February - A big leap forward

Automation in engineering

The Valley residential towers on the Amsterdam Zuidas, a spectacular design by MVRDV, commissioned by OVG Real Estate, have a whimsical shape. As a result, none of the 30 floors are equal to each other. Which means little repetition, which normally leads to a lot of ‘craft’: time-consuming and error-prone. Joop Zuur, engineer at Inbo, is looking for ways to facilitate repetitive tasks by automating them. For the Valley project he organised automatically displayed wall finishes. With more than 24,000 walls in more than 2,000 spaces it would be a pretty intensive and monotonous task to perform manually.                  

Joop says: "The wall finishes are listed with a special code per space, by giving value to a parameter of the space in the 3D model. We wanted to translate this encoding into colored lines on the drawing. The value of the space had to be translated into a colored line on the drawing, to all walls that are adjacent to this space. We have been using Dynamo for the automation, which is a visual programming interface within Revit. This software automatically searched the edges of the rooms and gave them a colored line. 

More often we are using automation for repetitive tasks and for control, data enrichment, data extraction and even for composing entire housing blocks based on an Excel file. The role of such programs is becoming more extensive. Computational design and the skill of computational thinking therefore is becoming more and more part of our daily work

More information: Wilco van Gils, Joop Zuur