The world is changing rapidly, with an evolving workforce, accelerated digitalization and unprecedented demand for construction. A great deal of time is spent managing data and moving data from one place to another, which takes time away from more productive work.

During the GRAITEC 2024 Innovate2Build global AEC and MFG summit, Nicolas Mangon, Autodesk Vice-president of AEC Strategy, provided a glimpse into the ways artificial intelligence (AI) is influencing outcomes in architecture, engineering, construction, and operations.

Nicolas Mangon, AECO outcomes from using AI

As Mangon reminded, the industry has transitioned a few times in its digital transformation – from manual drafting to CAD to BIM to connected BIM in the cloud. The next predictable version of the BIM process is outcome-based BIM. In his presentation, he stressed that outcome-based BIM is not a replacement of model-based BIM; it’s just a different way of working. In the future, you may use each of these processes on specific projects or at various phases of a project.

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Using AI will provide a new way of working, whether in outcome-based BIM or other CAD and BIM processes.


To learn more about how Autodesk is going to deliver on these outcomes, watch Nicolas Mangon’s presentation, “How AI can transform the AEC industry.” Just click this 2024 Innovate2Build link to access it among the March 21, 2024 sessions.


PEOPLE

In this age of unprecedented demand for projects, using AI can automate tasks, augment creativity and analyze data to drive more outcomes. Autodesk anticipates that there will be substantially more work performed by people co-creating with AI. Automating tedious tasks is just one example.

AI enables companies to start the design process by focusing on the outcomes for the users, community and environment. Outcome criteria might include:

  • Affordability
  • Cost
  • Habitability
  • Human experience
  • Operating income
  • Sustainability
  • Time to delivery

AI can help explore an incredible number of possible options for a project’s outcomes.

graphic showing designs developed by AI, AECO outcomes using AI

Example of generative design

PROCESS

Historically, AEC processes have been fragmented, involving substantial rework and back-and-forth iterations. Mangon said there is always someone checking the work of the previous person. Issues like clash detection, code compliance and design iterations continue to challenge companies today. Usually, it’s only at the end of the project that the outcomes can be measured.

However, the capabilities of AI to explore countless options can be harnessed to co-create better outcomes.

When it comes to engineering, analysis output today is limited and time consuming. There is a lot of preparation work, and calculations take time. Analysis might include:

Mangon described how AI is being trained using synthetic design variations – scripts – to achieve thousands of design variations. An enormous amount of design data is used in this process. This enables real-time analysis for early stage building designs.

For example, the real-time analysis outputs from Autodesk Forma, released in May 2023, are iterated against previous calculations to deliver high accuracy.

During Mangon’s presentation, he demonstrated how, for modular applications, AI can be equipped with a catalog of building components from which it can optimize components in the project design. The best option can be chosen from potentially millions developed by AI.

graphic showing layers of Autodesk Forma platform and BIM data model, using AI

Autodesk Forma platform; image by Autodesk

PLATFORM

A new generation of Autodesk technologies will complement current design processes. They will give project teams access to a single source of work to ensure connected outcomes.

Mangon explained that Autodesk Docs will be the connection between Forma and other solutions, such as Autodesk Revit. Thus, companies already using Autodesk Docs are on the right path.

Forma will be powered by better data that can be connected. The granular data will be uncoupled from software applications and will live in a common data environment.

Better and connected data will enable:

  • Frictionless connectivity
  • Better informed decisions
  • Effortless collaboration
  • Generative AI or co-creation
  • Secure access at any time from any location
  • Ability to reuse knowledge from previous projects
  • Real-time and on-demand insights into trends and patterns
  • Rich third-party ecosystem of apps and services

From planning, design and preconstruction to construction, field management, handover, and operations, stakeholders will be able to share and transition between project stages. They will also be able to manage, control and reuse information and knowledge. Finally, they will be able to focus on executing projects with less risk.

Mangon stressed that quality and quantity of data provide the fuel for using AI. Quality data is crucial for substantial industry progress. The combination of people, process and platform is needed to achieve successful business transformation.


Learn about Autodesk Construction Cloud in the free GRAITEC Group eBook: The Importance of a Common Data Environment.


 

 

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