Construction

Prefab Construction’s Benefits Grow With Design for Manufacture and Assembly

A growing movement in the construction industry—called design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA)—takes traditional design and grafts two important goals onto it: that the products will be easy to manufacture and that those manufactured products will be easy to assemble into a larger construction.

Not coincidentally, the construction industry stands to benefit greatly from an uptick in DfMA, whose principles contribute to making construction projects faster to complete, safer for workers, and environmentally friendlier.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/design-for-manufacture-and-assembly/.

Photo Credit: H.T. Lyons manufactured this 23-by-72-foot, more than 55-ton utility “super skid” at its Allentown, PA., prefab shop. Courtesy of H.T. Lyons.

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What’s Good Failure? 5 Things Research Scientists Reveal About Business Resilience

In research, goals are often amorphous. Work doesn’t follow the traditional business sequence of setting time-based objectives. Instead, innovative products require open-ended exploration and experimentation. How do you reconcile the two?

I’ve found that rather than trying to tame researchers and school them on the lessons of business, you should flip the script. Provide the research department with a direct connection to the customers for whom they’re dreaming up solutions. Then, help product teams appreciate the value of failure and iteration. Finally, make sure the two are well connected throughout the journey. This mindset and organization shift will lead to better product innovation.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/business-resilience/.

Photo Credit: Illustration by Micke Tong

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How Heroes Worldwide Built Modular and Prefab COVID-19 Hospitals in Mere Days

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries have supported those serving on the front lines of rapid-response health care. Building ad hoc, modular, and prefab hospitals for communities facing unprecedented clinical demand turned AEC experts into emergency responders, delivering high-quality projects amid exceptional circumstances.

These new practices will serve the construction industry in future crises—and perhaps even in the course of returning to more normal business modalities. Here, projects in three countries—China, Mexico, and England—illustrate what this extraordinary situation demanded, how teams mobilized, and the knowledge they gained.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/modular-hospitals/.

Photo Credit: The 1,000-bed Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China, was designed in 24 hours and built in 10 days. Courtesy of CITIC ADI.

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Ready to Reduce Your Construction Emissions? Use the Embodied Carbon Calculator

It’s no secret that the construction industry is one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse-gas emissions. The numbers are staggering: Embodied carbon currently makes up 11% or more of global emissions; by comparison, that’s more than five times higher than the 2% of global emissions produced by the entire aviation industry.

With a projected 2.5 trillion square feet of new buildings being constructed around the world by 2060—equal to adding a New York City to the planet every 34 days for the next four decades—emissions associated with embodied carbon will skyrocket if left unchecked.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/embodied-carbon-calculator/.

Photo Credit: With new construction projected to top 2.5 trillion square feet by 2060, it’s critical to address the environmental impact of building materials now.

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Bogotá, Colombia’s Atrio Complex Is a Marvel of Coordinated Construction

Atrio is on the fast track to becoming the new “heart of Bogotá.” The major mixed-use development, currently in its first phase of construction, aims to help regenerate Centro Internacional, a former commercial district in Colombia’s capital city.

The project comprises two towers (44 and 67 stories, respectively) that will provide office space, a hotel, residences, public services, and retail on Avenida Caracas. The complex will also feature a large new public space—a transportation-adjacent pedestrian area expected to be used by 72,000 people every day.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/atrio-bogota/.

Photo Credit: Bogotá’s new 107,600-square-foot Atrio complex aims to help revive the capital city’s downtown. Courtesy of ARPRO Ellisdon JV.

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One Man’s Journey With Smart-Building Technology in Construction

As a kid from the projects in Boston, Jimmy Grossmann had not envisioned a future for himself where he’d become National COO of a major construction firm. But when he was 18, he had the opportunity to work on a major renovation of the housing project in which he lived—and he loved it. “I really enjoyed going to work every day and being with the 150 other craftspeople all working towards one goal,” he says.

And just as Grossmann’s career progressed in the construction industry, so has the development and use of technology for construction. Watch Grossmann, National COO of Boston-based Suffolk construction firm, discuss his career and the importance of why and how he uses smart-building technology in construction.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/smart-building-construction/.

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A Robot-Made Habitat for Mars Could Bring Sustainable Building Down to Earth

According to a 2018 report by the International Energy Agency and UN Environment, the global construction industry is responsible for 39% of energy-related carbon-dioxide emissions. That is a huge, scary number—but one that comes with an equally large opportunity to mitigate climate change. The 2015 Paris climate talks revealed that by using existing technology, construction could cut global carbon emissions by up to a third.

Such a reduction requires finding a new way for the industry to move forward, or as CEO and chief architect of New York–based AI SpaceFactory David Malott puts it, “a high-tech way of going backward.”

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/mars-habitat/.

Photo Credit: A hypothetical Martian neighborhood of Marsha dwellings. Rendering courtesy of AI SpaceFactory and Plomp.

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99% Invisible Podcast: Why Sand Scarcity Threatens the Building Industry

If you’re a fan of the popular 99% Invisible podcast and the kinds of stories published on Redshift, then you’re in the right place. Autodesk and Redshift partnered with 99% Invisible host Roman Mars and his crew for six podcasts tied to the show’s mission of uncovering the fascinating—yet inconspicuous—ways that architecture and design shape the planet.

In this second episode in the partnership series, Mars explores sand scarcity in construction. The notion that the planet is running out of sand might come as a shock. After all, it’s the most abundant resource next to water and air. But it’s also a major ingredient in concrete, asphalt, and glass, and since reinforced concrete became a building material of choice in the 20th century, the demand for sand has increased exponentially.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/sand-scarcity/.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of National Park Service (NPS.gov)

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4 Tips for Building a Small-but-Mighty Team of BIM Experts

The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is the perfect embodiment of what it means to be big: towering skyscrapers, massive bridges, expansive tunnels, and innovative and inventive designs. Yet small can also be powerful, especially when it’s rooted in passion and purpose. These are the foundations on which Axoscape was built.

Based in Houston, Texas, Axoscape helps architects, contractors, and subcontractors understand BIM (Building Information Modeling) technology to stay relevant in the industry. Despite having only a nine-person team, the expert BIM-services firm is making a significant impact by taking on projects with a purpose, whether it’s laser-scan-like photogrammetry of damage from Hurricane Harvey or partnering with Habitat for Humanity, Houston Food Bank, and other organizations supporting their communities.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/bim-expert/.

Photo Credit: When tackling complex issues, it’s essential to bring diverse perspectives and skillsets to the table. Image composite: Micke Tong.

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Project Frog Envisions a Construction Industry Defined by Big Data

In this Q&A series, Redshift speaks with leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and disrupters who embody the future of making in construction, manufacturing, architecture, and infrastructure. This “Voices on the Future of Making” features Mike Eggers, vice president of Product and Innovation at Project Frog. The San Francisco–based industrialized-construction company designs and develops prefabricated building systems kits containing parts to be used in conjunction with a technology platform, delivering building solutions at scale.

Frog’s kits, the brainchildren of architects, product designers, and engineers, address three overarching concepts: flexibility, automation, and “accessibility,” meaning ease of use for architects, engineers, manufacturers, and builders. Similar to modular construction, these kits are assembled into schools, community centers, medical office buildings, and other structures. But while modular construction is fully assembled in a factory, the kits are designed for two-dimensional, flat-packed shipment to construction sites—like IKEA furniture but on a much larger scale.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/project-frog/.

Photo Credit: Project Frog designs prefabricated building systems as “kits” that are shipped to jobsites in flat packs. Courtesy Project Frog.

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