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10 ways AI is transforming building design

AI in building design is used to manage numerous activities offering many advantages. Discover the 10 most important uses of Artificial Intelligence in the construction sector!

In recent years, technological progress has reached unexpected levels, bringing many advantages in various sectors, especially thanks to the introduction of intelligent systems that have the ability to think and act as humans do.

In the construction sector, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is proving to have the potential to help those involved in the construction process in facing some of the most difficult challenges, such as data security, lack of labour, reduction of time and costs, etc.

AI also offers enormous advantages in building design: just think of a software that can automatically develop a Cost Estimate of a structure directly from the BIM model, or the tools that allow you to obtain high quality renderings without needing to play around with tedious parameters.

Before continuing to explore the meaning and possible applications of artificial intelligence in building design, I recommend that you experience the advantages of AI in building design directly by trying for free:

  • a 5D BIM software based on artificial intelligence, which allows you to automatically develop the fifth dimension of BIM, relating to the metric calculation and cost estimation;
  • a rendering software which integrates 3D/BIM design and artificial intelligence, and helps you to quickly and easily obtain photorealistic and professional images of your project.

What are artificial intelligence and machine learning in construction

The term artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the ability of some computer systems to mimic human cognitive functions aimed at problem solving, pattern recognition, and learning.

Machinelearning, in particular, can be considered as a subset of AI that aims to provide IT systems with the ability to “learn” from data, experience and the surrounding reality, without being explicitly programmed by the user.

In the construction sector, artificial intelligence and machine learning represent a real turning point. In fact, these technologies allow the tools used in the design, construction and management phase of the works to independently address a series of problems and to carry out specific operations without the intervention of the users, with consequent improvement of efficiency and productivity.

To give you a better understanding of the potential of AI and machine learning in construction, here are some important application examples.

AI in Building Design

10 examples of AI applications in building design

The ways in which artificial intelligence can be used in the process of creating a work are vast and diverse, allowing all stakeholders to achieve truly exciting results.

Among the most significant use cases of AI in constructions we find, for example:

  1. generative design: it is an extremely innovative way of designing based on machine learning algorithms, which are exploited to identify the optimal design solution. Engineers and designers enter project objectives and input data (such as spatial requirements, performance, materials, cost limits, etc.) into the modeling software, and the software automatically generates the possible design alternatives, providing the solution that most closely matches the starting requirements;
  2. integration with BIM: the integration between BIM and AI helps to create highly efficient digital models, complete with all the information necessary to develop analyses and forecasts of various types. BIM platforms with intelligent functions can help professionals in the sector to carry out numerous activities automatically, such as project interference detection, calculation of metric estimates, production of photorealistic renderings, etc.;
  3. cost forecasting: with the help of neural networks (i.e. mathematical models capable of reflecting the behaviour of the human brain), it is possible to predict a possible budget overrun based on several factors, including the size of the project, the type of contract, the level of competence of the project managers, etc.;
  4. automation of the construction process: robots equipped with artificial intelligence are capable of carrying out activities similar to those carried out by humans, so they can be used on site to automate construction operations, carry out specialized or repetitive activities (such as concrete casting, masonry, welding and demolition), and operate in hazardous environments, with consequent reduction of risks and increase of productivity;
  5. monitoring progress of the project: thanks to neural networks, 3D images acquired by intelligent machines and robots capable of moving autonomously through the construction site, can be crossed with the information provided by BIM models, allowing real-time tracking of the progress of the works;
  6. risk control: each construction project presents numerous risks that can be linked to quality, safety, time or costs, and that are directly proportional to the complexity and size of the project. Fortunately, there are already artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions that help designers and contractors prioritise risks on site, monitor safety (for example, through drones that are able to identify potential hazardous situations), as well as control the quality level ensuring compliance with construction times and costs;
  7. manpower management: periodic scans of the site carried out by intelligent robots allow project managers to assess not only the progress of the work, but also the type, quantity and distribution of manpower and equipment necessary to complete the project on schedule;
  8. facility management: Facility managers collect information through sensors, drones, IoT devices and other wireless technologies, and leverage artificial intelligence algorithms to gain valuable insights into the operation and performance of the building. The AI can be used for example to schedule preventive maintenance, improve decision-making processes, guide user behaviour, etc.;
  9. big data management: the construction industry generates a huge amount of data every day (from BIM models, sensors, images acquired from mobile devices, etc.). Artificial intelligence is not limited to accumulating this data, but has the ability to learn from it, offering professionals in the construction sector the opportunity to carry out predictive analysis, optimize information systems, etc.
    Discover the AI Estimating Software integrated in usBIM.PlanAI

AI in construction planning: what are the advantages?

AI offers significant benefits throughout the project lifecycle, but one of the most important aspects is planning support. Artificial intelligence technologies have, in fact, the ability to independently manage a huge amount of parameters and help construction professionals to plan any aspect related to the design, construction or management of a work.

Thanks to the support of intelligent systems it is possible, for example:

  • assess the type of resources that the project needs based on the planned activities;
  • use historical data to calculate the duration of tasks and make forecasts (for example on costs), improving the accuracy of results from time to time;
  • perform the risk analysis based on any unforeseen events, available resources, budget reduction, etc.;
  • increase the speed of decision-making processes.

In addition to ensuring better project planning, the implementation of artificial intelligence in the construction sector allows you to:

  • speed up the design and modelling of buildings;
  • increase productivity and safety on site;
  • prevent cost overruns;
  • tackling labour shortages;
  • improve facility management processes.

The future of AI in construction

The construction companies that rely on artificial intelligence to increase the efficiency and profitability of their projects are increasingly numerous and there is no doubt that this technology will become an indispensable tool for design in the years to come.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have, in fact, all the potential to:

  • reduce construction costs;
  • automate the work;
  • increase safety levels on construction sites;
  • maximize efficiency and productivity.

Intelligent systems and construction professionals are already working together to transform the future of the construction sector for the better. In a short time, we will be able to see the introduction of new smart technologies that will help make construction processes even more efficient, productive, safe and sustainable.

If you want to start experiencing the benefits of intelligent design, I recommend you try a free BIM 5D software and an artificial intelligence-based rendering software that allow you to deal with:

  • develop the metric calculation of any structure automatically starting from the BIM model;
  • create photorealistic renderings of the highest quality, with a simplified process that automates the setting of the different parameters.