The future of the MEP industry hinges on the trends of today. As those trends mesh together to improve the quality and efficiency of workflows, MEP firms can do the basics better. In a recent Podcast, Ian Molloy, Autodesk Senior Product Line Manager for MEP, explained that using the right automation, workflows can be connected and optimized, resulting in cost savings. As one Autodesk University attendee commented in an interview during the November, 2019, event, automation is becoming the norm in the MEP industry and transforming the way MEP contractors work. Here are some of the technology trends that are capturing attention:
Today’s 3D laser scanners produce point clouds with huge amounts of data from a construction site or an existing building to be remodeled. Not only can the point cloud be used as a starting point for a Revit model and a way to create geometry, it remains as a linked reference. 3D scans provide a highly accurate representation of the project and the site it resides on.
After someone has worked in the MEP industry for a while, they may feel like they’ve seen just about everything. But how about a thousand iterations of something? Generative design can and will do that. Using computers to assist with design efficiency expands the horizons on what it means to select the best design.
–Giving a customer the ability to visualize a proposal in real time is a deal maker. Beyond that, giving a team member the ability to project a layer of the project model onto their field of view on the jobsite gives clarity to the project experience. The difference between virtual reality and augmented reality are described in this blog article.
BIMfinity and Beyond
Moving to Revit isn’t painless. Yet thousands of companies have made the switch, taking advantage of the continually improving “smart” features of Revit as well as subcontractor-specific software like eVolve MEP. Some firms use a combination of Revit plus AutoCAD. The net effect on the industry is that projects are being modeled in 3D, annotated with 2D drafting elements and attached to a database of project information. The “brain” investment that companies put into the Revit transition rewards them in the current project and beyond. This Applied Software article describes one post-construction example, digital twins.