Augmenta | August 29, 2022
Augmenta, the company automating building design for the construction industry, today announced the Electrical Design Module, the first Generative Design solution for its Augmenta Construction Platform (ACP). The module addresses the needs of electrical contractors and engineers, enabling them to accelerate the time it takes to estimate and create fully constructible, code-compliant electrical raceway designs by automating the entire process.
While today’s shop drawings typically only model the main runs of an electrical distribution system, the Augmenta Construction Platform can create fully detailed designs for entire projects in hours instead of weeks or months. Using Generative Design, the Electrical Design Module for the ACP delivers accurate, National Electrical Code® (NEC) compliant, fully detailed 3D raceway designs, complete with a bill of materials. This not only reduces design time by up to 70%, it also eliminates double entry, and provides the ability to evaluate multiple design options against cost, construction time, and maintainability. The generated designs are more efficient, requiring up to 20% less material and labor than traditional designs. The Electrical Design Module also cuts the time required to estimate projects by up to 50%. These benefits enable engineers and contractors to make better use of their teams, letting them focus on higher value activities.
“The Electrical Design Module for our Augmenta Construction Platform is the first of several solutions we are developing to automate building design, We’re tackling the toughest design challenges in the construction industry, and plan to also provide solutions for plumbing, mechanical, and structural engineers and contractors. Our ultimate goal is to deliver an integrated solution that eliminates the time consuming and error prone processes of designing systems, and sharing and coordinating those designs across trades.”
-Francesco Iorio, CEO and co-founder of Augmenta.
Using Generative Design and AI to solve one of the biggest design problems in construction
Today, the building design process is constrained by tools that act as little more than a digital drafting board. These tools make creating designs for electrical systems complex and time-consuming, often requiring several rounds of review, interpretation, and refinement. Each iteration takes time and money, making it impractical to explore alternative design options.
Until now, computational design and design automation have been used in the construction industry primarily for conceptual exploration by architects. For the first time, Augmenta is bringing the power of these techniques to all aspects of the design process. Using a novel combination of mathematical optimization and artificial intelligence to ensure designs are constructible and compliant, the ACP also leverages machine learning to continuously speed up the design process. This transformative approach enables the automated design of constructible buildings at a high level of detail, based on the requirements identified for a building and the applicable building codes.
The Electrical Design Module was developed in collaboration with Interstates, an innovative electrical contractor based in the U.S.
“In a very short period of time, we saw how dramatically Augmenta’s approach to automated design can reduce the cost of the design process, It enables us to decrease the risk of inaccurately scoping time and cost estimates while drastically reducing the time it takes to complete estimates for bids. This gives us additional time to present fully considered design alternatives, thus positioning our company as a strategic partner to our clients, which include general contractors, engineering firms, developers, and owners.”
-Josh Gillespie, BIM/VDC Director at Interstates.
Founded by pioneers of Generative Design at Autodesk, Augmenta is a software company that is driving a new level of efficiency for the construction industry by automating building design. The company’s flagship Augmenta Construction Platform (ACP) significantly accelerates the time it takes to detail and estimate designs, eliminates costly redesign and rework, and reduces overall risk. It also ensures buildings are designed to be energy efficient, use sustainable materials, are safer to build, and contribute less waste to landfill during construction. Once available commercially, this innovative new cloud-based platform – which uses artificial intelligence, including machine learning and mathematical optimization – will enable contractors and engineers to create error-free, constructible, code-compliant designs of buildings and systems in hours instead of weeks.
ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION,ENGINEERING TECH,CONSTRUCTION
KUKA | September 23, 2022
Pioneers in modular construction and car factory automation have teamed up to advance the construction industry. U.S. modular housing pioneer, Waypaver International and German automation leader KUKA are today unveiling a predesigned automation solution to produce modular housing. The solution, System P4, provides everything a factory owner needs for an automated modular housing operation, off the shelf.
System P4 is designed by Waypaver, powered by KUKA automation technology, and backed by the P4 Housing Collective. The P4 Housing Collective includes four separate companies: Waypaver, Prefab Logic, Modular Maven, and Effektiv House. The team collectively offers a construction ecosystem of plant design, people development, preconstruction design/engineering, and products ready to be built—designed together to work together with System P4.
System P4 began with a collaboration between Rick Murdock, CEO and Founder of Waypaver, and Timo Heil, one of the CEO's of the KUKA System Group. Murdock and his business partner Curtis Fletcher pioneered the use of automation in construction in what is now the highest volume automated modular factory in the western U.S. Following this success, Murdock and Fletcher were sought out by developers, factory owners, and municipalities seeking new solutions to the global housing crisis.
"Developing the world's first automated plant of its kind forced us to make big advancements in construction engineering and manufacturing, "The goal has always been to learn and share better ways to build, advance modular construction, and make housing more attainable worldwide. Collaborating with KUKA on System P4 is a major next step because it gives future factory owners a turnkey solution based on real-world lessons learned by pioneers in both construction and automation."
