Digitalization is changing the core fundamentals of how companies operate.

The glass, glazing and metal industries have taken heed, as was highlighted at the American Institute of Architects Conference on Architecture 2023 (A’23) in San Francisco. The annual architecture Expo featured more than 500 companies, each displaying its latest products and technologies, chief among them software.

YKK AP’s partnership with cove.tool allows it to provide architects with verified data and simulations to select products that help achieve their project’s carbon, cost and energy targets.

YKK AP America Inc., for example, took the opportunity to showcase its newest collaboration with software developer cove.tool. The Atlanta-based software company develops building design applications to help fight climate change by updating how the architecture, engineering and construction industry uses data, automation and cost optimization. The partnership allows YKK AP to provide architects with verified data and simulations to select products that help achieve their project’s carbon, cost and energy targets.​

As a result, the architectural design process is much more streamlined, says Steve Schohan, YKK AP’s marketing and communications manager.

“Architects originally would have to go to their code books, consult various professionals and visit multiple places to get information,” says Schohan. “[Cove.tool] is basically a one-stop shop for decision support for a project. It’s based on Environmental Product Declarations, which have all the manufacturing information, U.S. Department of Energy data and other data that cove.tool collects and combines into a total picture to determine how products impact the environment.”

Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® (OBE) is also no stranger to digitalization. The Dallas-based manufacturer, fabricator and distributor of building materials has a suite of digital resources at its disposal, including OBE360 – Design Assist. The program, which the company highlighted at A’23, enables architects and developers to achieve design intent, meet performance requirements and control timing and budget.

“We see ourselves as an extension of the design and construction team,” says Billy Strait, OBE’s architectural business development vice president. “From thermal modeling to real-time estimating, we’re at the table with the construction and project team on a weekly basis, lending support and consultation to the design and performance of the project. We’re drawing with the architect, if you will.”

OBE also showcased tools that educate architects on how to run thermal analyses on complete glass and glazing systems on demand as they work through project designs.

Strait says that digitalization has transformed the building design process and improved collaboration, which is a much-needed change for an industry hesitant to adapt.

“What software can do is shorten the information exchange and reaction loop from weeks to months to days,” he says. “It’s impressive.”

Be sure to read tomorrow’s USGNN™ for more news from A’23. Additional show content includes the Finishing Trades Institute tour hosted by District Council 16 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. 

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