5 Ways Computational Design Consultants Benefit E&C Companies

Computational design is often a challenge for organizations new to digital design tools.

To make the process easier, many companies turn to computational design consultants to set them up for success. But what does such a consultant do? And are they even necessary to begin with?

This article will review the major benefits of hiring a CD consultant and the tools they use. With this information, you’ll be ready to hire the right consultant and start leveraging your data to design, build, and maintain buildings more efficiently.

1. Computational Design Consultants Help Remove Guesswork

A consultant clarifying a point about computational design to a team.

Computational design can come with a lot of guesswork — especially for teams new to the practice.

As a result, many companies hire computational design consultants to help them adopt new tools. In these cases, consultants might show teams how to use new tools and identify key resources.

Of course, guesswork isn’t limited to digital tools — most engineers and architects already use digital design software, but that doesn’t mean they understand how to do computational design efficiently.

Traditional design relies on an architect and engineer’s “sense,” intuition, and experience. But computational design relies on, well, computation and data. Basically, it takes typically human design decisions and uses data to make suggestions.

But design teams often struggle to properly take advantage of these tools since they lack software engineering expertise. Thankfully, computational design consultants can help teams come to grips with these new tools. Plus, with many data apps powered by no-code and visual programming tools, the learning curve is becoming less steep.

2. Computational Design Consultants Improve Design Workflows

A consultant repairing a key part of a design workflow.

Setting up computational design software isn’t the only challenge. Teams also have to integrate it into their current design workflows.

Despite the many benefits of computational design, it’s not always easy to integrate. In fact, many adoption efforts fail because companies “invest” in new design tools without a data strategy.

As you might imagine, starting this process without a handle on your data is a bad idea. Often, traditional design workflows need complete retooling and training.

Enter ‌computational design consultants. Rather than trying to adopt the necessary tools on their own, companies can get a helping hand. The oversight makes adoption easier and can also improve design workflows.

That’s not to say companies can’t adopt the new approach on their own — in fact, many do. Yet, a consultant can increase the chance of successful adoption and highlight unseen inefficiencies.

3. Computational Design Consultants Let Engineers & Architects Focus on What Matters

Computational design consultant automating tasks

With the right design solution in place, teams can shift focus onto more important things.  

For example, using a smart design tool to produce several design options can be blisteringly fast. It can save your team hundreds of hours of modeling and drawing. And the benefits of computational design solutions go beyond just prototyping. 

Rather than replacing or cutting certain design roles, a consultant helps teams augment them by automating every time-consuming, repetitive task. As a result, teams become free to focus on more important design decisions.

The benefits of hiring a consultant don’t stop there, however. Though teams can usually identify new focus areas on their own, consultants can provide additional clarity. An outside consultant can help teams implement strategies for making the most of their new workflows.

4. Computational Design Consultants Improve Decision-Making

A consultant helping a team decide between several possible design options.

Apart from improving the building design process, CD will transform your decision-making process. But it doesn’t automatically improve itself. While computational design tools can churn out a wide range of parametric design options, which options are best?

Where newcomers may have trouble making sense of all the possible variants, consultants can provide clarity. By helping teams understand how to use specs and other factors to narrow their options, consultants also help improve decision-making.

They can also help set up a process that uses data from past successful designs to guide new projects. Good decisions aren’t just based on design tools — and consultants know that. A consultant can also help teams leverage data management tools to gain a clearer perspective. 

With a clear picture of relevant data from similar projects, teams are even better equipped to make good decisions.

5. Computational Design Consultants Make the Most of Your Data

A design consultant using Toric for data management

While existing data plays an important role in computational design, it’s often underutilized. But why? Like other tasks we’ve discussed, leveraging data is challenging. Though no-code tools are making it easier, many teams can still benefit from outside help.

One major challenge is drawing links between raw data and design tools. While many engineering and construction companies have tons of data, most don’t leverage it properly. As a result, computational design and other data-driven processes are left unsupported.

Again, it’s definitely possible for companies to draw these links on their own. However, an outside perspective is a great way to guarantee success. For example, a consultant might help a firm create custom apps that help you leverage existing data. And luckily, with modern data management software, this is no longer the million-dollar project it used to be.

Bridge the Data Gap with Data Management Software

Whether you decide to hire a consultant or not, data plays a crucial role in computational design. There’s no arguing that.

Consultants can help you get started, but long-term success requires rigorous data management. As a result, every project team should use data apps to make the most of their resources, extract insights, and improve their designs.

Toric’s no-code tools make data management easier than ever. If you want to start taking the complexity and guesswork out of data management, contact a data expert from Toric today.

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