A trip down memory lane will be essential to explain the development of smart construction drawings.
Construction drawings are very critical to any proposed project. The developer’s vision of a project is initially crystallized as a viable concept. The concept is then visualized on paper as a drawing. Project drawings are usually conceptualized by a group of many-disciplined professionals who collectively work on the project delivery team. The Key deliverables for the client usually dictate what the drawings will look like.
Types of Construction drawings
Construction Drawings can be categorized into many types. For this article, we will categorize construction drawings as followed:
- Concept drawings-Architectural construction drawings
- Working drawings
- Commissioning drawings
- Operations and maintenance drawings
Conceptual drawings are compiled mainly by architects during the initial stages of the project. Working drawings usually comprise the revised drawings by discipline professionals. These professionals are electrical engineers, civil structural engineers, mechanical engineers, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning engineers, and health and safety practitioners. Commissioning drawings are used to test if the key elements and systems of the project are working properly. Operations and maintenance drawings are used to correct defects. Operation engineers and technicians troubleshoot the installed systems using the same drawings.
Traditional methods of drawings creation
Drawing creation in the past was through hand sketches. Architects and engineers did spend lots of time drawing lines to capture design concepts. This was labour intensive, draining and made projects take longer to complete. A complex design that requires optimization through design repetition, could only be possible if done by many engineers.
The call for drawing revisions was undesirable to the design team considering the above challenges. To solve these challenges, engineers collaborated with other professionals to rethink the design process.
Smart practices in construction drawings (2022).
To expedite the design timelines for projects, Engineers looked to computer-aided design (CAD).
Increased computing power means increased optimization capabilities of designs. CAD has also enabled the use of many variables during design for the best outcomes for the project.
Computer technologies have enhanced construction projects in the following ways:
Virtual 3D Modelling
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is the process of creating a digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a building. It is used to create virtual 3D models that simulate the appearance and behavior of buildings in different stages of design, construction, and use
Multivariable construction design optimization
The use of BIM has enabled the designers to improve the quality, efficiency, and safety of the design process. This optimization reduces the time and costs typically associated with construction projects in the following ways:
- A reduction in the number of drawings—well optimized Working drawings always translate to limited drawing revisions due to site changes. Poor designs always translate to many revisions being made on the drawings, leading to loss of time and increased project costs due to the variations.
- Reduced design time-Computers perform complex computations and iterations within a short period of time. This allows for timely changes in the design based on site conditions and requirements.
- Risk Management: Probable risks during construction are noted during design optimization and eliminated earlier.
Smart construction drawings design teams
Different designers like architects, civil and structural engineers, electrical, mechanical & plumbing engineers, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning engineers, and landscape architects can work on the same project design from different parts of the world.
These teams can share ideas, review design decisions, and make informed changes without necessarily being together in the same office or project site. Changes are dynamically reflected on the smart construction drawings hosted on a private cloud server.
Energy Efficient Construction
To meet climate change and sustainability requirements set out by the UN, engineers are leveraging BIM technology to carry out buildings energy audits during design to ensure compliant drawings are generated.
ArchiCAD has a variety of features that make it an ideal choice for designing energy-efficient buildings. Some of these features are: – Thermal Analysis which calculates heating and cooling loads, Heating Load Analysis which helps find out whether your building will be able to meet its heating requirements, EnergyPlus for modelling energy performance
AI integration in smart Construction drawings generation
AI is also being integrated into the BIM workflow applications and software, although it is still new.AI is used mostly for optimization of designs by considering factors like material costs, labour availability or on-site safety hazards.
The building industry is adopting AI in several ways. In smart construction drawings, AI can be used to create renderings that make a building more personal or use the application to constantly monitor the progress of building projects. Construction companies are also using it for maintenance management, which could detect problems with equipment or parts before they cause major damage and save on repairs, while other builders are using augmented reality for floor planning and space design.
With augmented reality, one can view the side of actual and virtual world by side using augmented reality (AR). AR overlays digital information on a user’s perception of the real world.
AR technology combines the actual and virtual world and is harnessed in construction in the following ways:
- Remote Expert collaborations-A site engineer conveys real-time information to the design HQ on exact locations where design changes are to be implemented. Captured data on location coordinates, altitude and visuals are relayed. Reality capture applications are used to facilitate such kinds of interactions.
- 3D Modelling Design and Visualization-Illustrations of a Construction 3D model design overlaid in a real-world setting.
- Simulation of the construction phase Construction companies are now using augmented reality to visualize the progress they’ve made on their projects and make sure they are on track with the timeline. This helps them avoid delays and stay on top of their deadlines.
There are a lot of useful augmented reality applications being applied in the building and construction industry. These include:
HoloBuilder– onsite staff members take images using a mobile app called “Jobwalk” and arrange them in connection to a site plan.
Bim 360- Connects your workflows, teams, and data
VisualLive-converts 3D models to AR models that are scalable
Archdesk-making it easier to manage construction projects
Other smart construction drawings software are:
- Civil 3D for road design and onsite construction.
- Prokon for smart structural construction drawings design
- Robot Analysis Professional
Projected growth for the construction Industry due to Automation
One critical area of AI is augmented reality (AR). AR is redefining the smart construction drawings industry through remote team collaborations, safety training, construction project reporting and automated measurements among others.
By integrating construction digital workflows and physical illustrations, augmented reality enables Project management and construction teams to boost efficiency, accuracy, and overall project confidence. The market for AR is projected to hit more than $275 billion globally by 2025. Instead of replacing construction team workers, the usage of augmented reality will greatly enhance how people and digital technology communicate.
With augmented reality’s advancement and widespread use, its usage in buildings will be more and more beneficial. Even the future construction of physical structures could be affected by it.