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Generative Components

Dr. Satyaprakash
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Architects and building designers have a huge task ahead of them whenever they start off on a new project. With the requirements of green building increasing, they are imbibed with the task of designing not only energy efficient buildings, but also to include all the wish list of the clients.

The wish list of the clients keep on changing! Any change to the existing model requires the design to be redone, models to be redone and in process significant time and energy is lost. Come GenerativeComponents (GC) and the architects and designers have a sigh of relief!

GC is not about walls, doors and windows but it’s about Smart Geometry. The tool provides an environment in which geometry (lines, arcs, circles, solids, and surfaces) can be related, transformed, generated and manipulated within a user-defined framework. While that might sound complicated, the end results are certainly worth seeing, complex, sculpted geometry can be quickly generated and manipulated in realtime, allowing design exploration and variation. In real-terms that could provide a practice with the ability to come up with 20 or 30 designs simply by moving sliders within a GC model. Some of the models generated by GC are shown in Fig-1.

GC is an associative and parametric modeling system used by architects and engineers to automate the design processes and accelerate design iterations. It gives designers and engineers new ways to efficiently explore alternative building forms without manually building the detail design model for each scenario. It also increases their efficiency in managing conventional design and documentation. GC captures and graphically presents both design components and abstract relationships between them.

This capability lets GC go beyond making geometry explicit; it makes design intent explicit as well. Although designers are working graphically, based on intuition and experience in architectural design, their work is captured in logical form. GC is being used by many of today’s leading design firms to embrace change. It is the design tool of choice for creative architects and engineers who appreciate that design is best when it emerges from a combination of intuition and logic.

GC was first introduced by Bentley and the Smart Geometry Group, version 08.09.04.76 through “soft-launch on Aug 27, 2007, devised a way to algorithmically generate 3D building components to achieve highly unique and organic 3D responses to variable building constraints.

Although GC is in its initial stage but has generated lot of interest among the user community, as is evident from the posts at the different user group on GC. However, some have become skeptical about the future of GC. According to Greg Bentley, GC is not only a released product but the development team is working hard on the next release and Bentley is fully committed to the continued development of GC. This commitment is reflected in the continuing support for the SmartGeometry group.

What is Bentley’s GenerativeComponents (GC)?
This unique generative design software captures and exploits the critical relationships between design intent and geometry. Designs can be refined by either dynamically modeling and directly manipulating geometry, by applying rules and capturing relationships among building elements, or by defining complex building forms and systems through concisely expressed algorithms.

How does it benefit architects and civil engineers?
GenerativeComponents (GC) enables architects and engineers to pursue designs and achieve results that were virtually unthinkable before. Empowered by computational methods, the designers can direct their creativity to deliver inspired sustainable buildings that are freer in form and use innovative materials and assemblies. GenerativeComponents facilitates this by allowing the quick exploration of a broad range of “what-if” alternatives for even the most complex buildings.

Is it only for the design and planning or does it have use in project implementation and maintenance also?
To inform decisions, GC is integrated with building information modeling, analysis, and simulation software, providing feedback on building materials, assemblies, systems performance, and environmental conditions. This integration also ensures that intent becomes reality by enabling designs to accurately and efficiently flow through to detailed production and fabrication.

Do we have any kind of benefits quantified in terms of return on investment, through the use of GC?
The benefits of GC are apparent in a variety of areas. First and foremost is the ability it provides to pursue designs and approaches that would not be practical or even possible using other software. This enables the use of forms, assemblies, materials, and configurations that provide a higher quality design and experience for the users of the building, as well as dramatic efficiencies in material use, energy performance, and constructability. GC also provides the ability to iterate design options to optimize a solution or evaluate and compare many options to find the best solution. Users of GC consistently relate examples of how GC enabled them to explore hundreds of options; they then contrast this capability with the one, two, or three options they could test previously. Users also report that alternates can be modeled in minutes rather than days or weeks, and this can return hundreds of hours to the project design team.

Do we have any large scale project wherein GCs have played an important role?
Designs that have been completed using GenerativeComponents include Dostyk Towers by NBBJ and E/Ye Design, Cutty Sark Pavilion by YOUMEHESHE, The Pinnacle by Kohn Pederson Fox, and Museo del Acero by Grimshaw Architects.

When are we going to see GC for the geospatial industry?
Bentley’s building and geospatial solutions are well integrated with each other, and will undoubtedly become even more interoperable going forward. And GC supports integrated projects and approaches.

Huw Roberts, Global Marketing Director, Building. Bentley

Based upon the articles from
www.bentley.com, www.smartgeometry.com, www.acemag.com, www.caduser.com