How Tech Is Changing The Architecture Industry In 2021

The architecture industry is a big one, and it goes hand in hand with the construction sector. Companies have been introducing new technologies to make all the processes faster, cheaper, and safer for human workers. And software engineers are working to create tools that will make the architect's job easier.  

Architects always want to design the best looking and most impressive buildings, but sometimes reality and physics interfere with these dreams. But with the implementation of new technologies, we will start seeing new trends in building that we couldn't previously imagine. Optimized designs and sustainable buildings with modern and smart materials can be a reality now. This is how technology is changing architecture in 2021.

Robot Builders

Robots are already taking over many heavy-duty jobs that humans have done for decades but that are serious safety hazards. For example, the manufacturing industry is one of the few that already uses robots for many tasks. The architecture and construction industries aren’t far behind, and many companies are already implementing robotics to do the more dangerous jobs.

Robots are becoming integrated into the design process as well. Architects can now use software combined with robots that allow them to simulate the construction process on a small scale. There are different robotics applications in the industry, from mechanical arms to drones that do the construction automatically. 

Using data science and artificial intelligence, Harvard's Wyss Institute is researching autonomous artificial swarm robots that could potentially have many applications when fully developed. They work similarly to how a colony of ants would. A team of these robots could complete construction more quickly and safely than we do now.

3D and 4D Printing

3D printing has been around for a few years now. It provides the ability to print a 3D object by layering material over and over again. For example, if you want to print a cube, you can print a 2D square many times, one on top of the other, and get a cube. This can be used with various materials and with complicated forms. 

The architecture and construction industries are already using 3D printing to create designs on a small scale and construct whole buildings in half the time it would take human workers. Already, many buildings are built with this technology, and the process is becoming completely automated. 

4D printing is just 3D printing with the added fourth dimension of time. This means that 3D objects that were printed will change with time thanks to external stimuli. For example, the objects will change their form due to pressure or temperature change. 

Also, the latest research in 4D printing hints to a future where materials will be able to self-assemble, which could have a significant impact on the architecture industry. 

Artificial Intelligence

AI is changing many aspects of our society, and architecture is no exception. By combining big data analytics and machine learning algorithms, engineers can design software that gives suggestions on the design process. It is able to compare designs with thousands of other models and analyze their viability. 

Architects will be able to use the software as a tool to enhance their work. It gives stats on how viable designs are and even simulates the construction process, as mentioned above. Architects will be able to leave the tedious tasks to machines and concentrate fully on their creative process. 

Also, designing and bringing to life a building is a lengthy process and requires a lot of research. AI software will provide easy and quick access to tons of data that will allow the architect to know things like cost estimates and environmental characteristics in seconds. 

Smart Buildings

Smart buildings are becoming more common. And with the Internet of Things gaining ground, a lot of people are converting their houses into intelligent homes and expecting similar technologies everywhere they go. Right now, each IoT device has different software and interfaces, and users have to hire an integrator to set up the brain of the building.

However, buildings that are designed to be intelligent have to have this feature from the start, and architects must now include the user experience in the process. They will need to think of features like where to put the brain, which can be a small space if it is a house but must be a lot bigger if it is a multipurpose building. How to incorporate sensors and devices will also be an issue.

The construction sector is evolving rapidly due to the breakneck velocity of technological development. To be a successful professional in the sector, you cannot be content with your current skills. On the contrary, you must keep up to date with the latest developments in your area of expertise and learn constantly. Some of the most prominent technologies and trends to keep an eye out for include robot builders, 3D and 4D printing, artificial intelligence, and smart buildings. Researching these trends and exploring how they affect your work will help you stay at the top of your game. 

Author: Maria Elena Gonzalez is a broadcast journalist and has been working as a tech writer for almost three years. During this time, her work has been published by companies like TechAccute, Trip University, and Entrepreneur.