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Dassault’s Stance on Sustainable Design in AEC
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Dassault Systèmes, a company headquartered in France with offices around the world, makes manufacturing software like CATIA, and SolidWorks. And when many people think of Dassault they think of things like aerospace or automotive, but for more than the past decade, Dassault tools have also been used in the area of Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) and sustainable construction. According to the Dassault site, “the Dassault Systèmes Building Design & Lifecycle Management solutions help construction companies and their suppliers accelerate the delivery of innovative buildings with sustainable design.”

These solutions can be used in the design of actual buildings as well as products that go into and are used in buildings. “(Dassault’s) relationship to the built industry is looking at the products and materials and objects that go into the built environment,” said Asheen Phansey, sustainability product manager, DS SolidWorks. “If we can give a tool to designers and architects and engineers, it allows them to get a sense of the different materials, transportation, manufacturing and end of life considerations, and then we can improve the overall impact of the built environment.”

Patrick Mays, vice president of marketing, Dassault Systèmes, said that people might be familiar with the fact that the firms Gehry Technologies and Arup use CATIA in their architecture work. Gehry has developed a BIM solution called Digital Product that uses CATIA as a base. Arup used this technology to help design the Olympic Birds Nest stadium in Beijing. But Mays said people may not be familiar with how SolidWorks is used in the built world. “When it comes to building products, about a third of building products designed in 3D are designed in SolidWorks,” he said. Other Dassault tools that can be utilized in construction are 3DVIA Composer for making 3D product installation instructions, ENOVIA for lifecycle management, and DraftSight a free application that lets you view and edit DWG files. “A lot of Dassault products are not construction specific, yet we have a substantial business with our generic applications,” Mays said.

Blu House.

Blu House’s 3DVIA based configurator.

An example of how Dassault tools are being used in AEC is by customer Blu Homes. “Here’s a manufacturer of buildings using our technology to deliver objects more efficiently,” Mays said. Blu Homes uses CATIA and 3DVIA to design prefabricated homes. Because these homes are built in a factory, design precision is critical and the integration between the design and manufacturing helps lower building costs. Blu Homes are folded down for shipping so the tolerances must be very small. CATIA can handle these large assemblies with very tight tolerances. CATIA also helps Blu Homes make their products more sustainable by allowing designers to test different green materials without having to build an entirely different model. They can simply swap in different materials to see which will work better. Blu Homes also uses Dassault’s 3DVIA to drive an online configurator that lets customers compare the looks of different design options before buying a house.
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Published 2012-03-12 00:00:00 
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