In NIRAS, two young engineers have realised their dream to revolutionize engineering. They have achieved this by developing and designing a digital tool, which decreases the amount of manual calculations.
Innovation and a creative approach have been the cornerstones for consulting engineers Christine Dalgaard and Andreas Bøving in NIRAS. Two years ago, they wrote their thesis together with one clear goal: They wanted to make a difference and transform the way in which engineers work.
“We saw a gap in the market, where effectuation and digitalisation of working processes were demanded by the industry, and we wanted to meet this demand,” Andreas Bøving says.
Christine and Andreas therefore developed a data based tool, which effectuated the way in which engineers work. This digital tool delivers through the BIM-tool, Autodesk Revit. With architect models as a foundation, this tool completes automatic and accurate calculations as well as geometric measurements of buildings.
This gives the engineer more time to spend consulting the client, and it decreases the time spent executing manual measurements and calculations. With this new tool, the engineer can access all calculations and data with only a few clicks. This information provides the engineer with more knowledge, from which he/she can make accurate decisions. According to Christine and Andreas, they were only able to develop this solution because of their courage to ask critical questions regarding the ways in which engineers work, and subsequently think outside the box.
Higher quality and greater security for the client
Building design is getting increasingly more complex, which in turn challenges the work of engineers. Complex buildings often require the engineer to calculate a larger part of the building than before, when it was sufficient to calculate a small amount of representative rooms. Consequently, Christine and Andreas have made it possible to automatically map and measure entire buildings through their tool, which can be generated simultaneously with manual calculations of single rooms.
This provides a more comprehensive insight in the building as a whole, and that is very beneficial to the client.
“Mapping out all the rooms in a building allows the client to know what kind of building he is getting. This heightens the quality of our deliveries, and decreases the amount of surprises for the client later in the process. This furthermore prevents expensive adjustments and dispensations,” Andreas Bøving says.
Mapping out entire buildings enhances the quality because it makes all calculations more detailed and based on data.
“We want to deliver a good and strong building. With our tool, we can ensure that the client is aware of any rooms that may have too little daylight or too much heat. We have diminished the risk of these situations, because this tool allows us to calculate more than just a few representative rooms,” says Christine Dalgaard.
Taught themselves to code
In addition to technical engineering knowledge, this required extensive abilities within digital expertise and everything connected to developing a digital tool.
“The entire development of the tool has been self-taught. We taught ourselves to code and have put many extra hours into our thesis and the tool,” says Andreas Bøving
Even though coding is not a part of the engineering education, Christina has no doubt that coding corresponds well to the way in which engineers think.
“Coding is very black and white, and it is about having a logical thought process. This coincides well with the way in which engineers work, where the aim is to get from A to B.”
Connects expertise to digitalization
Christine and Andreas are not the only ones who are happy that they taught themselves to code and developed the tool. Vice President of Building Design in NIRAS Andrew Ferguson Dunn praises the two young engineers:
“Andreas and Christine have undoubtably opened our eyes to the possibilities within automation and digitalisation of our work processes. They have impressively been able to connect a deep respect and understanding of our expertise with a very action based approach to the digital development. They push our boundaries and mindset in a digital direction. The development they are promoting now will contribute to ensure our future.”