Over 20 years ago our Sector has seen a huge transition from the drawing board to computer aided design. Computational design is now creating a new process for design allowing us to explore and develop our designs further than ever. By creating defined rules and constraints and inputting these into a specific system, it is now possible to generate thousands of options almost instantaneously. Programs are then able to validate and evaluate the design in order to determine the best solution.
A proportion of an architects’ or engineers’ job can involve some repetition whether this be on individual tasks or across multiple projects. As designers, these are the jobs we dread and take up the majority of our time. Computation allows us to automate these tedious tasks by mapping out a process and then allowing the computer to do the repetitive work. Automating particular tasks on a project can very quickly bring benefits to the team, in terms of freeing up staff to concentrate on more challenging problems, reducing the number of staff needed on a project or reducing the opportunity for user error.
With computation and interoperability comes better ways to visualise and present our information. Visual programming tools such as Dynamo and Grasshopper can be used to query geometry built in a model and directly interact with powerful dashboards such as Microsoft Power BI to show the results in an interactive format.
With the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the realisation of the importance of building data in the form of predefined templates such as COBie, the amount of data on any given project is enormous. Using computational tools allows us to mine large datasets and feed them into other useable formats.
Parametric design principles have been around for many years and have contributed to some of the most complex building forms built to date. Scripting pushes the capabilities of parametrises further and with the ever increasing advances in computers, technology and software, the potential complexity than can be integrated into intelligent design is growing vastly.
Visualising and assessing building design and performance can now be done quickly and effectively at all stages of design. Computational BIM takes building studies to a new level by providing greater levels of interoperability between different types of modelling and analysis software packages. Through different studies we can asses a buildings performance in the early stages of design, in order to make informative decisions that can effect design.
With more complex construction projects than ever before, it is becoming increasingly important to check and validate both geometric information and data to mitigate risk, through all stages of design, construction and use. By defining rulesets computational methods allow for a more efficient and effective way of checking information from multiple platforms and cross-checking various software packages.