CONFERENCE PROGRAM


Registration + Coffee + Exhibition  8:30 AM

9.45am - Joe Croser // Oundle Group + Martyn Day // NXT BLD & AEC Magazine
Welcome

Introduction to NXT BLD and AEC Magazine.

10.00am - Hedwig Heinsman // DUS architects / Aectual
Aectual construction – sustainable, customizable, 3D printed

Design-driven Tech Company Aectual envisions a future where building products are 3D printed in a sustainable and circular manner. Co-founder Hedwig Heinsman will reveal parts of Aectual’s bespoke technology that enables the production of 3D printed building products on an industrial scale. Aectual currently delivers 3D printed floors, facades, 3d printed mold work, and even small printed homes. By showcasing these, Hedwig will explain about the importance of managing the entire supply chain of 3D printed building products. This ranges from design to installment on site, and everything in between, touching on design software, robotic expertise, extrusion technology and material development.

10.30am - Andrew Watts // Newtecnic
Future Technologies for AEC

The future of optimised design for manufacture, fabrication, assembly and installation.
Talking to machines, robots and drones.
Working internationally with universities to research and develop future technologies.
Mass customisation theory, practice and strategies.
Closing the gap between designers and makers.

10.50am - Dipa Joshi // Assael Architecture
Smart cities & emerging technologies: Cutting through the noise

At the moment, the built environment is ripe for disruption and there are plenty of emerging technologies queuing up to get a piece of the action. Like any new emerging space, there are some technologies which will have a lasting effect on shaping the urban landscape. Among these, the use of BIM, VR, IOT and modular technology in the design and management of housing and infrastructure, is creating smart cities around the world. As we start to grow and sculpt these digital cities, we also must be vigilant about the way we use technology and who is in control of it.

Coffee + exhibition 11.10 AM

11.40am - Dr Maxwell Mallia-Parfitt // Fulcro Group
VR and AR visualisation of BIM data: Changes in tech over the last 10 years

This talk will demonstrate how making the most of VR and AR technologies is now possible, but how the disconnect between hardware and software has slowed the adoption of Immersive Visualisation in the construction sector. With practical examples and ROI’s linked to VR’s use in construction; Dr Max Mallia-Parfitt, Director of Applied Technologies for Fulcro Group, will show you how VR and AR can help you and your clients understand their building projects whilst improving project outcomes.

12.00pm - Bruce Bell // Facit Homes
Pre-fabrication has had its day – Digital Construction is the future.

Bruce will shown how even a small business such as Facit Homes can reinvent the way we build homes through innovation, R&D and digital technology

The techniques Facit Homes has developed overcome a set of problems that are associated with modernising methods of traditional house building at a small scale. The homes Facit builds are on individual plots and often complex. This requires high level of understanding of our systems, products and processes – knowledge that only exists in our London HQ.

Each project is relatively low value and can be several hours away so there is limited opportunity for our staff to be on site for more than an hour or so at a time. Each home needs new locally recruited site management and labour, who have no knowledge of our specific high tech product. How can we use technology to overcome these limitations and deliver consistency with new staff over long distances?

  • BIM to Manufacture – industrial designers working side by site architects.
  • Digitally manufactured big wooden ‘lego’ – designed for assembly
  • Chassis concept – highly detailed, for minimal on site ‘thinking’.
  • Spatial data capture – on daily basis.
  • On site manufacturing – on demand production low cost.
  • Off site production – high output.
  • Internal Wiki – site.
  • Google Hangout streams – rather than phone calls for team awareness.
  • Wifi Cameras – for real time reporting/ remote management.
12.20pm - Andrei Jipa // ETH Zurich
Smart Concrete

Despite recent developments in digital fabrication technologies, physical architectural forms are not keeping up with the limitless design freedom possible in digital environments. But 3D printing is here to help us bridge this gap. And to maximize the potential impact of this technology, we are using 3D printing to work with the most used material in the world today, concrete.

Concrete is celebrated by engineers and architects alike for its excellent structural capabilities and for its ability to be cast into any conceivable shape. This property allows us to develop automated fabrication methods for highly complex, bespoke load-bearing concrete components based on 3D printed formwork systems. Thanks to 3D printing, we can build our next projects using structural prefabricated concrete components which are highly optimized, with accurate features in the range of a tenth of a millimetre. Furthermore, 3D printing allows us to precisely position complex reinforcement, to integrate additional functionality, provisions for building services and a smart assembly logic.

With 3D printing, we now have access to a previously unavailable design vocabulary for concrete structures, with diverse topological features, such as inner voids, undercuts, micro-surface structures, porosity gradients, branching or tubular networks. Andrei Jipa, researcher at ETH Zurich, will give his insight on the potential impact of this unprecedented design freedom for concrete construction.

