Digital and its relevance in design


Today, with the complexity of designs we are witnessing around the world, a digital uprising is very critical. As architects and designers, we need to actively invest in new technologies and innovations in the construction industry to enable stakeholders to save time and money and go paperless in the long term, moving towards environmental sustainability. Modern structures are a combination of various interconnected elements and the results of complex calculations. Ensuring this vital task is performed with the utmost precision requires a mix of skill and digital assistance.

Adopting various technologies in construction work can allow professionals to save time, improve work quality, reduce costs, focus on safety parameters and increase profit margins. Digitization can also streamline business models and practices with proper tracking metrics, thereby providing transparency and allowing us to collect data, track materials and labor hours for effective planning. The integration of technology also increases productivity, increases efficiency, and reduces project delivery time as project communication improves, reducing the opportunity for confusion and errors. Nowadays, ever-changing technology has further enhanced the use of digital tools such as BIM, a popular tool with integrated design practices. This allowed architecture and engineering to streamline and improve quality, accuracy and innovation. In addition, various 3D integrated design and analysis software facilitated construction operations by performing complex simulations. As a result, these software and tools have become very popular among architects and designers.

Digitized Operations – Embracing Change

The construction industry consists of many organizations that are unprepared or overwhelmed by the magnitude of new and emerging technologies. The growing desire of organizations to shift to digital operations is further reinforced by their intention to limit the use of resources such as paper. This saves huge printing costs, valuable time and storage in a modern workspace. Moreover, information management and knowledge transfer has become a rapid process with digitized operations.

But the main challenge facing the construction industry today is smoother communication between different stakeholders in completing projects on time. Projects are dynamic and often require many changes and modifications throughout their life cycle, especially from the sketch to the completion stage. While we have all moved towards using digital platforms for seamless communication and managing documentation and schedules through various platforms, there still needs to be seamless integration of all things dynamic and actionable. as a means of communication between different stakeholders. This calls for an urgent need for digital transformation in the construction sector, especially post-pandemic, with a digital-enabled workforce. Globally, the adoption of technology has enabled companies offering design and construction services to identify inefficiencies, develop an implementation strategy and employ the right staff. By incorporating state-of-the-art technology, integrated practices offering design and engineering consulting seek to increase cost effectiveness, streamline processes, reduce project risk, and bring efficiency to their design coordination by preventing design conflicts and adding value to the designed product.

Increase productivity with technology

In the era of pursuing integrated operations, collaboration becomes paramount. Architects use technology platforms such as BIM, enabling effective collaboration with engineers and contractors regarding the design of projects. With the growing popularity of BIM modeling, the use of 3D modeling software has become essential for government projects in some countries and is increasingly in demand for private projects of all sizes. When it comes to ensuring a safe working environment, augmented reality (AR) provides an overlay of digital information on the real world. Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR) enables software access to phones, reducing the use of high-end laptops and desktops for real-time updates. Additionally, virtual reality (VR) allows designers to model structures and simulate them in various real-world scenarios. The use of drones for inspections and surveys reduces the time required and the use of resources. Likewise, the Internet of Things (IoT) manages a plethora of technologies and optimizes the use of resources through efficient planning and the connection of all team members.

The future of the Indian built environment has enormous potential to develop complex structures in harsh environments with diverse social and climatic conditions. The economic narrative on projects must allocate space to enable advanced technology on large-scale projects. With multiple stakeholders involved in a project, time management becomes a necessity making collaboration the key to functioning in the industry. Technology, when used to its fullest potential, can increase communication between the field and the office. Additionally, real-time data allows plans, permits, and other documents to be submitted and approved more quickly, ensuring optimal project delivery. Therefore, the switch to digital with all the costs it implies seems justified in the industrial context.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.



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