History of Innovation

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Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

2009: AutoCAD 2010 with parametrics introduced

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Innovation:  AutoCAD2010 with parametrics introduced
Location: California, USA
Year:  2009
By: AutoDesk

AutoCAD 2010 was important to Architectural Engineers because of a new feature introduced called parametric drawing. Parametric drawing allows the user to program constraints to lines. These constraints could include, but aren’t limited to:  staying the same length as another line, staying parallel or perpendicular to another line, or staying connected to a certain point on a shape. Constraints can be very useful in helping to meet the design requirements. [1]


Written by David Lukert

October 11, 2009 at 6:02 am

2008: Masdar City – Masdar, United Arab Emirates

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Innovation:  Masdar City (first/only zero-carbon zero-waste city)
Location: Masdar, UAE
Year:  2008-2025
Architect: Foster and Partners

Masdar is a planned city located in Abu Dhabi, UAE, targeted to rely entirely on renewable energy sources with a sustainable zero carbon zero waste ecology [1]. The city consists of 2.3 square miles of homes and businesses for 50,000 residents with 60,000 daily commuters budgeted at US$19.8 billion. The intent for the city was to become a central location for cleantech companies and model of inspiration for a future energy conscience world. Masdar will accomplish its energy goals through the use of one of the first 40-60 megawatt solar power plant (Conergy), rooftop solar panels, wind farms, waste incineration, and hydrogen power plant [2]. A solar powered desalination plant supplies the water needs, recycling approximately 80% of water. Masdar City was designed and operated to provide the highest (healthiest) quality of life with the lowest environmental footprint. It is a global center of future energy. [3]  `

Web links: 123
Video: Masdar City

Written by Charys Clay

October 8, 2008 at 11:29 pm

2007: Digital Project

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Innovation:  Digital Project (software)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Year:  2007
By: Gehry Technologies

The design of the Bilbao Guggenheim museum was a collaboration between Frank Ghery (architect) and SOM(engineering), utilizing a customized version of Catia (3D aerospace software) which has eventually been packaged as Digital Project.  After the successful development of a solution to describing and designing such complex geometries, architect Frank Ghery decided to create a branch of his office called Ghery Technologies, to offer design services and sales of a software product (Digital Project) specifically for projects with complex geometries.

Digital Project is a design platform with Computer Aided Three Dimensional Interactive Application V5 capability that was developed by Gehry Technologies in 2007. It is used to design and document architectural projects with complex geometries.  Various AutoCAD and Revit editions were the most common forms of 3d modeling software used before Digital Project, but once DP was released it posed as a direct 3dCAD competitor in the architecture market. New and different components to the software included the visual interface, cost estimation tool, advanced parametric control of curved 3D objects, and, in contrast to CAD, DP provided the option of information to be sent directly to the manufacturer [1]. By avoiding loss of time in unnecessary processing and improving collaboration, DP improved the design process. Today Gehry Technologies offers three forms of DP, Designer, Viewer, and an extensions package. The Designer and Extensions package together posses the tools to create architecture designs in addition to MEP systems/routing all with a single form of software [2]. [3]  `

Web links to more info about Digital Project: 12,
Video: Frank Gehry talks about Digital Project

Written by Charys Clay

October 7, 2007 at 9:09 pm

2004: Release of Revit Architecture

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Innovation:  Revit Architecture
Location: United States
Year:  2004
By: Autodesk

Revit Architecture is Building Information Modeling (BIM) software produced by Autodesk.  Revit was first released by Revit Technology Corporation in 2000.  At this time, its main competitors were ArchiCAD by Graphisoft and Microstation by Bentley Systems.  Revit was bought out by Autodesk in 2002.  The 2004 release was the first truly comprehensive BIM software, named Revit Building.  The name was changed to Revit Architecture after the 2006 release.  This software was the first of its kind, fully incorporating BIM into the 3D modeling program.  Rather than building with lines, Revit operates using members; for example, a door or window is all one piece, the designer simply specifies the material and dimensions.  Further, the creation of Revit Architecture allowed architects and building designers to create a task schedule directly linked to the respective parts, to easily identify collisions within the design, to link the members to specific products that will be purchased, to determine the occupancy level and ventilation loads for spaces, and overall to capture every aspect of a building in one database. [1] [2] `

