Dutch pioneers
Smart engineers
Afbeelding: Jeffrey van der Gucht

How smart data leads to better designs

Article by Jeffrey van der Gucht - data analyst
Windbase uses Data Driven Design to create the optimal wind turbine foundation designs. Existing data is analyzed and used within new projects with a clear objective: Creating Better Designs Faster. This approach leads to an optimal balance between cost, sustainability and feasibility.
Collective memory
Reliable data is becoming increasingly important. The influential British news magazine The Economist claims data is world’s most valuable resource. That importance is even further underlined now most of us are working from home. Investing in the quantity and quality of data is therefore a must.
Over the past years, we have acquired an innumerable amount of data and experience from our projects. All this data is carefully stored and used as a collective memory within our projects. This allows our designers to determine which choices lead to less concrete and reinforcement usage, thus resulting in cheaper and more sustainable designs.
Big data
Data driven design also allows for new techniques, like machine learning. Together with Qinshuo Shen, a graduate student from the university of Twente, we are developing a novel design method using this technique. With this new method, the computer is able to predict the opportunities and flaws of a design, giving the modelers direct feedback on their design. This technique will allow us to further optimize our current designs.
However, we also use big data in other stages of the design process. For example, we currently calculate millions of geotechnical variants of a foundation per location. We then use selection criteria and smart visualizations to exclude flawed designs and to determine which design is the optimal in terms of cost, sustainability and feasibility.
I think the value of having and making use of reliable (big) data is underestimated. For us, it has definitely proven its value. I even think that without those tools, a sustainable construction industry is not feasible. Therefore, we invest in data with a clear objective: Creating Better Designs Faster.
Using smart visualization tools, we can quickly analyze many solutions at once.