Using artificial intelligence (AI) to apply machine learning to planning and constructing buildings is still a theoretical proposition for many AEC firms. But in recent years, as data storage and computational power have expanded, more firms are willing to engage AI as a practical analytics tool. Their ultimate goal for using this platform seems clear: to generate predictive data that provides early hints about future trends and behaviors on everything from interior designs to jobsite safety.
For example, co-working real estate giant WeWork is using AI-driven machine learning to forecast how prospective occupants might use co-working and shared spaces, and to assist its design partners in making more optimal choices. These analyses draw data from the company's 200-plus locations worldwide.
"We're trying to understand the right kind of spaces to put into offices, so we're not wasting space or overusing it," says WeWork’s Director of Research Daniel Davis, PhD. He adds that machine learning “presents multiple scenarios” and a variety of options.