There was a time we expected that by 2020 the world would have flying cars. Well, that doesn’t seem to be turning true very soon, but definitely, there are other types of industries moving ahead rapidly with the support of technology. In fact, there are firms whose sole job is to provide this technical support to other ones in the industry. The AEC industry has already begun on this venture to include cutting edge technologies like AI in the design process, as this helps with various aspects like climate analysis, structure analysis, and helps by reducing the amount of time in starting off the process. It uses processes of simulation and optimization to increase the speed and competence of the architects. Here are some firms that use AI-generated solutions based on data and computing power to facilitate better results. 

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1. Spacemaker

The firm first established in Norway, was concerned about the allocation of the rising population in livable cities. Thus, they designed a user-friendly tool, so that all the architects could use it conveniently. This tool helps in quick analysis of the design problems like noise, densities, regulatory norms, etc. It generates multiple alternatives and provides the facility of collaborating with the team at a place. It works like a machine where we input our requirements, they process it with their data using AI, and we get potential outputs.  

Link- https://www.spacemakerai.com/

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Spacemaker ©www.medium.com

2. Digital Blue Foam

The founders of this startup based in Singapore observed that the existing digital working options were limited to a very few professionals. Thus, they created a tool, using which, one can select a site, mark out the subplots in the site, and then the tool would give a various option of possible forms from which one could be selected. The tool is easy to use and can show different views. Maximum area, height, etc can be edited as required and it incorporates response to sun path, wind path, and solar radiation into the design. 

Link- https://www.digitalbluefoam.com/

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Digital Blue Foam ©www.medium.com

3. Archistar

This firm based in Australia provides this facility for everyone from architects to universities. It targets to reduce the amount of time spent by architects on pre-work like analysis of the site. It allows parametric and generative design in the regular workflow. Using this tool, one can analyze a site in Australia as per the requirements, and get several concepts fitting the needs. It gives a report too, to save the time consumed in explaining all that to the client. Interestingly, this firm has its online academy for everyone to learn different software required in the industry.   

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Link- https://archistar.ai/

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Archistar ©www.archistar.ai

4. Hypar

The developers of this tool believe that no project should start from a blank page, and thus, they made this accessible-for-all tool which makes creating buildings easier. One can manage the site, area, height, number of stories, structure, façade, core, etc for the design. It creates multiple options and adds it with others to enable comparison among them. Their open-source elements library gives more and more variety to what could be added. 

Link- https://hypar.io/

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Hypar ©www.hypar.io

5. Reconstruct.inc

This firm based in Silicon Valley works with the presentation of design and site analysis. As the name suggests, they work with the reconstruction of documents dealing with various formats. They have a motto of showing what is there vs. what should be therein. They have two tools, one for documentation like aligning 360-degree views to plans, combined exterior and interior images, etc. Another tool has additional facilities like schedule integration and reporting, along with the facility of viewing the site from your desktop.  

Link- https://www.reconstructinc.com/

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Reconstruct.inc ©www.vimeo.com/

6. Testfit

Based in Dallas, Texas, this firm has developed a tool that is a lifesaver. This helps both architects and urban planners by giving options of generative models and the option to manually adjust it as per our needs. It gives all options including swapping building types, handling multiple sites together, changing unit styles, generative parking, and shadow effects. 

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Moreover, it allows one to save the work in various formats like CAD model, sketch-up model, etc. 

Link- https://blog.testfit.io

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Testfit ©www.youtu.be

7. Cove tool

This firm located in Atlanta gives a tool with multiple features to make your design the best one among the options. It can improve the design on numerous aspects like radiation studies, climate analysis, façade design, machine learning, energy modelling, daylight optimization, site context, carbon emissions, etc. It gives various building templates, options to compare, water usage, and even LEED integration. But the best part is that all this could be worked with on software like Rhino-grasshopper, Revit, and Sketch-up. 

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Link- www.cove.tools/

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Cove tool ©www.youtube.com

8. Sidewalk labs

A New-York based firm, SideWalk labs give 3 different models with different functions for the AEC industry. The first model Delve, uses machine learning to support urban planners with the inclusion of aspects like daylight, density, infrastructure, site context, and energy modelling to give the best output. Another model is an approach for sustainable building materials like timber. Mesa is a kit that owners and tenants could install to manage energy costs. Another model, affordable electrification would be launched by them soon. 

Link- https://www.sidewalklabs.com/

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Sidewalk labs ©www.sidewalklabs.com

9. Alice technologies

Based in California, this firm made a tool that gives the construction industry a platform for simulation and optimization. This tool is useful when we don’t want to start from scratch. It guides one through the project by treating constraints, giving scheduling facilities, and documentation of costs and progress. They help with representation too. The construction strategies generated save a lot of time.

Link- https://www.alicetechnologies.com/

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Alice technologies ©www.alicetechnologies.com

10. Helix

This firm having headquarters in Berkeley, California, is using the ‘Digital Twinning’ technology to facilitate the working of architects. They work on documentation of the design so that architects can cut that time out, and clients can see what they want to. This includes plans, models, and even 360-degree views of the design in detail. So basically, they take care of the presentation part of your design, so that architects can give more time for making concepts. 

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Link- https://helixre.com/

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Helix ©www.helixre.com

All these tools are a step forward to a more efficient design process with the help of Artificial Intelligence, Digital Twinning, Machine Learning, and Augmented Reality, and many more.  

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