Disruptive innovation: what it really means to the construction sector
The tools that are available for the design of our buildings and infrastructure are becoming increasingly sophisticated and data-driven. The use of algorithmic simulation, machine learning and generative design not only vastly accelerates the traditional design process but opens new ways of working by increasing the ‘search area’ for ideas and generating far more possible solutions. This will have significant long-term impacts on clients and designers, placing far more emphasis on problem statements, developing ideas and outcomes, and less on deliverables and documents.
This shift is happening as the manufacturing and construction converge. ‘Manufacture and assembly’, not ‘construction’, will tackle the endemic issues our industry faces. For over 2 decades Bryden Wood have been developing a highly sophisticated design and delivery methodologies for clients including GlaxoSmithKline, Heathrow Airport and many UK Government departments. We are all familiar with the idea that every car made by a manufacturer sits on a common chassis; in a similar way, construction platforms comprise components that can be used across sectors, so we can create the sort of repeatability and numbers where manufacturing techniques could be applied at scale. They generate high volume, constant demand for far fewer components which creates economies of scale. Components can be procured from a wide and diverse network of SME’s, seeing huge reductions in waste, and assembly can be done by workers after relatively brief training, creating new manufacturing jobs and skills. And of course, a platform approach supports advanced, digitally enabled workflows and plays to the strengths of ‘digital natives’; use of digital libraries also provides a repository for IoT sensor data, facilitates machine learning etc. This approach has been embraced by the public sector and forward thinking private sector clients. So what does this all mean? And what does this look like?
Having joined Bryden Wood, a tech-led team of designers in pursuit of value, shortly after the practice’s formation in 1995, Jaimie is responsible for the application of systems to the delivery and operation of truly high performing assets. This includes both physical DfMA systems and information systems (data analysis, digital delivery and BIM) for projects in the UK, Europe and Asia with clients including GlaxoSmithKline, Heathrow Airport and a number of government departments.