The AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) Hackathon was created in 2013 to give those designing, building, and maintaining our built environment the opportunity to collaborate with cutting edge technologies and its developers and designers. It has quickly become a global community of innovators that include all elements of the built environment.
Hackathons show that organizations are capable of deliver breakthrough innovation at start-up speed. And that’s never been more critical: speed and agility are central to driving business value, making hackathons a valuable tool for accelerating organizational change and fostering a quick-march, customer centric, can-do culture.
In the last two weeks of July 2020, Sweco participated in the AEC Hackathon network for the sixth time.
The AEC Hackathon online was the 44th Hackathon organized by the AEC hackathon community. This virtual event attracted over 310 participants from all over the globe.
“These hackathons are a good way to test concepts that we might not have time to test during the busy workdays. During those events, we have a limited time to solve the problem at hand. This forces us to split down our visionary concepts to actionable solutions, which often can be rolled out to Sweco’s production environments rather quickly.” says Joonas Helminen, Data Science Project Manager.
Sweco’s team was one of the winners at the event. They created a hack that connected to a set of internal Sweco databases which contain over 600 years of design data. This design data was collected over the previous 11 months, from the BIM design software. The data is collected, when Sweco’s designers are designing and planning the future building, roads, bridges, schools, hotels, etc., in their daily work routines. In practice, this data is collected for everything the engineers and architects do inside the BIM software, if they insert an object, delete it, change its parameters or properties, all those actions and more are collected.
The tools built during the event, analyze those billions of data rows, understand the relationship between the data and all those actions and then use that to target the extracted knowledge back to the design teams at a time they might need that knowledge. For example, if the machine understood that the designer was trying to design a new wall in a school project, the machine would analyze all the previous school projects, and how the walls were designed there, and could suggest some design tools that could help the designer design the wall in a faster and more sustainable way.
These new processes are supporting Sweco’s digitalization journey, and allowing Sweco to augment processes, by providing the individuals, a collective wisdom.
You can find the recording from the team’s final pitch in the following link.
“There were two objectives for Sweco to join this hackathon. We wanted to develop concrete use cases in our project Wisdom initiative which could bring added value to our design teams. We also wanted to discuss and learn new with the other innovators at the event. Digitalization of the construction industry will only be possible, at an acceptable speed, with the collaboration between the various stakeholders in the industry.” says Tuomo Tiilikainen, Business Development Director.
If you have similar experiences, missions or goals talk to us, we are always eager to find new partners in this journey.
You can also listen to Ricardo’s fresh podcast at AEC business news website. He tells more about hackathons and whats in the future for Sweco regarding AI.
Ricardo Farinha, Director of Technology, Sweco