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Using AI for Sustainable Structural Design with DAISY and Autodesk Research

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    DaisyAI is the first timber design software powered by artificial intelligence (AI). DAISY produces optimal, code-compliant designs in under 10 minutes, saving engineers 2-3 hours a day and reducing up to 80% of timber waste. Kratos is an Autodesk Research project using AI methods to rapidly evaluate many structural designs in multiple materials including concrete. Solutions can optimize for monetary cost, carbon cost or other objectives. DAISY & Kratos collaborated by using Kratos to calculate load-bearing walls in a timber structure which Daisy can use as input to produce detailed floorplans. This leads to less concrete used in foundations and hence cheaper and more sustainable designs. Sharing of algorithms was not feasible so instead a “black box” approach was taken with only data formats shared. The result was that in the summer of 2021 DAISY and Kratos designed a timber floor in a house that was subsequently built in the UK – this will be illustrated in the talk.

    Key Learnings

    • Understand how AI can make construction design processes more efficient.
    • Identify tradeoffs involved in using different materials and how this can be used to reduce environmental impact.
    • Validate whether AI can help structural engineers produce better designs.
    • Appreciate some of the trade-offs involved in collaboration between research and commercial teams.