Founded by pioneers of Generative Design at Autodesk, Augmenta is a software company that is driving a new level of efficiency for the construction industry by automating building design. The company’s flagship Augmenta Construction Platform (ACP) significantly accelerates the time it takes to detail and estimate designs, eliminates costly redesign and rework, and reduces overall risk. It also ensures buildings are designed to be energy efficient, use sustainable materials, are safer to build, and contribute less waste to landfill during construction. Once available commercially, this innovative new cloud-based platform – which uses artificial intelligence, including machine learning and mathematical optimization – will enable contractors and engineers to create error-free, constructible, code-compliant designs of buildings and systems in hours instead of weeks.

Interview with Francesco Iorio, Co-founder and CEO at Augmenta.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Francesco Iorio: Within the AEC [architecture, engineering and construction] space Augmenta currently works with engineering firms and contractors within the mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP) industry.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

F.I: The Augmenta Construction Platform (ACP) is our new and innovative cloud-based platform that automates building design for the construction industry. It enables contractors and engineers to create designs of buildings and systems that are free from errors, are constructible, and code-compliant. The idea behind it is to create efficiencies in the industry by eliminating the costly issue of multiple iterations of redesign, rework, and waste in construction projects.

The first module to be developed for the Augmenta Construction Platform is a generative electrical raceway system design tool that dramatically speeds up estimation and design processes for electrical contractors and engineers, while reducing construction time, cost, and waste.

E.E: What are the ranges of products? 

F.I: While the first module of the Augmenta Construction Platform (ACP) is aimed at electrical raceway design, the product roadmap calls for additional modules that will culminate in a whole-building design platform. The next modules will address mechanical, plumbing, and structural design.

Francesco Iorio, Co-founder and CEO at Augmenta

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

F.I: Computational design and design automation have primarily been used in the construction industry for conceptual exploration of building structures by architects. For the first time, Augmenta is bringing the power of Generative Design into all aspects of the design process. This transformative approach enables the functional and automated design of constructible buildings at scale, and at a high level of detail, based on the requirements identified for a building and building codes. 

By embracing Generative Design, Augmenta is eliminating the design problems that plague the construction industry and result in costly changes, hours of rework, and delays in construction.

The Augmenta Construction Platform (ACP) is the world’s first and only Generative Design solution for architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC). It is driving innovation and a new level of efficiency in the construction industry by automating building design.

By integrating Generative Design into all aspects of the design process, ACP turns design modelers into design strategists. Those that currently allocate hundreds of hours to manually design (and often rework) electrical, HVAC, plumbing, structural, and other systems can now turn their attention to higher value processes such as gathering and documenting requirements; evaluating multiple design options to determine which ones are less costly to build, faster to construct, or the most efficient to maintain; and collaborating with trades to land on the best design.

While iterations in design are inevitable, ACP minimizes the need for re-work. Using ACP, engineers and contractors can respond instantly to change requests and quickly generate a new design that builds off what has already been constructed in the field. As an automated building engineering solution, ACP empowers the construction industry to design and estimate the cost of fully coordinated, code-compliant, constructible designs of buildings and systems faster than previously possible. 

ACP empowers construction teams responsible for the design of buildings to be more efficient in their processes. By enabling the automated design of buildings, ACP significantly accelerates the time it takes to detail and estimate designs, which in turn enables design teams to spend more time making higher-level, strategic decisions. It eliminates the complexity, uncertainty, and time pressures faced by the construction industry, which result in incomplete and inaccurate engineering designs. ACP also eliminates the costly issue of multiple iterations of redesign, rework, and waste in construction projects. It is easy to use and provides a seamless transition, with no learning curve, for those familiar with other AEC tools.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

F.I: In the construction industry today, creating designs for building systems like electrical, plumbing, and HVAC is a slow process fraught with errors and significant risk and cost for contractors and engineers – and in turn real estate developers and owners – as designs are often not feasible for construction.

The construction industry suffers from extremely low earnings and high risk due to errors in design:

  • ~6% of a building’s cost go towards fixing errors;
  • Up to 30% of new building materials go to waste;
  • ~20% of AEC professionals’ time is spent fixing errors;
  • ~$65 billion spent on rework in US alone in 2018;
  • Buildings consume 40% of global energy and resources.