Technology in Architectural Practice


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The AIA Technology in Architectural Practice Knowledge Community (TAP) serves as a resource for AIA members, the profession, and the public in the deployment of computer technology in the practice of architecture. TAP leaders monitor the development of computer technology and its impact on architecture practice and the entire building life cycle, including design, construction, facility management, and retirement or reuse.

Virtual Design and Construction

  • 1.  Virtual Design and Construction

    Posted 07-08-2019 15:08
    The Search for a Solution: Transforming Design + Delivery through Virtual Design and Construction

    Architects are being called on with increasing frequency to deliver more complex buildings with shorter delivery schedules.There is more to accomplish and less room for error; and in my opinion, the traditional approach by many architects, contractors and owners has many challenges and issues to overcome.

    My firm has harnessed progressive and highly advanced technologies and integrated them with the most essential element in design: the relationship among human beings. With the right technological tools and the implementation of thoughtfully created execution success plans, the project delivery process can shift from adversarial to cooperative, a culture where blame follows failure to one in which trust fosters success - a winning formula for our enlightened clients.

    In the spirit of the AIA's call to action in its 2006 Report on Integrated Practice, SGA has invested significantly in increasingly powerful software programs and tools, which ultimately led our firm to establishing a Virtual Design and Construction discipline in 2014.  Time and again, on a broad spectrum of commissions, VDC has produced precedent setting milestones. Implementing Virtual Design and Construction in modeling, project delivery, curation and facilities management represents a paradigm shift for the profession of architecture. Our mastery of VDC has resulted in substantial cost savings, schedule reductions, elimination of on-site waste and has elevated my role as the architect in the project delivery process without comprising design quality. It is an architect led process that takes the confrontation out of the team dynamic and addresses directly the issues of waste, change orders and cost overruns that have plagued the design and construction industry.

    Historically, architects were once viewed as Master Builders; I believe that by thinking beyond the boundaries of traditional practice and technology, and embracing the commanding power of VDC, architects can rise up into the position of Digital Builders. VDC is the long awaited "bridge between design and construction".

    Alfred Spagnolo AIA
    Spagnolo Gisness & Associates, Inc.
    Boston MA
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