On the Road with Amr: The Path to Prefab in Las Vegas, Part 3 

on the road with amr part 3

Welcome to part 3 of our series straight from Autodesk University in Las Vegas. Today, we embark on an enlightening journey into the world of Japan’s Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry. Japan is truly timeless, a place of harmonious blend of tradition and innovation, served as our backdrop for insightful discussions with industry experts. 

I had the pleasure of meeting with Kosuke Nohara, CEO of Nohara Group, based in Tokyo. To streamline and simplify their construction processes, his company recently started to apply artificial intelligence (AI) and information and communication technology (ICT) in transformative ways. We were also joined by, Kenichi Nozu, Director at Miho Technos Co., Ltd., a company known for pushing the boundaries with innovative solutions and a broad array of services including design, engineering, and construction. Both companies boast a legacy spanning over 70 years of delivering impeccable work.   

The heart of AEC in Japan: Mission, community, ownership 

Throughout our discussions, a significant emphasis was on company philosophy and its impact on communities. The Nohara Group exemplifies longevity in the industry. At the heart of Japanese corporate principals lies a culture of continuous improvement—a notion deeply ingrained in companies like Nohara. While profitability remains a cornerstone, a larger mission of social impact and employee ownership guides their operations. Taking intelligent risks, and inducing incremental enhancements and predictability highlight their commitment to a greater cause beyond mere financial gains. 

Miho Technos embodies this philosophy by manifesting their vision: "Dreams, Towns, and People Development.” This commitment emphasizes a dedication to nurturing a social infrastructure that fosters safe, secure, and comfortable living environments for residents, which in turns supports mutual growth and prosperity. It also fuels everything they do from designing spaces to bring people together to sourcing materials locally, and employing construction techniques that align with their mission. By empowering local communities, their company aims to create sustainable urban spaces that thrive economically, socially, and environmentally. 

Watch the interview with Kosuke Nohara, CEO of Nohara Group. 

Watch the interview with Kenichi Nozu, Director at Miho Technos Co., Ltd. 

Powerful automation solutions with BIM and Revit API 

Kosuke emphasized the importance of digital transformation and highlighted BIM's key role in improving project efficiency. Their approach prioritizes adaptability and ingenuity, utilizing technology to address every challenge effectively. By leveraging Autodesk Revit API, they streamline design and pre-fabrication processes to minimize risk and material waste, while enhancing productivity through supply chain optimization and process refinement. 

A resilient construction culture: Embracing innovation for safety and collaboration 

Japan has the world's most rigorous earthquake-resistant construction codes, constantly evolving to meet higher standards. This exemplifies how natural challenges have deeply influenced Japan's architectural and construction mindset. It reflects a culture committed to ongoing innovation, where overcoming challenges isn't only about enhancing efficiency and quality but ensuring safety every day. This has ensured that designers and builders take the necessary steps, including embracing new technological solutions, implementing quality assurance, and quality control measures to ensure certainty of outcome and mitigating risks effectively. 

Kenichi’s insights emphasized a mindset shift is happening in Japan’s AEC industry, driven by the principles of integrated project delivery (IPD) and the transformative potential of building information modeling (BIM). There’s a deep recognition of the need for more collaboration. Bridging the gap between designers, contractors, and BIM managers, IPD encourages open communication and shared responsibility throughout the project lifecycle, ensuring project success and mitigating risks associated with siloed workflows. Miho Techno received the ISO19650 certification for their dedication to construction excellence. With the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism spearheading initiatives to promote BIM adoption in Japan, Kenichi anticipates widespread industry transformation, democratizing access to advanced technology.  

Ready for more prefab insights? Check out the rest of Amr’s interviews in Part 1 and Part 2

Amr Raafat

As Chief Innovation Officer at Windover Construction, Amr leverages technology to optimize project delivery. He previously led the virtual design and construction team and the Innovations for Design, Engineering, and Automation, IDEA™ platform providing leading-edge technology services to streamline the construction process. With more than 20 years of experience combining architecture, construction, and engineering, he’s a champion of pioneering construction technologies to streamline project procurement. Amr received the ‘Innovator of the Year’ award as part of the 2019 Autodesk AEC Excellence Awards. He received his master’s degree in architecture from Boston Architectural College.