The world is digital. But how do we as an architectural firm address digitalisation? For us, digitalisation is first and foremost about believing in and supporting change. Because the digital universe will not be the same tomorrow as it is today. By cultivating and using the many tools of digitalisation, we can guarantee better and healthier Scandinavian cities.
Three digital tracks
How do we ensure that digitalisation contributes to healthier and more sustainable cities? We primarily follow three tracks when we use digitalisation every day to develop architecture and the built environment. The three strategic tracks, each in their own way aim at embracing and developing our possibilities, so that digitalisation isn’t just about technology, but also about architectural quality and humanity. In order to pursue these tracks, Arkitema has established a separate and independent development organisation for digitalisation, with a total of eight specialists attached to it. We have invested in digitalisation so that our projects achieve even better architectural quality by challenging and redefining how we develop projects. For the benefit of users, developers and society.
Track 1: We support sustainability
The world is complex, and the route we have to take to design more sustainable cities is challenging. That is why we use a range of digital technologies that give us unique opportunities to redefine and challenge the way we work. With a creative approach to digitalisation, we can make construction more sustainable, since we can test and try different architectural considerations through a 3D universe; promote the use of natural light; can carry out LCA calculations in the early sketching phases; and can calculate the indoor climate and so on. We can now carry out simulations much more easily and thus design architecture that ensures solutions that are as sustainable as possible
Arkitema has developed a state-of-the-art tool for life-cycle analyses, a plugin for the models we work with, which allows us to make calculations of the project's climate footprint already in the early stages. By experimenting in real-time with materials, design, and construction, we get an overview of available alternatives and how they affect the building's final environmental impact.
A life-cycle analysis early in the project saves climate, money, and time. With this newly developed tool it has never been easier to compare, evaluate and document all parts of the project.
Track 2: We create transparency for developers and users
We have long presented ideas to our developers using 3D models, drawings, physical models and descriptions, but in step with the spread of digital solutions, we can now invite developers and users all the way inside and into experiential 3D models. For us, digital sketching is about bringing our architectural ideas to life and getting them designed so that they can be assessed from the outside, so you see the connections and get a basis for making analyses, simulations and calculations. In time, developers themselves will be able to log-in to the 3D model, see the different options and read the results themselves.
Track 3: We share knowledge and invite start-ups inside
In order to ensure that we properly embrace the basic condition of digitalisation which is change, we are focused on sharing knowledge. In addition to being skilled architects and designers, the eight digital specialists at the studio function as a particularly strong digital team that supports their colleagues’ knowledge of digital possibilities. Parallel to this, they run digital development projects, participate in external digital forums that define national standards and also teach and lecture on the subject.
But we don’t want to just share knowledge around the company and out into the wider world, we also invite the world into the studio, where start-ups help to develop and push our approach to the digitalization of architecture forward.
We are a digital organisation
New, interesting buildings are developed every day at all of Arkitema’s locations. This is where we believe progress happens. Right on the drawing board. That is why Arkitema’s eight digitalisation specialists are present throughout the whole organisation, where they are connected to a number of strategic projects.
Likewise, all colleagues have completed internal courses in, for example, Revit’s methods and processes as well as with other digital tools. We are all digital, whether it’s to do with early sketching, designing or realisation on the construction site, but we recognise that we must always be setting new digital goals. At the same time, we are aware that digital organisation goes hand in hand with classic, physical methods like hand sketching and model building.
When we at Arkitema develop digital projects, we do so in close collaboration with COWI and their digital specialists, who research and develop solutions in a number of digital technologies such as VR and AR (Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality), AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things). Arkitema and COWI have, among other things, jointly developed a completely new digital tool, Spaceplanner, which is already used in connection with a number of complex construction projects.
One half of digitalisation is about technology, the other half is about the ability to make change. If you want to hear more about how we are changing the world through digital solutions, send an email to Marianne Friis, Digital Development Director in Arkitema.