NXT BLD (Next Build) is AEC Magazine’s annual industry event, taking place this year on 13 June at Congress Centre in central London. We aim to build an open forum for forward looking designers and construction professionals to gather and hear from key developers, researchers and practices, which are experimenting with revolutionary future technologies.
AEC Magazine was the first journal to concentrate specifically on BIM and the move from drawings to modelling. With this process underway and with many firms now focussing on digital processes, NXT BLD builds on this to cover technologies which extend model-based design to drive digital fabrication, digital processes and other benefits such as real-time visualisation, immersive VR and onsite AR.
The last 10 years of our industry have mainly been spent in developing the skills to model and to derive processes to collaborate in a much more complex, yet explicit, manner. While this is still very hit and miss, advanced firms are already exchanging digital models with fabricators, replicating practices adopted by automotive and aerospace firms. While this is usually found in high-end projects, if we’re ever to solve issues such as the UK’s housing crisis, then digital fabrication and modularisation must play an important part in mass produced housing. For the industry this represents an incredible challenge and change to the way buildings are constructed and designed.
Topics and speakers
If there were to be a main theme for NXT BLD 2018 then it would be Digital Fabrication. This combines a number of key themes: modularisation, factory automation, robotics, CNC, 3D printing and pre-fabrication. We are excited to have an incredible group of expert speakers from practice and research, to examine the many aspects of what ‘going digital’ in the context of fabrication means. Hedwig Heinsman (DUS architects / Aectual), Bruce Bell (Facit Homes) Stefana Parascho (Gramazio Kohler Research), Andrei Jipa (ETH Zurich) and Andrew Watts (Newtecnic).
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality were certainly hot topics for last year and as the industry rapidly matures, we are seeing the technologies being evaluated for deployment within the industry. We welcome speakers Marc Petit of Epic Games and Dr Max Mallia-Parfitt from Fulcro to look at what’s coming in terms of software capabilities and headset designs. Whilst VR is certainly more usable, mature and a ‘known entity’, Augmented Reality still appears to be in a formative stage.
London’s own UCL has an array of construction- related research projects and labs and we are honoured to have two researchers from the University, including Dr. Eleni Papadonikolaki, to talk on aspects around Blockchain, one of the hottest topics in computing. The Construction Blockchain Consortium is building a proof-of-concept transactional ledger system to potentially be applied to replacing building contracts, enhancing supply chains and even linking to modelling.
Changing the scale from buildings to cities, IoT (Internet of Things) technology is heavily impacting the field of urban design enabling the monitoring of traffic, waste, people, assets, power, water – just about every economic and environmental condition. We have talks from Dipa Joshi of Assael Architecture and Rebecca De Cicco of Digital Node looking at the planning and impact of Smart City projects.
As AEC software development continues at pace, having the right workstation hardware in place to support graphics intensive applications, such as VR, is always a challenge. Mike Leach from Lenovo will examine the hardware trends and identify potential choke points to avoid for optimum performance.
NXT BLD is not just a conference, but also a high-tech exhibition where delegates can get their hands on the very latest technologies. This year there’s a big focus on real time visualisation and VR with experts from Enscape, Virtalis and Soluis to take your BIM models into another dimension.
Simulation will also be ‘real time’ with Ansys showing how advanced analysis tools can now be used by non-experts.
Lenovo will be showcasing a whole host of desktop and mobile workstations that can deliver the power that advanced AEC, design viz and VR software demands.
There’ll also be 3D printing from ARRK, real-time issue tracking from Revizto, point cloud to intelligent 3D mesh modelconversion from Pointfuse, collaborative online BIM from 3D Repo and lots more.
With regular coffee breaks, lunch and a post-event drinks mixer in the space adjacent to the NXT BLD theatre, there will be plenty of time to socialise, meet with your peers and talk to our illustrious speakers.
Registration / exhibition – 8:30am – 6:45pm
Conference – 9:45am – 5:15pm
Networking drinks – 5:15pm – 6:45pm Congress Centre, London, WC1B 3LN
Exclusive 2-for-1 offer
For readers of DEVELOP3D magazine, we are offering a strictly limited number of tickets on a special 2-for-1 offer. Simply use the promotional code 241AEC and you can pick up a pair for £50. Tickets include full access to the conference and exhibition, refreshments, lunch and drinks at the networking reception. When they’re gone, they’re gone.