A.I.’s Link Between Data and Sustainability
16 March 2023Architecture and Engineering, Computational Design, Connected Construction, Construction, Digital Transformation, SustainabilityAI, Applied Software, Carbon, Collaboration, Data, data management, data strategy, embodied carbon, revit, specifications, supply chain, sustainable design
Sustainability is changing the way we approach design, data and reporting. We can see the changes taking place as companies and government agencies consider regulating embodied carbon in the industry, connecting disconnected data sources and databases, as well as using technologies like computational design and artificial intelligence (AI).
There has already been an upsurge in sustainable construction practices, mainly through a voluntary approach involving tax credits and financial incentives. But an increasing number of regulations are being put into place to attempt to enforce adoption.
It is often in a company’s best interest to make a sustainability commitment because of emerging regulations and pressure from customers to accomplish sustainable building outcomes. In the recent Bridging the Gap Podcast with guest Anthony Zuefeldt, Anthony pointed out that the innovation race is underway. The way a company can join in that race is by mapping out a strategy.
Achieving sustainability goals requires developing a practical roadmap for the company’s involvement, then taking bold, ambitious action. Data is key to making informed decisions about sustainability. Thus, data management is a key portion of the strategy.
If you’d like to learn more about opportunities to improve your data management, contact Applied Software, Graitec Group today and start putting that big data you’ve been collecting to work for you.
In the quest to achieve better designs for better carbon outcomes, Anthony stressed there needs to be a change in the construction product specification paradigm. More companies are realizing this and weighing specification choices by looking through the lens of embodied carbon analysis. Companies need a deeper understanding of the ramifications of certain choices for building materials, components, façades, furnishings, workflows, and transportation. An automated data relay tool like EC3, which can be connected into Revit or PowerBI, is one way to connect data from different sources.
Although embodied carbon data is still a rough guess, it’s becoming more accurate as companies in the supply chain get better at tracking their products’ carbon output and making that information available to designers. It gives designers the ability to assess and compare materials and understand the implications of embodied carbon in materials being used on the job.
Companies can take advantage of digital technology to target sustainability demands, while reducing the use of natural resources. But they still face a challenge in tracking the achievement of sustainability goals. Data is essential for making informed decisions about a project with sustainable outcomes. The construction industry is famous for its disparate data sources and databases. Different pieces of information are required, and the reality is that information is hosted in many different places. So far, there is not a central location for huge amounts of construction data.
There are platforms that can provide real-time access to project information, enabling construction teams to collaborate and communicate more effectively. These tools automate tasks like document management, project planning and budget tracking so companies end up with more accurate data. But their impact is minimal compared to incorporating AI for collecting and analyzing data.
A.I. Plus Data
Even in its infant stage, AI is already providing contractors with benefits like improved project planning and scheduling, lower project costs and enhanced safety.
One complication is the dynamic and complex nature of construction projects. This makes collecting and managing data more challenging than in a controlled sector like manufacturing – an issue that could be more easily solved using AI.
A recent article in ConstructionDive addressed the importance of sharing data for AI to become effective in the construction industry. The limited impact AI currently has could increase dramatically when more companies share information industrywide.
The potential benefits of AI in achieving construction sustainability targets are noteworthy. AI can give companies a foundation for informed decisions that ultimately affect project sustainability, quality, safety, schedules, and profitability.