The Shift from Problem-Solving to Future Testing and the Revolution of the AEC industry

New technology is changing the way that Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) companies both predict, identify, and solve problems. Reacting quickly to issues and limiting project costs and budget overruns are crucial to project success. But traditional methods of problem-solving will, at best, provide incremental improvement. These legacy methods only limit the growth of current cost, time and waste cushions added to projects.

To change the game, companies need a new approach that lets them drive innovation, increase speed, improve agility, reduce waste, and gain trust with stakeholders. There is a growing community of innovative companies that are doing this by adopting a new “Future Testing” approach. This Future Testing process allows all participants in the AEC industry to anticipate issues and opportunities early so they can reduce risk and take advantage of innovative ideas and solutions. As a result, they’re cutting the wasted time and cost currently deemed “standard” in design and construction.

The era of winning by being reactive, stemming significant costs and curbing schedule disruption is ending. Now is the time to begin transitioning from problem-solving and move toward Future Testing. Like with all industries, those who don’t transform and adopt this intelligent, proactive approach will find themselves being left behind and losing out to those who are taking advantage and adopting a new way of working.

The Shift from Problem Solving to Future Testing and the Revolution of the AEC industry fig1

What is Future Testing?

Instead of firefighting to deal with problems and fixing them with wasted time and money, forward-thinking companies are adopting a Future Testing Cycle. This method allows them to anticipate and avoid issues by experiencing the build process in a digital, virtual environment before physical progress limits the ability to change.

Unlike traditional processes, companies using Future Testing learn can benefit from both works completed in the virtual environment as well as learning as they carry out physical work on-site. Working in the virtual environment allows them to test, simulate and analyse numerous scenarios – allowing them to make informed decisions and identify the optimal way forward.

Future Testing also allows AEC companies to incorporate downstream feedback on constructability by collaborating on the virtual model with makers to cultivate downstream efficiency. Then, as they gain real-world experience executing the project, they continue to update the models with better ways of working while running simulations to prove them. This way of working shortens the feedback loop so they can apply new methods to the current project, learning as they go and leaning out the process at every phase.

What are the Benefits of Future Testing?

By adopting Future Testing as a process, companies can begin to modernise their buildings by:

  • Quickly developing complete, precise models of the building(s).
  • Anticipating issues and innovation opportunities by simulating the construction and build process virtually.
  • Creating accurate drawings to enable components to be prefabricated or fabricated directly from digital models to exact tolerance and installed right-first-time.
  • Learning by doing from both the physical and virtual environments and adapting to improve efficiency as the project progresses.
  • Reacting to inevitable changes with agility.
  • Developing confidence and trust with stakeholders.

It’s time for the AEC industry to embrace change

The time for AEC companies to become “Future Testing Innovators” is here. Those that don’t take advantage of the opportunity will fall behind. On the other hand, those that adopt Future Testing will build confidence and trust with their customers by showing they can anticipate issues and opportunities in advance, yet still adapt to inevitable changes as they occur with speed and precision to realise dreams while eliminating waste.

Tomorrow’s leaders are learning to uncover innovation opportunities and avoid issues by experiencing the build process in a digital, virtual environment before the windows of opportunity close due to limitations of what’s already been constructed. They’re moving beyond the era of firefighting to fix problems with wasted time and money, to anticipating and avoiding them through simulation. In addition, they’re employing a Future Testing Cycle to learn from physical and virtual work to improve and simplify construction processes as they go.

The Right Tools for the Job

  • The Future Testing approach demands a platform that integrates:
  • The right design tools from concept through fabrication
  • Intelligent design automation for speed
  • Precise simulation of designs and build processes for anticipating issues and opportunities  Collaboration and visualisation to achieve clarity
  • The ability to manage knowledge and apply lessons learned from both digital and real environments to improve designs and processes as the project progresses with agility

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform lets companies anticipate through simulated experiences and optimise using visibility into the future as their additional collaborator. With these solutions, the Future Testing approach provides a competitive advantage for those that adopt it, and a significant disadvantage for those that are complacent with current levels of waste and associated budget and schedule overruns. The time to adopt Future Testing is now.