March 14, 2017

How Architectural Innovation Can Future-Proof Your Home

  • Blog
  • Design

As you’re thinking about architectural design, choosing a firm who is also a technology partner is actually quite a consideration. In this post, we will explore the evolution of architectural models, from classical to contemporary technological enhancements in the field. Further, we will demonstrate the practical importance and how it is an innovative, cost efficient and ultimately a safer decision for you and your family.

The field of Architecture has been around for centuries. At the outset, all it took was a pen, some parchment, a comprehensive understanding of geometry and physics, some solid building materials, and a little luck. Gradually, a sense of aesthetics entered into the equation that matured into different schools of thought. Although building materials have evolved over the years, the basic components in architectural design have remained mostly the same.

Enter BIM. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. Simply put, BIM is a set of digital blueprints. The idea behind BIM has been around since the mid ’80s, although it didn’t enter into mainstream practice until around 2002, when its principals were integrated into software (CAD) tools. However, BIM is more complex than simply computer aided design. Imagine being able to take a room and determine both the aesthetic and geothermal affect of natural light, based on geographic location? Or being able to build a structural wireframe, using regional building materials, while factoring in the actual availability of each specific component part. This type of information can then be used for budgeting – creating statements of work or a bill of materials for each local manufacturer – while being managed from a central location. It is because of these advanced capabilities that BIM has made an indelible impression in the field of architectural design and has become an integral component in modern design.

Traditional BIM models produce 3D renderings of a model, but the latest iteration of this concept is around 4D output. Simply put, 4D BIM is digital modeling plus time – essentially, combining Computer Aided Design principals with project management. Imagine being able to create a workflow model that simulates the entire construction process from the ground up. Why is this important? Having the ability to integrate design, project management and supply chain logistics within a single system builds a holistic and practical rendering of your project.

This technical progression in architectural modeling and project management is important, but they are conceptual developments, rather than demonstrable, to the end consumer. There are, however, a few ways that one can visualize them. A couple methods involve either VR or Smart Home integration. Virtual Reality renderings (VR) can allow an architect or a consumer experience a completely immersive and realistic tour of their new home. Another possible practical output could take the form of Smart Home integration. Imagine if your home could monitor and self-diagnose a problem before it happened. This concept is not as far-fetched as you may think. Houses (smart homes) that have been built with BIM architecture could feasibly have the specs stored in internal server. The house itself would then be able to monitor different sensitive points – electrical, plumbing, foundation- from a central location. Think anti-virus software…but for your house. It is not inconceivable that your house could run a structural integrity check on itself on a continual basis, so there is a reduced guesswork in home maintenance and repair.

Whether you are actively interested in smart homes or prefer to keep it simple instead, it is still important that you align with a design firm that intuitively understands and employs cutting edge technology like BIM.

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