3 Ways Big Data Is Changing the Architecture Industry

Big Data is impacting the ways in which buildings are designed and constructed


3 Ways Big Data Is Changing the Architecture Industry

There has been extensive coverage about how big data is changing how traditional business departments run. You hear about big data streamlining sales departments all the way to how HR departments are run.

However most people wouldn’t naturally make the connection between big data and architecture. Nevertheless big data is making waves in the industry.

The architecture industry is changing every day, and students of the art must use business techniques that were not necessary a few decades ago. Architects in the old days opened architecture firms that designed buildings with paper and pen. And most of these buildings were for people. Today, more architects are finding themselves designing buildings to hold servers and big data warehouses for companies — buildings just to hold equipment. This isn't the only way that big data is changing the architecture industry though. With more access to more data, architects can access data that will help them design, safer, more efficient and more unique buildings. There are many ways that big data is changing what use to be a paper and pen career. Here are three of the biggest ways.

Big Data is Changing What Kind of Buildings Are Built

Daniel Davis wrote an article for The Journal of the American Institute of Architects that talked about how buildings are no longer housing people but instead are purely for data. Davis noted 375 Pearl Street and how it is being "retrofitted into a digital warehouse that [will] accommodate computers rather than people." More and more of these buildings are being transformed or built throughout the United States to store and analyze data, not just for architects, but for companies and organizations all over the nation.

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:AudioTreats:Downloads:shutterstock_195499565.jpgBig Data is Turning Buildings into Smart Buildings

Big data isn't just changing the architecture industry, it's changing others with it. And because of this, more and more people are wanting buildings that can provide information and big stores of data. Companies are asking for data reports to improve the performance of their assets. Davis notes in is article that Walt Disney Co. uses location tracking throughout its buildings to "optimize the performance of its parks." All with tech installed into the buildings. But companies aren't wanting to add this in later, they're asking for it now, as they start to build from the ground up (physically and metaphorically).

With these "smarter" buildings, companies are becoming smarter and smarter with how they understand their clients and consumers. All through data that can be gleaned just from a building. With access to VSAT internet and other tech savvy gadgets, companies can help their own growth just by accessing the data the building they sit in provides them. 

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:AudioTreats:Downloads:shutterstock_275184770.jpgBig Data is Changing the Approach to Business

With big data, architects can estimate costs more efficiently. They can also find a larger pool of clients, then research design materials better.

Architects have more access to data that can help them gauge the best materials and designs for their buildings too. From steel to wood, to different design techniques, data surveys can pull in research from all over the world and provide architects a chance to find these results without having to do most of the hard work.

Architects can either localize or expand their survey of data depending upon the resourcing service they pick, but having access to all this information will only help designers and builders create more efficient (energy and otherwise) buildings.

Big data is also tossing out the paper and pen technique. More and more clients want more than just a sketch of what their building will look like. According to Davis, "They are eyeing the data-rich BIM models that firms use to document projects as a way to supply data for downstream applications, such as facilities management." So paper and pens just might not be the right tools of the trade anymore.

The great thing with big data is that it isn't making architecture absolute, instead, it's transforming the industry. It's helping it evolve. As companies are beginning to move more and more into the big data era, architects are going to have to start to creating buildings that can keep up and provide useful data.

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