Revolutionaries of Technology

KCC 2019 took place in las Vegas already a month ago. It is a fact that now more and more of the technological breakthroughs in our industry are not coming only from Software and Solutions developers, but from the users. 

I would like to share the experience that we learned during that event from the Architectural and Construction Offices that are implementing the most advanced workflows in the industry.

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AIDEA – Philippines – Automation
AIDEA – Site

In case you never heard about AIDEA before, they are a global Integrated Design and Technology team with over 800 completed projects in 60 countries, ranked 46th by the Building Design 2019 World Architecture 100.

Leaded by Jojo Tolentino, AIDEA’s team have been developing workflows and plug-ins to enhance the capabilities of ARCHICAD and its collaboration with other platforms. 

The capacity of automation that they developed in the last years can be resumed in the sentence “we can reduce 6 months of work in 2 days”. This kind of statement might sound like bragging, but is not when we talk about AIDEA. The workflows they showcased during the event are really cutting edge technology. Without doubt they are leading the technological change in the AEC industry.

Jojo’s talk this time was more directed to the work environment and the company culture: “The Kitchen”. Even having the best people, they won’t be able to thrive and to drive the success of the company if there’s not an appropriate working culture that enables the innovation, the creativity and the challenges.

TAKENAKA- Japan – Optimization for High End Construction

Shimizu San presenting Takenaka’s VR workflow at KCC 2019 Las Vegas

TAKENAKA is a Construction, Architecture and Engineering firm. With over 400 years of history, they implement the latest technology in their workflows using BIM as their backbone. As ARCHICAD users their aim is to design and build their projects in the most efficient and exquisite level of quality. During the last years Enzyme had the great honour of Having Takenaka as one of our clients and collaborators. 

One of the main projects of the presentation of Hiroyuki Shimizu, Managing Officer at Takenaka’s Osaka office, was a very challenging design proposal for the construction of the Headquarters of a Steel Profiles manufacturing Company. The construction complexity of the project was huge. It was a master lesson of how to develop precise documentation from ARCHICAD models in order to manufacture very precise connexion and details.

Surbana Jurong – Big Construction Companies Optimize with ARCHICAD
Surbana Jurong – Site

Mr Wong Heang Fine presenting some of Surbana’s Latest Projects

Surbana Jurong is in charge of some of the largest developments in Southeast Asia. Their Group CEO, Mr Wong Heang Fine, presented how a big corporation in charge of such huge projects needs to implement technology to keep competitive. Changing from traditional workflows to BIM is not easy when the amount of teams and multidisciplinary approaches within the same organization are so big.

What we learn from their case studies is that the change to BIM is possible when there is determination to improve and to embrace the challenge. But most importantly they also use different solutions to create their particular workflows to keep improving their performance and overcome challenges. 

Automation of Layouts & Design Proposals – Liljewall Arkitekter
Liljewall Arkitekter – Site

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Kristen Broberg (partner) and André Agi (architect and Developer) are members of Liljewall D+, a team within Liljewall arkitekter developing data-driven workflows. They showcased some of the most stunning Design Enhanced workflows we have ever seen. Automation is not only applicable to productivity, coordination or delivery. There are many workflows that automate Massing exercise, Design decision making, Geometry optimization, etc…

What is really a technological breakthrough, is that these Design Optimization actually work from the Architectural requirement’s perspective. What it means is that is not only about fancy shapes and cool complex geometries. Neither about “generative design”. It is about real automated design solutions and massing exercise that can be applied and further developed for real projects. They use these automation applications that they create to enhance the capability of their designers.

Unreal Revolution & Twinmotion
Twinmotion – Site

As many of you already know, Unreal Engine is one of the most powerful rendering engines developed by Epic Games. It is used in the Videogame industry but also in other industries such as AEC, Product Design, Advertising, etc..

Twinmotion which is a real time rendering software developed by Abvent uses Unreal engine. TM is very user friendly and easy to learn in order to create quite good quality Images and Animations. But it is also a fact that ™ does not use the full capability of Unreal Engine such the Ray Tracing.

The recent news is that Epic Games has acquired Twinmotion. What is the meaning of this for users? First they have made Twinmotion 2019 License Free till Nov 2019. This is great news for all Architects who now have access to this incredible tool for free.

Image produced with Unreal Engine

But the most relevant topic is what is going to happen after this. Soon there will be a release of a new Tool / platform that will combine the flexibility and friendly interface of Twinmotion with all the power of Unreal Engine. Seems that the objective of Epic Games is to keep improving Twinmotion to make high end visualisations even more accessible to the AEC professionals.

It is not sure if there will be an upgraded enhanced Twinmotion with the full capability of Unreal Engine. Maybe Unreal Studio Suit will have a connection with TM, or there will be a better connectivity of AC with Unreal Studio as the one that exists already in between AC and TM.

But whatever is coming is going to be big in comparison of what there is in the market now. Ray tracing which is a technological feature of Unreal Studio and it is not integrated in TM, seems that is going to be accessible very soon for TM users. But as I said, not really clear of what is coming.

The very big news is that because of the agreement between Epic Games and Graphisoft, AC23 users will have FREE access to the release of TM / Unreal new development. Therefore being AC23 user is going to have a huge benefit not only for the AC itself, but for much more.

More yet to come… There are enhancements of ARCHICAD coming that we are not allowed to disclosed.

Mr Huw Roberts During the KCC 2019 Presentation

Apart from what we have seen in the past KCC and the coming upgrades of AC23, plus the technological breakthroughs that are happening in the industry right now, there is even much more coming…

Unfortunately we are not allowed to disclose the further developments of ARCHICAD and other partner solutions. The Nemetschek group is working hard to create a highly connected open BIM environment among a lot of multidisciplinary solutions. Examples of this is what we have mentioned about dRofus, SMC and Bluebeam.

Together with this expanding collaborative ecosystem, the connectivity with AC and other solutions with various different technologies like Unreal Engine, Grasshopper, Scripting languages, etc…;  are strongly growing.

It was also a pleasure to get to meet the new CEO of Graphisoft Huw Roberts, who shared the new strategies of Graphisoft and The Nemetschek group to keep improving our workflows and our capacity to overcome the challenges of Architecture.