-Rick Murdock, CEO and Founder of Waypaver.
Heil—who has extensive experience in the conceptual design, planning and implementation of complex systems—adds, KUKA has played a decisive and global role in shaping the automation of the automotive industry in its more than 100-year history. Together with the strong team around the P4 system, we will put all our know-how into a paradigm shift in the way we build homes. Because nothing less than that is needed to meet the global challenge of housing shortages. Automation closes the wide gap between construction capacity and demand, while also making construction more efficient—both in terms of cost and sustainability.
KUKA, a leader in automation for car-manufacturing, had a vision for how their technology and automation expertise could be used to build housing. Murdock, Heil, and Fletcher teamed up to envision a factory design that could combine KUKA technology and innovation with the proven best practices of automated modular construction to give modular factory startups a predesigned solution. The result, System P4, is a complete solution including Waypaver plant floor layout and logistics combined with KUKA robotics automation, hardware, and integration services.
System P4 is a response to the worldwide housing crisis due in part to labor shortages and inefficiencies in construction. According to McKinsey & Co, construction is the world's largest industry, yet it has been one of last and slowest to advance technologically. Between 1900 and today, car manufacturing has made staggering advancements. In the 1920s, it took Ford 12 hours to produce a car; today a car is produced in less than a minute. With System P4, Murdock, Heil, and Fletcher see similar opportunities to reduce the time it takes to build housing—while relieving workers in the construction trades of physical stress.
Our constant focus is making homes attainable, and making construction more precise, more productive, and easier, Fletcher said. The P4 Housing Collective is a team of separate companies united around this shared passion. We've made huge progress with data-driven methods for smarter construction and standard products plus automation to take the back-breaking work off of people. System P4 is powered by KUKA, and backed by data-driven preconstruction, off-the-shelf products, and people development programs—all designed to work together with System P4. This is great news for developers, municipalities, and modular builders looking to establish their own steady stream of quality housing.
KUKA is a global automation corporation with sales of around 3.3 billion euro and roughly 14,000 employees. The company is headquartered in Ausburg, Germany. As one of the world's leading suppliers of intelligent automation solutions, KUKA offers customers everything they need from a single source: from robots and cells to fully automated systems and their networking in markets such as automotive, electronics, metal and plastic, consumer goods, e-commerce/retail and healthcare.
Waypaver International is a small and mighty team of modular manufacturing experts with proven expertise helping design numerous modular plants. The team's members average more than 30 years in modular construction each. Waypaver's founder led the development of the first automated modular plant of its kind, and acted as the factory's most senior manager as it became the highest-volume modular factory in the western U.S. in less than three years. Collectively, the team has led the design of more than a dozen modular plants. Waypaver is committed to helping potential plant owners and operators understand risks, avoid costly mistakes, and enjoy the adventure of paving the way for a smarter, faster, more efficient construction industry worldwide.
CivilGrid | July 22, 2022
San Francisco-based startup CivilGrid is modernizing infrastructure planning with a data sharing platform unprecedented in scale and security. In the last 15 months, CivilGrid's $2.2M pre-seed fundraise propelled hiring, product development, and data acquisition initiatives, which have led to new collaborations with infrastructure owners across California.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), a combined gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million customers across Northern and Central California, is working with CivilGrid to share gas and electric asset locations with companies planning projects across PG&E's entire service area.
Underground data is critical, yet difficult to obtain in predictable formats or time frames. The US construction industry loses $30B each year due to utility line strikes, despite widespread use of locate and mark services. Project costs increase quickly when unexpected site conditions occur. Founder Josh Mackanic spent 14 years in the utility and construction industry navigating problems caused by gaps in built environment data. Recognizing an opportunity to improve safety and efficiency, he launched CivilGrid in 2020 as a reliable source of site intelligence for engineering and construction personnel.
CivilGrid offers a comprehensive map interface with utility locations, site hazards, geotechnical conditions, land rights, and permit constraints. The platform also identifies project conflicts or coordination opportunities by comparing work plans across infrastructure operators. Through CivilGrid, engineers, planners and project managers accelerate site evaluation, reduce dig-in risk, and optimize multiyear project portfolio plans.
CivilGrid users are planning and coordinating projects more efficiently, resulting in dramatic cost savings. One team at a telecommunications engineering services firm is reducing data acquisition and processing costs by 90% and reducing lead times from months to minutes.
San Jose Water, an investor-owned public water utility serving 1 million people in the greater San Jose area, now references CivilGrid during interagency coordination meetings to improve work sequencing in the public ROW. It is immensely useful to have the GIS layers of multiple municipalities/utilities on a GIS map all at once, explains an engineer from San Jose Water. CEO and Founder Josh Mackanic adds, CivilGrid is improving how infrastructure projects are developed, and these projects are the lifeblood of our local economies. These improvements benefit an entire ecosystem of stakeholders, from project engineers to local businesses.