's working life is greater than ever. Today, #BIM files have replaced the traditional #CAD drawings and cloud computing allows architects to work from various destinations worldwide.


3D printers are printing experimental buildings, while some years ago were considered just science fiction. Drones are flying above our cities, documenting every single detail and 3D lasers are scanning large urban sections. Robotics and artificial intelligence represent the next cutting edge technology that transforms the fields of architecture and design. Virtually reality is here to bridge the gap between design intent and building construction.


For the majority of the #architects in the world, the implications of such advanced technological solutions are major; an investment must be made to purchase software, apps, computers, IT solutions, to train employees, e.t.c. Apart from the economical aspect, the way that architects work, think, collaborate, communicate and present their work has shifted to a complicated combination of tools, processes and workflows.


The benefits of the development of technology and digital construction in architecture have been well documented in research. Complex forms, adaptive materials, efficiency, workflow gains construction control and sustainable perfomance are considered today’s norms. Drawing, modeling, performance simulation, design collaboration, construction management and building fabrication are now performed using computer based technology. The close relationship between architecture and construction, that was once considered the fundamental of the architectural practice, is being redefined as the outcome of the new digital processes of production.


For the architect the #digital thinking is the new way of thinking and connectivity, collaboration and speed are the new measures. Architects should understand that going digital could help them do better design, cost and time predictions and overall better outcome. Every architect has a system that has been developed over the years and this could possibly become a barrier. Nevertheless, new tools help the architect prioritize and investigate new areas to study and research. The building in the digital world is now a living organism that leads to better buildings and better relationships with the clients.


Experience is considered one of the most important factors for a successful digital construction process. The architect should also consider a long term relationship with the customer for the whole building lifecycle.


The #barriers to digital construction are the high software costs, the lack of training and a legal framework to replace the old traditional processes. Until the built world finds a specific route from digital design to digital fabrication, the full potential of digital construction will not be evident.


Panagiotidou Nicoleta, BIM specialist for Breakwithanarchitect

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