Generative Construction + Scheduling Tools Enable Strategic Optioneering

Generative construction is quietly transforming the development of infrastructure - and its potential impact to today’s builders is immense. The use of generative building and scheduling tools can help GC’s realize the benefits, by enabling construction optioneering - the ability to compare and contrast multiple construction scenarios in real-time - and boosting their competitive edge.

Unlocking the Mysteries of Generative Construction

Generative construction is quietly transforming the development of infrastructure - and its potential impact to today’s builders is immense. The use of generative building and scheduling tools can help GC’s realize the benefits, by enabling construction optioneering - the ability to compare and contrast multiple construction scenarios in real-time - and boosting their competitive edge. However, both the process of generative building and the tools and technologies that support it are still not widely understood.

To unlock the true benefits of generative construction and the tools and software which support it, it’s helpful to first understand the concepts of generative design for construction, engineering, and architecture, and what goes into the generative design process.

What is generative design?

Generative design is an iterative process which allows designers, architects, and engineers to harness the power of computers to explore new design possibilities. Generative design software allows these professionals to create a project, entering their goals and constraints (as well as detailed parameters such as spatial requirements, preferred materials or manufacturing methods, and budget). The software then analyzes all possible solutions, automatically generating a range of potential designs and their alternatives.

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Credit: Autodesk Redshift

Use of generative design software allows design professionals to quickly conceptualize, test, and evaluate solutions - which makes it a powerful tool for creation. From the design of household products to the development of engineering and architectural plans, generative design tools save time, labor, and resources - empowering informed decision-making throughout the design phase.

Adoption of the iterative design process for use in development of housing and infrastructure is growing quickly. Until recently, it has largely been used to inform the design phase of construction. Architects and engineers leverage generative design tools to create 3D visualizations for a given project, and quickly evaluate and improve upon generated solutions, to develop the best design for their specific needs. Here’s a fascinating example of generative design applied to housing development, in action.


Credit: Autodesk / Daiwa House Industry Uses Generative Design to Retool Urban Housing

How does this apply to construction?

Thanks to recent advances in technology, the iterative process can now be leveraged beyond the project design phase, to inform the construction process itself. This is what we call generative construction.

Generative construction differs from generative design, by taking the process a few steps further. It applies the concepts of generative design to the physical process of construction - providing integrated, 4D visualizations which demonstrate the efficiency of various approaches to construction.

To explain it simply, generative design identifies what design is best suited to a specific location - and generative construction identifies the best way to build it, making the most efficient use of project resources (labor, equipment, and materials).

Similar to the relationship between generative design and generative construction, design optioneering (in which designers create multiple variations of a proposal, in order to evaluate their effectiveness in meeting previously-established design performance criteria) has shaped the evolution of construction optioneering (in which multiple project plans and timelines are created and analyzed against project delivery requirements and outcomes).

Generative construction focuses on the build process itself, by modeling construction and scheduling solutions specific to the real-time needs of the project. In a complex environment, this allows near-instantaneous evaluation of potential adjustments to project scheduling, sequencing, and resource allocation - all elements crucial to effective construction optioneering.

The entire process is iterative. The use of generative construction software reveals myriad potential pathways forward, which accurately inform efficient optioneering for complex construction projects. Once an optimized option is selected, the ideal approach can be continuously reassessed throughout the project lifecycle - allowing GCs to flex and adjust to meet real-time progression and onsite conditions.

How is all of this accomplished?

Historically, generative building was deemed impossible, due to the complexity of even the most simple construction projects. But technological advancements spearheaded by ALICE Technologies have demonstrated how digitization into a unified platform enables generative construction through parametrization - transforming the complex interdependencies of building and development into an algorithmic equation.

ALICE’s AI-based generative construction software then uses this equation to model millions of potential scenarios, allowing GCs to optimize their approach to satisfy project parameters and prioritize their desired outcomes.

What does all of this mean to today’s GC?

GCs often rely on their own experience - a combination of intuitive and historical knowledge - in order to guide their projects toward success. But that often requires taking a leap of faith, as large-scale projects are immensely complex, and involve layers of interdependent work. When contractors rely on assumptions about what is possible - significant opportunities may be left on the table.

The impact of iterative design for engineering and architecture is very limited, and usually focuses on solving a specific problem - for example, the adjustment of a facade, roofline, or building footprint. While this can be very useful (as demonstrated by this case study on WeWork’s use of generative design to optimize their workspaces), when generative technology is applied effectively to construction optioneering, it includes the entire project - optimizing the use of materials, labor, equipment, and other resources, as well as improving the process of construction itself. It can even be used to optimize for carbon emissions, paving the way for more sustainable construction.

ALICE’s generative construction software enables accurate and comprehensive construction optioneering, by using powerful AI to assess all possible scenarios and pathways forward - from any point in a given project. ALICE crunches the data, analyzing millions of options in a matter of minutes, to reveal previously undetected possibilities for improvement.

ALICE’s Generative Construction Software
  • Enables creation and evaluation of iterative scheduling
  • Allows visualization of build approach
  • Streamlines design adjustments
  • Supports maximization of site space and usage
  • Optimizes sequencing of build 
  • Maximizes labor, equipment, and resource allocation
  • Enables swift onsite realignment to best-case scenarios

The true value unlocked via generative construction is the ability to quickly and efficiently adjust to changing conditions with confidence that your decisions are well-informed. Risks can be addressed proactively, and changes enacted swiftly - avoiding delays. Reorganization of resource allocation reduces waste and increases profits. And more efficient sequencing allows GCs to optimize for achievement of milestones, while observing safety and quality constraints.

When it comes to construction optioneering for complex build projects - the more options GCs have to choose from, the better their projects will perform. Request your demo today, to learn more about how ALICE Technologies’ generative construction software unlocks the power of choice. 

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