Written by Krista Seaman

October 4, 2004 at 4:35 pm

1997 – Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

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Innovation: 3D Structural Modeling
Location: Bilbao, Spain
Architect: Frank Gehry
Structural Engineer: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Year: 1997

Completed in 1997, Gehry’s design is considered one of the most iconic structures in the world.  Gehry is known for his use of complex geometry and unorthodox materials.  In order to construct the building while preserving its aesthetic integrity, Gehry worked in conjunction with structural engineers at Skidmore Owings and Merrill, who used advanced 3D structural modeling software to carry out analyses.  In the 1970’s and 80’s, SOM developed an innovative software called AES, which was a significant forerunner to Building Information Modeling (BIM).  In addition to AES, Gehry and SOM used CATIA, a software originally intended for structural analysis of aerospace and shipbuilding designs.  SOM modified CATIA so it could be used to translate Gehry’s complex curvilinear forms from design into construction.  The use of these revolutionary programs marked the beginning of integrating 3D modeling software into the design process, which allowed for extremely complicated structures such as Gehry’s Guggenheim to be constructed.

More Info: [1],[2],[3]
CATIA: [1]

Written by Charles Lander

October 9, 1997 at 4:47 pm

1996 – L’Oceanografic

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Image Source: [1],[2]

Innovation: L’Oceanografic/thin-shell concrete structure
Location: Valencia, Spain
Year: 1996
By: Felix Candela

Spanish born architect Felix Candela used thin-shell reinforced concrete to create his signature hyperbolic parabola structures.  L’Oceanographic in Valencia, Spain was his final project, which was completed posthumously (1997).  The hyperbolic parabola shape of the roof was inspired by the Los Manantiales Restaurant in Mexico City, which Candela designed in 1958.  In this building, Candela integrated design and sound structure.  In his time, most shell-like structures had to be reinforced with ribs, which added to the structures thickness, and took away from its simplicity.  Candela accepted the challenge of developing a design that did not rely on these ribs and that could fully display the aesthetics of a thin concrete shell.  Candela’s design expanded the role of reinforced concrete in buildings by integrating its structural properties with complex geometric forms to create elegant structures.

More Info: [1],[2]

Written by Charles Lander

October 9, 1996 at 4:51 pm

1977: Centre Georges Pompidou

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Innovation: Exposing the Infrastructure on the Building’s Exterior
Building: Centre Georges Pompidou
Location: Paris, France
Year: 1971
By: Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, Gianfranco Franchini (Architects)
Structural Engineer: Ove Arup & Partners

In 1971 Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, and Gianfranco Franchini, three unknown architects, won the design competition for the new Paris library and museum of contemporary art. In 1977 construction was completed. The assembly of the exterior steel supports took only six months. The design of the Centre Georges Pompidou reversed everything that had been previously done in architecture, removing the internal systems and structural supports out of the interior of the building and exposing them on the outside of the building [1]. The escalators, elevators, HVAC systems, water pipes, and structural supports make up the brightly painted exterior of the building. Each steel component has been painted a color that indicates its purpose: red for transportation, blue for air, green for water, yellow for electricity, gray for corridors, and white for the structural components of the building [2]. By removing the infrastructure for the interior this design allowed for huge open floor spaces unimpeded by columns or stairwells. The Centre Georges Pompidou made the infrastructure a centerpiece of the building rather than hiding it.

Articles: 1, 2

Video: 1

Written by Morgan Allford

January 1, 1977 at 12:00 am

Posted in Architecture