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Digital Building Techniques Increasingly Important

Research carried out by Birmingham City University lecturer Erika Pärn suggests that both infrastructure and communities can be transformed by combining advanced digital building techniques.

The study demonstrated that by combining several different technologically advanced construction methods, mapping entire building, road networks, and cities could be positively impacted.

Employing emerging digital technologies can create a deeper and more accurate understanding of how land and infrastructure are utilised, which can in turn help in the formation of more responsive communities and reduce spend on government-funded infrastructure schemes.

Ms Pärn, a lecturer in Architectural Technology, is examining how the technologies, which are mainly applied to commercial structures, can be combined and applied to deliver smarter cities containing the services, amenities, and facilities to meet the needs of different people.

Building Information Technology is usually viewed as a standalone technology, but by combining it with others, it can plan the ideal locations of homes, roads, water sources, and shops for both affluent and modest-income populations.

Ms Pärn said that by combining these techniques, cities and communities that better meet the needs of their residents can be made. Levels of deprivation witnessed in some areas can also be cut down.


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The seven main elements are as follows:

  • Optoelectric devices
  • Machine learning
  • Sensors and technologies based on networks
  • Building Information Modelling
  • Machine vision technology
  • Hybrid technology
  • Geographic Information Systems

Ms Pärn said that blending the seven aspects of digital technology presents a possible solution to major infrastructure needs, and will allow countries to capitalise on the advantages that smart city creation represents.

This includes cost efficiency for infrastructure operations as well as environmental sustainability. She said that it was exciting to be working with colleagues in Africa and stand at the forefront of future progress.

The UK government has already issued a mandate for increased use of digital building techniques but Ms Pärn stated that a closer look needs to be taken at the impact such technologies can have on the way entire cities are structured across the globe.

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