How design has changed over the years, and…what’s next?

How design has changed over the years, and…what’s next?

Looking to the past century, you could probably name a few inventions that changed the world. The Internet is one good example, or the birth of the mobile phone. In the world of architecture and engineering, one such significant event was the advent of computer-aided drafting or CAD. Whereas before designers were slaves to the drawing board and limited by physical tools, now, they can create amazingly lifelike 3D simulations and at the heart of most if not all of these is AutoCAD.

This has made design infinitely more accurate and adaptable. With the help of AutoCAD, architects and engineers are able to create buildings that wouldn’t have been possible not ten years earlier. This isn’t just in terms of new-fangled designs, it also makes buildings safer and more sustainable.

What is AutoCAD?

Think of any of the wonders of contemporary architecture and you can guarantee the contractors used CAD software throughout the process. Everything from the Shard in London to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai was designed using CAD. However, this isn’t to say that CAD software is only for high-end projects; it’s become an indispensable tool for projects of any scale.

Traditionally, architects would use a mechanical pencil, paper and an array of measuring tools to draft a design. Attention to detail was crucial and the process took a considerable amount of time and effort. CAD software has completely revolutionised this process. Of course, this isn’t to say that it doesn’t take skill; architects and engineers still have to be highly trained. But it does mean that they can produce drawings at greater speed and accuracy.

Today, CAD has effectively overtaken manual drafting altogether. Computer-aided drafting and design is the preference for design and engineering professionals all over the world. Advanced software, like Autodesk, allows the creation of complex architectural drawings through a user-friendly interface. It doesn’t only speed up the design process; it can also simulate a wealth of usage scenarios – one of the most important being sustainability performance.

New developments to make buildings more sustainable

With the help of CAD, and other programmes such as Revit and 3Ds Max, designers can create amazingly life-like walk-throughs of buildings. This doesn’t only help clients envision their development; it also helps engineers assess sustainability credentials. For example, software can simulate where the light will fall through windows and how the space will cope when there are more people inside. This helps to analyse everything from thermal dynamics to building users’ comfort.

Developers are releasing new software all the time. Some of the most exciting new developments can calculate a building’s green design rating. These sophisticated simulations can comply with all major sustainability standards and documentation capabilities for energy models, helping engineers visualise a building’s performance once it’s in use.

The buildings of the future

These extensions also allow seamless collaboration with third parties, including consultants and engineers. They’re invaluable when it comes to meeting sustainability regulations, and indeed, exceeding them. With these tools, we can deploy technology to drive sustainable design forward.

DJHC is already at the cutting edge of sustainable design. We use the latest software to calculate the energy efficiency of a building on an ongoing basis and analyse how this can be improved. To learn more about our services, click here.



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