12.40pm - Stefana Parascho // Gramazio Kohler Research
Cooperative robotics in architecture

Through the use of digital fabrication, particularly robotic construction, the design space for architectural structures has been significantly expanded to include bespoke complex geometries and to allow for far more differentiation than manual construction processes. This leads to the question: how does this increase of design possibilities and its inherent increase in complexity affect the architectural design and profession per se. On the one hand they enable more freedom in the design process, on the other, this freedom needs to be analytically investigated and controlled in order to make use of its full potential. Robotic fabrication can be substantially enhanced through the employment of multiple cooperating machines, particularly for the assembly of spatial discrete element structures. Operating with more than one robotic arm allows for the exploitation of such processes by performing material manipulations on a shared fabrication task. However cooperative assembly processes come with a range of new challenges such as robot reachability and geometric dependencies that have to be addressed together with the digital design process itself. The presented research represents an insight into the complexities of cooperative robotic assembly and their influences on the architectural design methodologies.

Lunch + exhibition 1.00 PM

2.00pm - Marc Petit // Epic Games
The journey to real time

How game engine technology can deliver high visual fidelity experiences in real time and in VR, plus the virtues of interactivity, immersion and collaboration and real time ray tracing.

2.30pm - Dr Marianna Kopsida // Trimble
Mixed Reality Solutions for AEC

In this presentation Dr Marianna Kopsida will explore Mixed Reality applications for architecture, engineering and construction / facilities management. She will give an introduction to the technology, then focus on the benefits and challenges of implementation as well as future trends.

2.50pm - Rebecca De Cicco // Digital Node
How Smart Cities, BIM and Digital Construction will alter future skill requirements.

This session will discuss the importance of Smart Cities and its relationship to BIM and Digital Construction and how our cities will change and radically affect future skill requirements in Construction. There are a variety of smart cities missions (Via Innovate UK), which have been undertaken with small agile technology companies looking to sell their digital products to future cities. The session will give an overview of these types of solutions, touching on future Technology predictions and processes which will affect the smart city dialogue. The way we procure and deliver digital solutions to both national and local governments across the world will also be discussed as well as future skill requirements which will need to be addressed imminently.

3.10pm - Mike Leach // Lenovo
Enhancing performance

From Virtual and Augmented Reality to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Real Time Rendering; emerging design technology is helping to shape the way buildings are designed, made and used. With these new technologies, however, come new challenges – advanced software, larger datasets and more complex workflows now place even greater demand on workstation hardware.

At Lenovo, we believe the creative power of passionate people is amplified when you have the right tools. In this session, Lenovo, with our partner NVIDIA, will explore the capabilities of various components that make up a powerful workstation. Understanding the anatomy of a workstation will help demystify hardware selection and make it easier to embrace emerging design technologies.

Mike Leach, Lenovo’s own @MrWorkstationUK, will present on the key technology developments driving the workstation marketplace today, how these can affect and impact your ultimate productivity and where you can see real-world performance gains. Regardless of your comfort level, you’ll walk away knowing what’s important and what’s not, where you can see savings and – more importantly – how you can benefit from enhanced performance inside your workflow.

Coffee + exhibition 3.30 PM

4.00pm - Dr Eleni Papadonikolaki // UCL Bartlett School
Beyond crypto: Digital transformation in construction through blockchain technologies

Distributed ledger technologies and blockchain are increasingly gaining attention and revolutionising traditional sectors with most notably finance and banking. Most recently, blockchain technology has been touted as a solution for the inefficiencies in the construction industry.

Construction has been notorious for not only inefficiencies and ineffectiveness but also for traditionally importing innovations from other sectors and adopting them in an ad-hoc manner. To this end, blockchain is not only cryptocurrencies. Thinking beyond tokenisation, blockchain applications for smart-contracts, digital identities/passports of physical assets, proofs of ownership and marketplaces coupled with the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Building Information Modelling (BIM) promise to provide simplification, transparency and an accountability chain not only to the transactions across the construction supply chain but also the interactions between physical and digital systems.

The Construction Blockchain Consortium (CBC) is a social enterprise organised in a bottom-up manner to leverage the power of digitalisation in construction and deliver knowledge exchange, research and development and transform construction.

4.20pm - Dr. Abel Maciel // Bartlett School of Architecture
Design Thinking, Teams and Disruptive Technologies

Design is arguably the mechanism for solving most of the global challenges we are facing today. New digital authoring technologies like PIM & BIM and the advent of emergent technologies, like Digital Mixed Realities, Blockchain, and Machine Learning are augmenting design thinking’s power and amplifying its impact in new domains in unforeseen ways. However, human factors limit how large and effective teams can become: The Mythical Man-Month paradox.

In this talk, we discuss our ongoing research on BIM Common Data Environment and prospective ways to bypass integrated teams’ scalability challenges as well as preserving design intelligence and protecting design IP.

 

4.40pm - Gregory Epps // React AI & React Robotics
What’s the right robot for progressing AI research?

Gregory Epps, CEO of React Robotics, will talk about what is needed to progress robotics and AI towards our expectations of behaviour indistinguishable from humans. The talk looks at the current drawbacks in the physical approaches to robotics and the cognitive approaches to AI – and how DogBot, a quadruped robot designed to walk with natural agility will bring some understanding to both disciplines.

Social Mixer (drinks) 5.00 to 6.30 PM

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