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#Digitalization

Insights into the Digital Future of Housing Construction

Innovation and Digitalization in Practice: Wienerberger’s Architectural and Urban Design Studio in the UK is breaking new ground in housing construction.

Wienerberger AG

Managing a construction project from A to Z: This is exactly what the Architectural and Urban Design Studio does. Wienerberger’s UK subsidiary offers a full suite of consulting and other services for its customers in the residential construction segment, ranging from planning and architectural design through to civil engineering, building construction and landscaping, using innovative services and digital tools.

The aim is turnkey solutions

“As a full-service provider, we offer turnkey design solutions for residential projects. We handle every aspect for our customers, from planning and design to advice on products all the way through to actual construction itself,” says Paul Miller, Head of Technical & Built Environment at Wienerberger UK. As the head of the Architectural and Urban Design Studio he manages an experienced team of architects, designers, engineers and landscape architects, who work in close cooperation with local stakeholders such as ecologists and urban planners. 

We handle every aspect for our customers, from planning and design to advice on products all the way through to actual construction itself.

Paul Miller

Head of Technical & Built Environment at Wienerberger UK

The Studio’s work covers many of the services traditionally managed by architectural and urban design studios. Customers obtain everything from a single source and receive the very best expert advice on the innovative products. The Architectural and Urban Design Studio uses digital tools and services, such as virtual reality tools, to bring plans to life. The scope of these projects is also diverse, ranging from custom-build single-family homes and small housing estates to residential complexes with several hundred units.

During implementation, the team benefits from input on issues such as structural design, roofing and the building envelope received from Wienerberger’ product experts. “This enables us to include technological considerations in the earliest design stages of the project”, explains Miller. In addition, a range of Wienerberger products such as sealing membranes, roof tiles and facing bricks are used. As a full-service provider, the Architectural and Urban Design Studio offers all building material solutions and thus the complete building envelope from a single source.

Three men sitting in front of their PCs in an office
Achieving more together: Wienerberger’s Architectural and Urban Design Studio team works with digital tools.
Wienerberger AG

Building Information Modelling and Virtual Reality

Founded in 2016, the Architectural and Urban Design Studio is a ground-breaking example of the successful digital transformation at Wienerberger. Just ten years ago, the company was regarded purely as a supplier of building materials. Today, this global player supports its customers as an innovative service partner. This increases value creation, which is an essential part of the Wienerberger strategy.

Digital technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) are key to this success.  Using this forward-thinking method, a building is designed and visualized in a virtual environment. “BIM enables us to design detailed 3D models of buildings,” says Miller. The specifics of the individual projects – from the building dimensions to material properties or deadlines – are stored in the system. They are available online to all those involved in the project. Buildings can be planned, designed, built and managed more efficiently. Most recently, the team also began using virtual reality tools to take customers on a digital tour of the future building.

Example: Housing Estate in Horton in the United Kingdom 

digitale Wohnhausanlage
Tradition and Innovation: This housing estate in Horton will be planned, designed and implemented by the Architectural and Urban Design Studio.
Wienerberger AG

A row of brick houses in light gray and earthy colors, complete with inviting gardens: This is what the residential estate in the village of Horton in the English county of Somerset will look like. The estate will be planned, designed and executed by the Architectural and Urban Design Studio on behalf of the developer Galion Homes. The focus is on meeting the latest energy standards while building affordable housing.

Guaranteed On-Time Completion

The tasks performed by the Architectural and Urban Design Studio include the management of construction projects. A team is present at the construction site, performs inspections and, if necessary, talks directly to the construction supervisors. Furthermore, customers benefit from specialist advice on Wienerberger products. In addition to quality, this active support by the team helps ensure punctual completion – a factor that is becoming increasingly important in light of the growing shortage of skilled labor.

“I enjoy working on a broad range of projects with a dynamic design team. Together, we design living spaces that meet the most advanced architectural and ecological standards”, Miller says.

Note: This and other Wienerberger Success Stories are also available here: World of Wienerberger 2020 – Magazine.

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