Reinventing the Construction Industry with Productization and The Next Generation of Modular Builds

The architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry are at the precipice of transformation. Pressed with demands for speed, sustainability, and personalization, leaders have begun to rethink how to deliver value.

Some have turned to prefabrication to move construction processes off-site and into prefab shops, but they’re still burdened by logistical issues, increased costs, and siloed trades. Those looking to overcome these limitations are looking towards productisation, a movement-enabled virtual twin technology, which empowers construction players across the entire value chain to design and construct personalized and sustainable buildings faster.

einventing the Construction Industry with Productisation fig1

From Industrialization to Productization: The Next AEC Revolution

Until the Industrial Revolution, craftsmanship was the sole solution for creating goods, including buildings. Each product was developed by hand, with the potential for quality to vary across goods produced. During the Industrial Revolution, manufacturers were able to mass-produce goods to satisfy demand with a high volume of products. The trade-off is that mass production relies on standardisation and limited product variety to achieve cost efficiencies. This standardisation at high volumes removes any opportunity for personalized production.

Today, technology is available to support a radically different approach to construction, the advent of Productization. Productization is a strategy for delivering hyper-customised, efficient construction solutions at scale. This approach uses virtual construction twins to enable the application of generative, configurable design strategies to the factory construction and management of modular systems. In contrast to off-site manufacturing that preserves trade-based workflows, productisation delivers to the construction site “integration-ready modules” that offer substantial gains in quality, speed and versatility.

Benefits of Productization in Construction:

  • Design and engineer integration-ready construction modules outside of a project cycle to enhance scalability and cost-efficiency.
  • Configure hyper-customised geometries and apply generative design to the construction and implementation of modular systems.
  • Avoid prefabrication constraints and decrease construction costs with the introduction of micro-factories.
  • Revamp construction management roles, so contractors continue to deliver value to owners.

Productization and the Next Generation of Modular Construction

Modularization is a key concept in productization, yet it is often misunderstood. A recalibrated take on modularity reveals how these elements can be easily configured across a platform without sacrificing creativity. Integration-ready construction modules are fundamental for productisation. These custom “building blocks” use generative design capabilities to offer a high degree of configuration for unique building designs — unlike traditional modular buildings — while identifying the most efficient designs for minimising cost and waste without compromising on quality.

Virtual makers can expand their product libraries and generate tailor-made shapes consisting of integration-ready modules. Manufacturing and assembling these modules in micro-factories accelerate sustainable construction while significantly reducing costs.

An Industry Revolution enabled by Virtual Twin Technology

Virtual twin technology on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform helps construction leaders transform their entire ecosystem by leveraging integration-ready modules to advance the path to productisation. With virtual construction twins on a connected platform, contractors can break free from trade-based constraints, pioneer sustainable construction and position themselves as disruptive new leaders in an evolving industry.

Virtual twins can benefit the sector through:

  • Transforming the construction industry for innovation and collaboration between the field, project teams and the construction supply chain
  • Developing more long-lasting, agile and resilient buildings
  • Reducing waste and defects

The Right Tools for the Job

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform and the range of solutions available on it have guided similar tectonic shifts in other industries including aerospace, shipbuilding, industrial equipment, consumer products, and automotive manufacturing. Users have vastly improved quality, efficiency, safety, and profitability in a range of complex, multidiscipline environments.

Only the 3DEXPERIENCE platform can deliver the critical components—continuous integration with process simulation, model data-enabling design automation, and modularized component configurators—that are dependencies for this construction revolution.

Would you like to learn more about how the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform can support your Digital Transformation? Get in touch with our team today.