Autodesk makes software for people who make things. If you've ever driven a high-performance car, admired a towering skyscraper, used a smartphone, or watched a great film, chances are you've experienced what millions of Autodesk customers are doing with our software. Autodesk gives you the power to make anything, but some segments of the general public are not yet aware of that.
The Autodesk Gallery at One Market in San Francisco celebrates design — the process of taking a great idea and turning it into a reality. With about 60 different exhibits regularly on display that showcase the innovative work of Autodesk customers, the gallery illustrates the role technology plays in great design and engineering. Autodesk Gallery Ambassadors conduct gallery tours as a sideline to their day jobs. The tours provide ambassadors with opportunities to practice public speaking in front of small groups by informing visitors about what our customers imagine, design, and make using our software.
Sometimes exhibits from the gallery go on the road and appear at special events, like pop-up galleries that we have hosted in Paris, London, Tokyo, and Toronto. In contrast, sometimes exhibits are created for special events and then make their way to the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. For example, at last year's Autodesk University in Las Vegas, we debuted 19 new exhibits. Some of these may resurface in San Francisco.
The Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Financial Center exhibit is one such exhibit from AU:
- Autodesk Dynamo Studio // more
- Autodesk Inventor // more
- Autodesk Navisworks // more
- Autodesk Revit // more
Standing 530 meters tall with 103 stories, the Tianjin Chow Fook Tower is an example of using BIM to improve collaboration for better outcomes.
Reaching over half a kilometer into the sky, the Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Tower will be one of China's most striking landmarks. Standing 530 meters tall and 103 stories high, China's Chow Tai Fook Financial Center is an impressive addition to the city of Tianjin — and not only because of its size. With business and retail space, apartments, and a five-star hotel, the tower has become a prime example of how to use emerging technologies and Building Information Modeling (BIM) to improve collaboration and achieve better outcomes in construction.
BIM distinguishes itself from traditional CAD in that an information model is created with relationships among the parts instead of just specifying geometry. Let say a project has beams connected to two walls. As the walls move, the sizes of the beams automatically adjust. But that's just the geometry. Let's say this project has 27 beams that cost $1000 each, and each takes a day to install. That's $27,000 and 27 days for the project. Now let's say that the design changes and 28 beams are now needed. The BIM model automatically updates to $28,000 and 28 days. Gone are the says where Excel spreadsheets are out of date with the latest CAD drawings.
BIM allowed them to cut 30 days from the building schedule, reduce materials needed for delivery to save 60 days of construction work, and robots/UAVs improved the speed of measurement and reduced errors during installation.
From the outset, the use of BIM was required for all employees, contractors, and subcontractors, and BIM was integrated into every construction process. What's more, the contract requires delivery of BIM models for operation and maintenance upon completion to BIM Level of Development (LOD) 500.
The BIM Levels of Development include:
- LOD 100 - Concept Design
- LOD 200 - Schematic Design
- LOD 300 - Detailed Design
- LOD 350 - Construction Documentation
- LOD 400 - Fabrication and Assembly
- LOD 500 - As-Built
BIM enabled the teams to adjust 20,000 wall layouts and more than 8,000 door heights for ceilings of different elevations and types across more than 50,000 square meters. By avoiding modification and rework, the project cut 30 days from the building schedule. With an output of nearly 4,000 drawings for masonry panels, light partition walls, piping shafts, doors, and other elements, contractors were able to prepare their work precisely. This helped to cut the amount of materials needed for delivery, saving 60 days of construction work. Also, robots are used to accurately locate the position of pipe supports, improving the speed of measurement and reducing errors during installation, and outside, drones capture images of the construction site each day to compare and analyze the progress for different areas. Virtual reality is also using data from the BIM models to improve worker safety on the construction site.
Thanks to the Autodesk Gallery team for the descriptive text for this blog post.
Autodesk has always been an automation company. Today, more than ever, that means helping our customers automate their design and make processes. We help them embrace the future of making, where they can do more (e.g., efficiency, performance, quality), with less (e.g., energy, raw materials, timeframes, waste of human potential), and realize the opportunity for better (e.g., innovation, user experience, return on investment). The construction and manufacturing industries are converging. Customers who make buildings are adopting processes traditionally employed by customers who make things. Practices like mass production and quality control are being applied at construction sites. This approach helps builders do more and better with less. Applying BIM to the financial center allowed construction teams to reach new heights in less time, with less effort, and lower costs. That's better regardless of how one measures it.
The Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is a guided tour on Wednesdays at 12:30 pm and a self-guided audio tour available anytime. Admission is free. Visit us.
Construction is alive in the lab.