6 New Technologies Impacting Architecture

By Microsol Resources | BIM, Virtual Reality, Visualization

In the past few years, there have been some major technological changes. All of this new tech does more than just create trendy tablets or smart home speakers. It’s also changing the way our entire world looks. If you take the time to check out newer buildings, you’ll notice a few distinct changes.

How is technology changing architecture? Check out these exciting new architectural trends that show the power of technology.


1. The Internet of Things

Even if you’ve never heard of this technology before, there’s a chance you’ve used it. The Internet of Things (IoT) is essentially the idea of connecting parts of everyday life to the internet. In the average residential home, IoT is used for things like smart thermostats, voice-activated assistants, and motion-sensing video doorbells.

IoT is great for all these everyday little things, but it’s also becoming essential for big picture ideas. Many architects are starting to design their buildings around IoT. One popular option is using sensors to collect data on buildings. These sensors can monitor things like foot traffic and interior temperature, and then this data can help make other buildings better.

Another use for IoT is the design of green buildings. There are all sorts of little everyday inefficiencies that waste energy. In fact, 40% of all carbon dioxide emissions actually come from buildings. Having built-in components like HVAC systems with IoT can help drastically reduce wastage.


2. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is another exciting new type of technology that actually has some surprising applications for the architecture industry and construction industry. Most people associate VR with a headset that lets you play games. However, it can also be a great way of assessing building plans. Especially when the pandemic began limiting in-house tours, companies realized VR could be very helpful. Many real estate and architectural firms are starting to use VR as a way of letting clients see what the building would look like in real life.

In the design process, this technology can be very valuable. Many clients struggle with creating a mental picture of the design they’re discussing. This can lead to problems like a person walking into a half-completed house and realizing they want to change everything. VR can get rid of these sorts of problems. It allows people to create a design mockup and then explore the 3D model in real-time.

Doing so provides more opportunities for client input during the design process. It reduces the need for costly do-overs, so you can get things right on the first try. Another big perk of VR is that it’s quite affordable. You can often get apps that let you use VR right from your phone. The low startup costs make it an easy way to add technology advancements to a business without breaking the bank.

VR also has some interesting applications for augmented reality. This lets you combine a real-world location with renderings. It can be used to discuss remodels, choose a flooring material, or finalize a building design.


3. AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most promising technological advancements. AI uses machine learning to handle many tasks that humans used to do. This allows it to get involved in everything from parametric design to the actual construction process.

Most architects are starting to use software that uses at least small levels of AI. These algorithms can help avoid the need to spend a lot of time doing small, routine calculations. AI is also useful for analyzing big data, so it can help architects design very efficient buildings. However, AI might have even more applications in the future. The generative design allows AI to provide recommendations for buildings. Architects who take this input into consideration have the opportunity to create some very unique designs.

AI is exciting for many reasons. First of all, it can save money for companies. Once you deal with the initial startup costs, you can reduce labor costs on each project. AI is also promising because it helps optimize things. With AI optimization, you can really perfect architectural processes. AI often comes up with unusual and innovative solutions that architects might’ve otherwise ignored.


4. 3D Printing

3D printing is a type of technology that uses carefully calibrated machines to print parts based on computer specifications. As soon as 3D printing technology was developed, many people started wondering if it could be used to build houses. Though smaller 3D printers were initially only useful for making things like computer parts, there are now big ones that can handle architecture projects. There are already quite a few test homes built in places like New York with 3D printing technology.

Using 3D printing services for construction comes with many advantages. First of all, it is fast and affordable to replicate designs. This has big implications for sustainability. Architects who are interested in finding ways to streamline the building process are beginning to focus on designs that can be 3D-printed.

3D printing is also interesting due to its ability to be incredibly precise. You can generate models with printing software and then have the printer create things to your exact specification. This can be useful for doing things like creating mockups to scale or building precision-crafted components. Architects who turn to 3D printing can always be confident their design studio instructions are being followed precisely.


5. BIM

Not all types of new technology are tangible pieces of hardware. There are also very promising new types of software that are revolutionizing the architecture and design industries. Building information modeling (BIM) is a type of software process that can make it far easier to handle a project. Almost all modern architecture firms are starting to look into BIM consulting services.

BIM is particularly interesting because it simultaneously manages the work of everyone from engineers to estimators. There are many steps involved in BIM, including managing documentation, using design software, scheduling construction, and communicating with clients. Many types of software incorporate BIM, including Revit, Allplan, and ArchiCad.

The big advantage of BIM is that it streamlines design and building workflows. Clients are more satisfied because they feel more involved, and projects run more smoothly. Teams collaborate better, so there is less risk of errors in work. BIM also helps speed up the process and reduce the use of building materials. Altogether, these powerful new digital tools have the potential to make design projects go a lot more smoothly.


6. Robotics

Robotics and automation have many exciting applications in architecture. Some architects are working to design buildings that actually integrate robots. This architectural design has the potential to create buildings in the future that can shift and change to suit a client’s needs. Robots can also combine with IoT technology to make daily life easier for building inhabitants.

Another application for robots is in construction. Robots are already used to perform tasks underwater and in other areas where humans cannot easily travel. As these machines become more capable, there are more and more opportunities to build in inhospitable environments. Architects who design robot-built environments have more opportunities to make creative designs that address our changing climate.

Ultimately, these new technologies can make it easier than ever to create new buildings. However, they do come with some design considerations. Architects and designers who want to succeed will need to use this new tech thoughtfully.

INDUSTRIES: Architecture, Buildings, Civil Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, Construction, MEP Engineering, Structural Engineering

Published on March 25, 2022 in BIM, Virtual Reality, Visualization.

About the Author

Microsol Resources delivers integrated solutions that help customers design, simulate and analyze their ideas, increase operational efficiencies, and maximize their return on investment in their technology solutions. As a team, we are passionate about helping customers improve their productivity and overall business processes. How can we help? Just reach out.