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Architects use digital technology to create better buildings

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Architects use digital technology to create better buildings

New technologies are improving design and building practices but there is still a long way to go, according to a recent report.

Microsoft and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have launched Digital Transformation in Architecture, which explores the benefits and challenges of the innovative technologies that are changing the way architects work.

The report provides an insight into the current technology trends in the construction industry by revealing the views of over 300 construction industry professionals.

It details how digital methods of working, such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), are improving the productivity and efficiency of construction projects and architectural practices.

Mixed, augmented and virtual reality technologies are cited as enhancing the experience of clients, aiding collaboration across projects and within organisations.

The report concludes that adopting new technologies can improve how practices work and what they deliver.

According to the research, some 35 per cent of architects use at least one form of mixed, augmented or virtual reality, with many planning to expand their use of immersive technology and use other variants in the near future.

Approximately 79 per cent state adopting digital technologies leads to improved project efficiencies.

RIBA director of practice Lucy Carmichael says: “Architects are uniquely placed to meet the challenges brought by digital transformation.

“The adoption of transformative technology is not just about bringing productivity and efficiency to architectural services, it’s also about the continuous improvement in project outcomes – creating buildings fit for the challenges we face now and in future, and which have a positive impact on users, communities and the environment.

“The use of digital technologies promises to have a positive impact on the buildings we create, and the next wave of digital transformation will open new, exciting opportunities for architectural practices.”

Ben Highfield, surface product manager, Microsoft UK says: “The UK has led the way when it comes to digitising the design process, and technologies such as BIM and Mixed Reality are already helping practices across the country reimagine the way they design, create, present and collaborate.

“However, the digital transformation of the UK architecture sector still has a long way to go.

“To thrive in a digital future, architectural practices must continue to prepare employees with the direction and digital skills they need for success.

“In fact, getting this culture of digital transformation right will help architectural practices to thrive – using new innovations to create buildings that will have a positive impact on communities.”