Gone are the days when Information Technology (IT) was only linked to the computers. The last two decades have shown a remarkable development of IT in our day to day lives. The aggressive use of the computers in the AEC industry has brought it to the new heights. The conventional practices have got an all new evolution since this period. Things have got more efficient and quicker than before. However, remember that we can always do better than the ones we have already done. The next big thing is the Automation which is fascinating to the people from different walks of life. This is something which has no end and always gets better with time. Self-driven cars are a beautiful example of automation with the use of Artificial Intelligence.
One can also notice the gradual change in the job profile these days. The knowledge of IT is like a must in the Curriculum Vitae. The industry has a massive demand for the professionals who can use IT along with their core engineering domains to enhance the workflow. Shortly, the majority of jobs requiring manual inputs will be taken over by the computers. So it is always better to be one step forward and keep our skills updated. Building Information Modeling has taken over the Indian industry by storm since last five to ten years. Every company in the AEC sector is readily investing in the implementation of BIM in their projects. It may take a year or so to completely replace the conventional CAD practices in the day to day tasks. The profits and the efficiency of which the projects are getting accomplished are remarkable. Even the companies can fetch more projects due to BIM technology and workflows adoption. It is appreciable that few government organizations have already mandated the use of BIM in the real estate projects. The code compliance is also getting a right way forward due to more and more development of BIM.
On the contrary, if one tries to have a glimpse of future of the AEC industry or better to say the whole Engineering, many hints can be traced at present. The Parametric Modelling is getting an all-new avatar. The re-introduction of Visual Programming in some past few years has turned up many heads. Gone are the days when programming used to be IT specific. There are many impressive visual programming tools available right now. Grasshopper and Dynamo are the two which have been the favorites of the masses till now. From architectural forms to structural designing or from data management to data arrangement, visual programming has changed the way we design things. This can be termed as Algorithm Aided Design. It gives a user the power to map his mind directly to the digital world by converting his thought process into an algorithm containing some set of rules, combinations, and instructions. It has given a designer the ability to convey his ideas through 3D. This is purely parametric modeling and the most powerful yet.
Right now, the visual programming tools are equipped with the additional packages to exchange information and integrate with some popular BIM software. For example, with the addition of Dynamo in Revit, the BIM can be brought to a whole new level. The arch truss bridge made in dynamo can be visualized in the figure below. Plenty of critical repetitive tasks can be eliminated with it.
Figure 1. Arch truss bridge made in Dynamo.
In brief, one can say that it requires pure mathematical knowledge to get advance into the visual programming operations. Remember, there is nothing random in this world. Automation is purely based on three fundamental principles, which are symmetry, relations, and rulesets. Having a keen understanding of these principles while analyzing any problem, can bring the solution much more comfortable and in a more efficient way.
Nirbhay Chauhan is a Structural Engineer and a BIM Explorist from Faridkot, Punjab, India. He is a Graduate Structural Engineer at BuroHappold Engineering. He has recently completed his research on OpenBIM by developing an IFC based rule engine programme in accordance to IS:456 for structural code compliance of RC slab. He is an Active Member at India BIM Association and he is passionate about Free Open Source Software (FOSS) and runs a free website and a youtube channel with the name of Eklavya Self Learning Tutorials. He provides free video tutorials and articles about FOSS BIM tools and his research work. He loves animals and humanity. Feel free to contact Nirbhay on firstname.lastname@example.org