Five Innovative AEC Firms to Watch

From crowdsourcing design innovation to using new technologies to hunt down concrete corrosion, some of today’s most innovative AEC companies are finding success simply by putting a new twist on old practice. Here are five innovative AEC firms at the top of the field.

1. Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA): Using a crowdsourced building information model to revitalize historic architecture

When architectural firm RAMSA was given the opportunity to restore London’s historic Sir John Soane’s Bank of England, they reacted by reaching out to the global design community. Taking advantage of global crowdsourcing trends, RAMSA (in collaboration with HP, CASE, NVIDIA and Autodesk) invited contributors from around the world to collaborate on a shared BIM model. Using archived original drawings as reference kits, global Revit contributors are now working together to bring Sir John Soane’s bank back to its former glory.

2. 3D Web Technologies (3DW): Sourcing aerial photography to create 3D modeling for infrastructure projects

3DW, a leading 3D infrastructure-modeling firm in the UK, is capitalizing on today’s wealth of aerial imagery data to bring its models to life. Using photography and datasets provided by aerial imagery and mapping supplier Bluesky, 3DW has been able to ramp up modeling production and accuracy for major infrastructure projects throughout the UK.

3. Laing O’Rourke: Applying 3D printing technologies to revolutionize construction

Operating in the often-traditional landscape of construction has not held international engineering giant Laing O’Rourke from testing out new technologies to drive innovation in its concrete pre-casting. Using high-speed 3D printing, the firm is now creating its wax pre-casting molds at a fraction of the cost and waste of conventional molding methods.

4. Skanska: Focusing innovation on the energy drains

Data centers are one of the largest energy drains in today’s built environment. Understanding this, global engineering firm Skanska has been focusing its trademark innovation on correcting this trend by implementing cooling systems into data centers across the country. The firm, in collaboration with Intertech, recently implemented a data center cooling system for telecom giant Telus that has resulted in a roughly 80 percent reduction in electricity use compared to standard data centers.

5. Giatec Scientific Inc: Aligning product ability with investor appetite

This concrete testing startup is redefining the practice of construction corrosion detection with its non-invasive handheld device, the iCOR. Beyond its technical attributes, Giatec’s product differentiates itself in its ability to align itself with investor appetites. Giatec’s technology goes beyond conventional testing methods that focus on strength by also offering durability forecasting results and help the company cater to market trends that favor long-term security and minimized risk.

Sharing a common ability to invigorate old practices with new technologies, and often driving collaboration and sustainability as a result, these AEC firms represent an exciting breed leading the industry towards change. Learn how new technology can bring innovation to your practice with 4tell’s tools that capture field data and automate workflows and reporting processes. Book an iPlan demo today.

Photo: Rawpixel/Shutterstock