Studio AE

The many advantages of using technology in design and construction

The technologies of the future in the field of design, BIM (Building Information Modeling), and 3D-VR have become increasingly more popular for architecture and construction purposes in Romania, and given their advantages, their use will continue to increase.

Our team has been using Revit software for quite some time for all our projects, whereby future buildings are built in 3D numerical modeling.

We have completed projects and construction sites designed entirely using BIM technology, some examples including the conversion of the former Chitila bus station, the concept for the conversion of the hospital in Balta, Mehedinți county, the Cora Urban store, as well as energy-efficient housing projects.

About BIM

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the main element of digitization in the construction industry, the numerical modeling of a building that contains information about each building element.

For more than 5 years, the team at Studio ae has been using Revit software for all ongoing projects, from the initial concept phase to the authorization and execution phases, as well as for ongoing use.

The Revit software is used to design and build an architectural and construction project from scratch, based on a 3D model. Revit allows the user to visualize a building in 3D before it is built.

BIM is the intelligent 3D virtual model-based means through which experts in the fields of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) design, plan, construct and maintain buildings and infrastructure efficiently.

The integration of technology into architecture and construction has completely changed the workflow. In less than 30 years, we have moved from the traditional blueprint to real computer-generated images, to smart buildings that adapt as needed during use.

The advantages of BIM

A European Commission study on BIM (2019) estimates that the complete digitalization of non-residential construction projects in Europe would lead to overall cost savings of EUR 0.6 - 1 trillion (13-21%) during the design and construction phase. For building use, the savings would be between EUR 0.3-0.4 trillion (a 10-17% cost reduction).

In general, architects are early adopters of new technologies.

More than 85% of the world's 100 largest architectural offices use BIM. In Europe, 29% of construction companies use 3D BIM, Denmark being the country with the highest usage rate. In 2017, 90% of architects in England and 40% of architects in France were using BIM. The use of BIM for public projects is mandatory in England and Denmark.

*Growth potential. In Romania, according to data from the Association for Research, Development, and Implementation of Technologies in Construction, "less than 5% of built projects use the BIM standard". Therefore, there is room for growth.

The study “The business value of BIM in Europe” conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction, highlights the following advantages of BIM:

  • A 69% increase in the collective understanding of the architectural project, a 62% overall project quality increase, and a 59% reduction of the on-site inconsistencies;
  • Construction site changes are avoided in 56% of cases, there is a 44% faster client approval, 43% better control and cost anticipations, 43% fewer requests for additional information;
  • Overall, according to recent UK statistics, construction costs can be 15-20% lower.

BIM can be used by architects, urban planners, landscape architects, engineers, builders, project managers, administrators, or building owners at any phase during the project and throughout the entire lifespan of a building.

BIM disadvantages

These include the high purchase cost for high-performance software and hardware, incompatibilities between various existing software, the reduced number of experts, and the time needed to train specialists.

Successful projects completed using BIM

Studio ae converted the former Chitila bus station in Bucharest into a commercial space. This was the first project for which the architecture and structure were completely designed using BIM, across all phases.

The project involved extensive construction work: the consolidation of the existing building, and its extension by using a new structure and a public "platform" in relation to the city.

Thanks to BIM design, we were able to communicate the solutions more clearly and more efficiently. During the construction phase, the number of on-site changes was reduced, and we were able to save time and increase the overall quality of the project.

About 3D scanning

Another type of technology often used by Studio ae is 3D scanning, which allows for the exact measurement of new or existing buildings (e.g., for verification purposes). 3D scanning is a non-invasive method of gathering information on-site. Based on the information from the scan, the data is processed and transformed into a BIM work project.

For example, from the earliest stages of a project involving two buildings with a complex geometry on site, Studio ae used 3D scanning, followed by the conversion into a BIM model. This work method increased the quality of the project and reduced the total execution time.

The future of architecture

The sustainability of buildings and the reduction of consumption through efficiency and the integration of technologies used by smart buildings is already a key focus area. Within this process, BIM becomes a key element for communication and the transfer of information between specialists.

Robots are already being used in construction and 3D printing, algorithm-based design solutions are possible, and computer programming used for making decisions (including aesthetic ones) is a reality. The argument for efficiency is becoming increasingly important, and with the help of computers, both the solutions and the usage of materials will be optimized.

The development of technologies such as BIM, augmented reality, VR (virtual reality), information integration, and collaboration using cloud infrastructure will continue to accelerate.

Additionally, AI (artificial intelligence) development in the fields of architecture and design will soon become available. For example, in 2019 in Milan, the famous French designer Phillipe Stark showcased the first chair created by artificial intelligence.

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