CyBe’s R&Drone Laboratory in Dubai

Explainers

New year predictions part 1: Aecom’s Chris Thorn and CyBe’s Berry Hendricks

3 January 2018 | By Denise Chevin

As we emerge, bleary eyed, into an exciting, but uncertain year ahead for construction, BIM+ assembled a panel of experts to reveal some of their hopes, highlights and predictions for the coming 12 months...

Chris Thorn, principal technology and process consultant, Aecom

What is your New Year’s resolution?

I am very keen to learn how to code, as I’m seeing an increase in the use of Application Programme Interface (API), whether for custom scripts in software or connecting with data in the cloud.

What is your most important lesson learnt from 2017?

I have learned how important it is to spread the load across different teams when trying to implement new technology. This makes it possible to maintain progress without putting too much pressure on a single team that have project deadlines to work towards. 

What innovative technology are you most excited about finding out more in 2018?

I am most excited about the integration of tools. There are a number of great technologies in the industry but they aren’t seamlessly integrated into our day-to-day workflows. I like to think that 2018 will be the year that new technology, like immersive technology, will become seamless with other tools.

What individual or company is going to be “one to watch” this year? 

Umbra has some great technology to support immersive technology and is working really hard to build features that will make using it as easy as possible.

Which construction technology do you want to make the leap into mainstream adoption this year?

2018 will be the breakout year for immersive technology and I would like to see some artificial intelligence and smart city solutions being adopted on a wider scale. There are huge benefits to be gained if we can find pioneering projects with bold leaders.

What industry event are you looking forward to attending and why?

… It’s hard to say at the moment.

Berry Hendricks, director of Dutch engineering consultancy, CyBe Construction

What is your New Year’s resolution?

After building the R&Drone Laboratory in Dubai (pictured top) and selling a printer to a prefab concrete factory in Japan, we want to help introduce more high-tech construction methods to contractors, prefab factories and architects.

What is your most important lesson learned from 2017?

We develop our technology and practical applications super-fast and there is a big gap between the conventional construction industry and the way we build. We have learned to guide the companies working with us, by explaining to them step-by-step how our processes work to help close the gap.

What innovative technology are you most excited about finding out more in 2018?

Integrated reinforcing solutions for 3D concrete printing. This will give 3D concrete printed elements ductility and enable them to be used in more applications.

What individual or company is going to be “one to watch” this year?

We will take a closer look at Behrokh Khoshnevis and his company Contour Crafting, which developed a rapid building printing technology using a computer-controlled gantry. He has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Dubai municipality’s “future accelerator” programme and we expect this to result in a project over the coming year.

Which construction technology do you want to make the leap into mainstream adoption this year?

We would like to see 3D concrete printing becoming more mainstream – pioneers like Xtreee, Enrico Dini and Behrokh Khoshnevis are all making great progress to lead this construction technique into the mainstream.

What industry event related to construction technology are you looking forward to attending and why?

The Netherlands construction industry is ahead of other countries on 3D concrete printing, from a technology and application point of view. The 3D Printing Electronics Conference is a two-day event in January, organised by Dutch companies such as Bruyl, and institutions like TU Eindhoven, and will showcase the latest techniques and innovations.

2018 will be the breakout year for immersive technology and I would like to see some artificial intelligence and smart city solutions being adopted on a wider scale. – Chris Thorn, Aecom