The DaS Symposium: Design and Sustainability

April 12, 2018
Scottsdale, Arizona

DaS 2018 - Enabling Good Design Decisions

The Congress on the Future of Engineering Software (COFES) will be investigating the impact of - and opportunities for - engineering software in contributing to environmentally sustainable outcomes works of engineering and construction globally.

In the US, residential and commercial buildings contribute to nearly 40% of all CO2 emissions. Buildings, more than industry, power generation plants, even cars, are the big CO2 polluters (USGBC, 2004). Globally, buildings represent a third of global emissions (Thaw, 2017). The creation of our infrastructure adds to this debt; Construction is responsible for 4% of particulate emissions and more water pollution incidents than any other industry. (Gray, 2017) In addition, typical construction practices involve significant rates of waste and error. The US EPA estimated 534 million tons of construction and demolition (C&D) debris were generated in the United States, in 2014—more than twice the amount of generated municipal solid waste (US EPA, 2016) and as much as 10-15% of the total materials used in construction. (Skoyles, 1987)

These statistics are financial concerns for an industry undergoing significant changes in expectations and requirements, and are clear concerns for environmental stewardship and the health of the earth’s ecosystem for future generations. One common trait of nearly all construction and operation of our worlds infrastructure today is the use of engineering software to design, construct, and operate these assets. The tools we use can help us improve performance, reduce waste, and increase efficiency.

The 2018 DaS SYMPOSIUM will focus on the role of engineering software during design to affect sustainable outcomes and improve the sustainability of our built environment.

  • What DOES engineering software do to support Sustainability?
  • What do major software vendors PLAN to provide in capabilities in this area?
  • What SHOULD engineering software do to support Sustainability?
  • What CAN COFES state as the GOAL engineering software developers should target to affect positive change in the sustainability and efficiency of our built environment?

Members of the COFES community will gather with several major engineering software developers to address these questions, with the goal of developing a statement to be included in an open letter to the software industry.

AGENDA: A one-day workshop

8:00AM - Welcome / Opening Notes [John Kizior & Deke Smith, DaS Chairs]

The State of Sustainability in Engineering Software [Multiple Presenters]
8:30AM - GIS Software, Sustainability, and the Esri view
8:50AM - Design software, Sustainability, and the Autodesk view
9:10AM - Design software, Sustainability, and the Bentley view
9:30AM - Design Software, Sustainability, and the Dassault view
9:50AM - Specifications Software’s impact on Sustainability
10:10AM - Design Content libraries and Sustainability

10:30AM - Panel Q&A w/ morning presenters [All Presenters]

11:00AM - Workshop: Identify & Bucket Key Issues [Facilitator, Assembled Group]
Silent Sort exercise to categorize, then a quick review of the categories.

11:20AM - Workshop: Categorize Ideas [Facilitator, Assembled Group]
This will be a visual-strategy workshop session, using sticky notes to define the key issues that engineering software needs to address.

11:40AM - Workshop: Prioritize issues [Facilitator, Assembled Group]
$100 exercise, voting dots, to prioritize buckets & Ideas

Noon - Lunch

12:30PM - Review Issues and assemble Breakout Groups [Chair, Facilitator]

12:40PM - Breakout Groups [Assembled Group]
Group Assignments will be determined based on the buckets & topics determined in the pre-lunch workshop. May include “Write the Headline,” “Business Model Canvas,” “Insight-To-Action,” “User Storyboard,” “SIPOC Gameplan,” “PIXAR filter” or others.

1:40PM - Presentations [Breakout Group Representatives]

2:20PM - Final Outcome, Organizing the deliverable [John Kizior & Deke Smith, DaS Chairs]

2:20PM - Conclusion

Next Steps
Upon completion of the workshop, materials will be collected by the Facilitator and Chairs, to be assembled into a statement of values & call to action for the engineering software industry. This letter will be distributed to the DaS Symposium attendees for 2 rounds of comment & review, then published in industry magazines and distributed to the participating software vendors, and will become the starting point for next year’s DaS Symposium.

The beginnings of a Multi-Year Program at the DaS Symposium
Engineering software is the origin point of today’s infrastructure. Roads, Bridges, Dams, Factories, Schools, Homes, Water systems, Power Grids all start out as data in engineering software before they are purchased, assembled, constructed into our infrastructure. In today’s profession, as defined by practitioners and public standards like the UK BIM Level 2/3 Mandates, that data is object-oriented, “intelligent” or relational / interlinked, and multi-faceted. These key elements supporting our society, the things that make the largest impact on our environment that our culture produces, are the physical manifestations of bits that begin in engineering software, and traverse the construction and operation process.

The construction industry is made up of many entities working together. Practitioners in design, construction and facility management, owners, suppliers of products and software, and over 250 associations, organizations and agencies coordinating the various facets of the facilities and infrastructure industry in the US. Each of these is working towards the good of their community, but with a diversity that makes continuity on any subject a challenge. Yet, with no higher-level focus, few measurable improvements to the outcomes in the infrastructure lifecycle are evident.

Each of the entities do have some general goals that they all strive for in support of their communities and environment; increased profits and lower risk. However, there are additional goals that will result in lower total cost of ownership, and greater environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Reduced Delivery Time
Time is money, and delivering products and facilities faster means that owners can begin achieving a return on their investment sooner. The goal is to save up to 50% of the time to deliver by streamlining and integrating the supply chain and other business processes.

Reduced Total Cost of Ownership
While first cost remains important, the cost impact of a product decision over the life of the product or facility is far greater. Reducing the total cost of ownership is a far more important goal. There is currently at least 40% waste in the current approach.

Increased Recycling and Reduced Landfill
There is far too much waste in the industry today. Waste is typically co-mingled and carted off to landfills and off-site fabrication is under implemented. These combine to be a scourge on the environment in multiple ways. We can increase recycling and off-site fabrication to reduce land fill by 30% which will make construction a far more sustainable endeavor.

Reduced Carbon Footprint
Awareness of the carbon footprint associated with fabrication is not well understood or considered. An awareness and focused efforts to reduce the associated carbon footprint throughout the supply chain will not only save money but save the environment. A reduction of 50% of the carbon footprint is attainable.

Increased Net Zero Energy Focus
Energy usage in the built environment is staggering, yet only cursory efforts are in place to improve. A focus on net zero energy usage in structures is imperative, and achievable. It is believed that we can easily increase the number of net zero energy facilities by 20% by 2025.

To align our industry to these national goals will enable us to affect the change required to improve our industry and affect true positive change for our environment.

Since Engineering Software is the origin of this information lifecycle, which is the driver of the activities regarding our built environment, it’s appropriate that COFES tackle our ability to meet or exceed these goals.

Over the coming years, the DaS Symposium will tackle the information lifecycle of our built assets. Upon completion of the definition of our goals through the 2018 workshop, we will examine the flow of data across the information lifecycle in order to affect improvement in our industries ability to make better decisions, work more efficiently, sustainably, and safely, while continuing to succeed financially. This flow of information can foster knowledge, good decision-making, and better outcomes, and can be examined through the lenses of software capabilities, Industry awareness, and scientific, measured improvement.