Can you imagine just clicking a button to change a structural steel frame to a concrete frame and immediately see the results? Parametric models can do that, you can quickly compare completely different structures and instantly receive cost and quantity information and carbon emissions to make decisions based on data.
Construction industry is one of the least digitized industries in the world and it has been suffering from a severe lack of productivity growth for multiple decades. There are several reasons behind this and Sweco meets the challenge with technology. The industry has slowly opened its eyes to what is called Data Driven Design.
The idea is simple: design decisions are based on data. Problem with this is the fact that there is not a lot of usable data available. Even though many of the assignments done at Sweco create 3D models, commonly known as Building Information Models (BIM), the deliveries created in these assignments are in the vast majority of the cases, 2D drawings and lists. This means that a lot of the data in those assignments are essentially lost or need to be recreated in a machine-readable format to be able to benefit from it.
Having this type of machine-readable data and automated design tools in the very early phases of projects will create a positive impact on the delivery. Early on you most often have the least amount of resources available and that is when automatization is most effective.
Parametric Design as a Service (PDaaS) solutions offer tools to automate the repetitive non-value creating tasks in early design phases.
The service is a web application in which the user controls a design model with a set of predefined parameters. Algorithms behind the tools are made by Sweco designers assuring we have the best available substance knowledge embedded into the tools. With automated tools it’s possible to rapidly create the data you need to make the correct decisions in early design phases.
Let’s take an example case of a truss joist. A product which consist of diagonals, top flange and bottom flange. It’s relatively simple to plot results of a single configuration to a value sheet to quickly assess the load bearing capacity. However, every deviation of this will require the designer the run the design calculations again. Parametrizing this process would allow the users and maybe potential customers to check any design configuration instantly without the need of spending valuable resources on repetitive calculations and waiting for the calculation results.
The parametric models can be something much more complicated like an entire floor system, building or a bridge site.
With Parametric models, you can quickly compare completely different structures and instantly receive cost and quantity information and carbon emissions to make decisions based on data. This allows us to select the best possible solutions that are both sustainable, cost-effective and based on a low-carbon footprint.
Parametric Design as a Service is based on same technique as many of our successful projects. Sweco was involved as a pioneer in parametric design at the Global BIM Award winner project Randselva bridge in Norway.
Check the VIDEO on how Sweco’s Parametric Design as a Service system supported our customer´s needs.
Rasmus Sainmaa, Designer, email@example.com.