What is the essential tech for architects guide, Building design tips, Online architectural advice

What is the Essential Tech for Architects?

12 Jan 2022

In the world of architecture, technology has played a massive role in how structures are designed and built. As one of the most rapidly growing and developing fields in the modern world, technology has in fact worked its way into most industries, fields, and disciplines – many traditional practices have been replaced or considerably streamlined with the implementation of technology. By virtualising workflows, offering better accuracy and the ability to reproduce consistent results time and time again, technology has revolutionised architecture in many ways.

What is the essential tech for architects?

Architecture is a highly creative and artistic field, but one which has no room for error, and therefore must encompass the highest level of accuracy and calculation. This goes hand-in-hand with modern computer-aided design practice. For example, using technology significantly speeds up the process of building a model, or drafting a design; and there are lots of great software solutions that can provide safe, virtual environments to test out ideas.

These days, architects have a lot more time and resource available to them to explore their creativity; and a lot of that is to do with advancements in computing and technology which is why having the right support is important – an architecture firm in the UK would benefit from London IT Support which understand its unique needs and challenges they face and can make the right kind of suggestions for what tech to be using.

Here are some essential tech tools we feel architects should be making use of:

Hardware Solutions

PC – personal computers may well be one of the biggest changes to how architects work. Traditionally, architectural plan drawings were hand-drafted with pencil and paper; it was often a painstaking process, without much wiggle room for errors – errors that would require a whole new drawing to be drafted up on a fresh sheet of paper. Computer-aided Design began in the mid-1970s, but at that time it was done primarily on the early workstations that needed an entire wall of a room to be laid out. Nowadays, architectural plan drawings, and much more, can all be drafted up on almost any laptop or desktop available on the market.

Plotters and Printers – following on from the advancement of computer-aided design, printers are another way in which the process of creating architectural plans has changed. Most architects produce their plans on large 24×36-inch sheets of paper – traditionally, they would draft their plans with a pencil, on a large board with a tool known as a drafting arm.

Nowadays, the paper, pen and drafting arm is typically replaced in favour of digital software, and so plans need to be printed out. The average printer you get from a Currys PC World won’t cut it, however – typically, architects use a device known as a plotter. These devices are more expensive than most printers, as they are capable of complex actions, such as drawing several continuous lines simultaneously; they can also read a range of vector formats that most printers are unable to read.

Software Solutions

CAD – as stated earlier, Computer-aided Design (CAD) began in the 1970s with the development of computers. Nowadays, CAD software can be used in almost all fields that involve 2D or 3D design – product design, industrial design, and engineering are just a few of the industries beside architecture that utilize CAD. As a software solution, CAD has already seen widespread adoption within the architecture industry, but the benefits of it cannot be overly conveyed.

For starters, CAD software increased productivity greatly; for instance, drawing out a design is much faster and cheaper on a CAD software compared with doing it manually – with CAD, there is no need to start from scratch if you want to change an aspect of your design, you can simply alter the file. Additionally, troubleshooting can be done much earlier in the design process with CAD – you can use it to test environmental factors against your design; if there is an issue, you can alter your design in CAD and try again, you can repeat this troubleshooting process until you are ready to start making prototypes.

Cloud Computing – while not directly related to the craft of architecture, Cloud Computing has proven to answer a wide array of challenges faced in the digital era of the industry. The advent of Computer-Aided Design means that architects are now working with lots of large digital files that they need to have access to quickly.

It is not very advisable to store such files locally on a PC – the possibility for system failure puts you at risk of losing files, and it also will slow down your computer. The solution to this is to store files in the Cloud. There are many benefits to this approach – firstly, your PC will not be encumbered by a full hard disk, and it also makes sharing files between colleagues much easier. Additionally, the security associated with professional Cloud Solutions is much better than any traditional on-premise storage infrastructure.

These are just a few of the main technology solutions you will find being utilized among architects – but there are many more solutions out there; ones that are unique to the industry, and ones that are being applied to many different industries, but which can benefit architects in many ways.

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