A Platform Construction Approach to Design for Manufacture and Assembly P-DfMA by Bryden Wood

Radical change is necessary in the design and construction industry to realize the social and economic benefits we can achieve through better performing and better quality built environments and built assets. Design automation for industrialized construction is an approach we believe is key to realizing this change.

What Is Design Automation?

At the core of every successful architecture and construction project is thoughtful design. This shapes not only how a building looks, but also helps to optimize its functionality, quality and sustainability, as well as the value it provides to both occupants and the wider community. At Bryden Wood, we use design automation to create truly effective client solutions, rooted in our Design to Value approach. 

Design automation has a range of practical applications. Digital tools, including CAD software, make it possible to explore multiple iterations of complex building designs with ease, helping us to innovate and create more efficiently and effectively. 

Additionally, design automation enables our architects and engineers to reduce errors and improve quality, as well as to easily capture and iterate on designs. Predefined design rules help to create standardized designs that are efficient and repeatable, reducing the time required to complete repetitive tasks and improving productivity.

Design automation also helps to dramatically reduce costs, minimizing unnecessary material waste and speeding up the design process. Advanced tools and processes make it easier to optimize product quality, streamline workflows, and identify potential issues before they arise, troubleshooting any potential problems.

Construction Technology: Not Just Faster, but Smarter

In the Creative Technologies team at Bryden Wood, we have developed methodological and technical systems using a range of tools and programming languages to implement design automation in construction across different construction technologies. They embed the principles of Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) and mass customization to radically change the nature of asset design — and our role as designers within it.

Data-Driven Design Delivers Evidence-Based Decision Making

We create intelligent, automated processes that allow us to iterate more quickly, gain greater insights into problems and find better solutions for the built environment. Design automation is about taking a data-driven approach that can support genuine evidence-based decision making.

Four Key Threads of Computational Design Technology

We bring together different strands of computational design technology that are organized around four threads of thinking;

  • Systems: We capture and encode logic and rules by which design systems work.
  • Algorithmic design: We create intelligent automation processes to act on those systems.
  • Connections: We join our construction technology to other systems and platforms to allow everyone to benefit.
  • Interactions: Ultimately, technology is about people. We want to put design automation in construction technology into the hands of the many.

Our aim is to change the construction industry through design automation. We want to increase estate-wide standardization by enabling a manufacturing-led approach to design and delivery. Design automation uses rule-based methods that can lock in aspects of asset performance and design compliance, while achieving genuine mass customization to ensure that design quality is not only maintained but can be enhanced.


Applications Across Sectors, and the Benefits of New Technology in the Construction Industry

Our approach is deliberately sector-neutral. We have been able to develop design automation in a wide range of contexts, including:

  • Public and private clients.
  • Social and economic infrastructure.
  • Open source and proprietary tools.

Whether we are automating the design of 25 miles of road or railway infrastructure in a matter of days, or generating schools or homes in minutes with our innovative digital design apps and configurators, we use data-driven construction technology to change the way that design can be done. By using cutting-edge computational design technology coupled with human architecture and engineering know-how, we can realize a better built environment.

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