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AI, IoT likely to enhance the way projects are approached, BuroHappold Engineering says

Industry expert analyses the influx of Artificial Intelligence in the HVAC and construction sectors

| | Nov 11, 2018 | 4:58 pm
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Dubai, UAE, 11 November 2018: On the sidelines of the International Conference for Sustainable Construction Materials, an initiative headed by Dubai Municipality’s Central Laboratory, on November 6 and 7, in Dubai, Christopher Wodzicki, Engineering Services Director, BuroHappold Engineering, discussed the influx of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the HVAC and construction industries, in the Middle East. Pointing to a common misunderstanding surrounding the application of technology to job roles, he said, “Professionals in the industry believe that AI and robotics might replace tasks carried out by designers, engineers and architects in projects.” However, he said, the application of AI and IoT will most likely enhance, improve and accelerate the way projects are approached, right from the design stage.

Elaborating on the influence of AI in the design stage of a project, Wodzicki said that AI has the capacity to interpret large volumes of data. For instance, with regard to heating and ventilation, there are IoT-enabled sensors that generate data and feed it back into the design loop, he said. “AI helps convert data into something meaningful, which, then, influences design at a later stage,” said Wodzicki. Often, engineers and designers, he said, make use of the terms without understanding their meaning and potential applications of the technology. AI, he added, can be integrated at various levels, beginning at the design stage, and there is a need to unlock its true potential, which must be done through awareness and education.

In addition, Wodzicki highlighted how the increasing number of companies working in the field of AI and IoT, today, has led to the rise in competition in data collection, which might make data the next commodity. However, he said that there is a need to sift and filter through this data, so that Building Information Management (BIM) can be used with AI for better results. “BIM systems represent a repository of data and as a model, it contains everything from the details to the elements of a project in terms of its lifecycle,” Wodzicki added. In such a scenario, he said, AI is the next sequential step after BIM, which helps dovetail information through a project’s design and lifecycle.

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