Tilbury Douglas and Unity launch real-time 3D design platform

A screen grab of Tilbury Douglas Connect Configurator platform
A screen grab of Tilbury Douglas’s Connect Configurator, showing the ground floor of a hospital
Tilbury Douglas, in partnership with Unity, has launched a real-time 3D design package with product platform construction at its core.

The Connect Configurator provides a web-based application for smarter and more efficient creation of concept designs using approved, standardised layouts. The platform can design whole buildings by placing individual rooms that include building components.

Using prefabricated models and Unity’s 3D technology, Connect Configurator allows for more detail and information to be created earlier in the project. According to Tilbury Douglas, this gives its clients data “at their fingertips, so they can make informed data-driven decisions, based on live cost, carbon and time estimates provided by the configurator as the building is designed”.

The Connect Configurator provides editable RIBA stage 3 building layouts. Tilbury Douglas claims it can therefore reduce rework typically seen in the development of detailed designs.

Tilbury Douglas’ plans first came to light in a BIMplus interview with its technical director Mark Buckle in the spring. A somewhat cryptic announcement about the partnership between the contractor and Unity then followed in early summer.

Base of a digital twin

Of this latest announcement, Buckle said: “Collaborating with a pioneering, digital expert like Unity, we have developed a platform that demystifies construction design for those not familiar with construction drawings. The technology uses a centrally managed, web-based common object library for platform construction, materials and parts. This means the system can create and export the base for a digital twin, and embed all the data, which is not tied to any specific design software.

“Ultimately, the configurator is just one part of our Connect digital strategy, and our investment in platform design, setting the stage for digital twin delivery, launching early 2023.”

Dave Rhodes, senior vice president digital twins at Unity, added: “This collaboration with Tilbury Douglas will help open up construction design for a host of new users. Those across government agencies, architects, and engineers, who envision, evaluate and analyse how certain changes in a city will look and how these changes can meet the needs of the future generation.”

Alan Moylan, solutions manager at Tilbury Douglas, concluded: “The Connect Configurator is a natural technological step forward for the construction industry.  It empowers our clients to make quicker and more informed decisions on their projects at concept stage, while also creating large time-savings and more certainty.

“By partnering with Unity and embracing the power of its real-time 3D engine, we have created a rich and easy-to-use web application with the principles of product platform construction at its core.”

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