Australian Building Designers Use AI for Good in Projects

Automation is valuable but nothing can replace the human touch!

Fri 14 Jul 23


New research from Goldman Sachs suggests that architecture and engineering are among the top 3 industries impacted by the push to AI and automation.

On Tuesday, Wood Central reported that leading architectural practices use “Midjourney” software to expedite the conceptual design phase.

The software presents project-specific design precedents that align well with client requirements, visions, and aesthetic preferences.

Midjourney AI has been described as the “ChatGPT for artists” and has taken the design community by storm in recent months. Footage courtesy of @Mangostreet.

Now, the CEO of the Building Design Association of Australia (BDAA) can reveal that building designers also use AI and automation in Australian projects.

Chris Knierim is the CEO of the national peak body for the building design community and revealed that “AI is already having an impact on the design industry.”

According to Mr Knierim, it can assist in generating design options, analysing data, and optimising building performance. 

“It can quickly process vast amounts of information, helping designers make informed decisions and explore innovative solutions.” 

“AI-driven simulations can evaluate designs’ environmental impact and energy efficiency, leading to more sustainable and eco-friendly buildings.”

US-based Ankrom Moisan has used AI software to develop imagery for mixed-use mass timber buildings.

For Ramin Revani, a senior associate at Ankrom Moisan, the AI software has greatly increased efficiency with designs altered in near-real times using different prompts. 

AI technology is taking the design community by storm. US-based Ankrom Moisan has used Midjourney technology to design a precedent image of a mass timber building. (Image Credit: Ankrom Moisan)
AI technology is taking the design community by storm. US-based Ankrom Moisan has used Midjourney technology to design a precedent image of a mass timber building. (Image Credit: Ankrom Moisan)

This is supported by Mr Knierim, who said that time-consuming tasks like creating detailed floor plans or 3D models “can now be automated, saving designers precious time and allowing them to focus on more creative aspects of the project.”

The Building Design Association of Australia is planning its national conference for 2023, and Wood Central understands that AI and automation will feature prominently in Australia’s largest design conference.

However, Mr Knierim notes that, “it’s important to strike a balance between the power of AI and human creativity.” 

“While AI can generate design options and provide valuable insights, the human touch brings a unique vision, cultural context, and client’s needs into the design process.”

Chris Knierim, CEO of the Building Design Association of Australia.

“Building designers continue to play a vital role in understanding client requirements, incorporating aesthetic considerations, and ensuring the overall success of a design.”

“AI is a powerful tool reshaping the building design landscape.”

“By leveraging AI’s capabilities, building designers can enhance efficiency, explore new design avenues, and create sustainable and innovative solutions.”

“The combination of AI and human expertise holds tremendous potential for the future of building design,” Mr Knierm said.

Last year the Wood Central publisher covered the BDAA National Festival of Design.

From October 27 to November 1, more than 500 building design professionals attended the conference across Australia and overseas.

The national festival was MC’ed by Wood Central publisher Jason Ross. Chris Knierim is on stage with Tools. (Photo Credit: the BDAA)

The conference also featured the BDAA National Design Awards, where timber featured prominently across 30 categories. 

Chris Knierim said the festival was “an overwhelming success”.  

“It was fantastic to see so many people coming together to attend the face-to-face event, listening and learning from the industry experts flown in across Australia. It was pleasing to see so many new faces too.”

Stay tuned for more details about the 2023 conference.


  • Jason Ross

    Jason Ross, publisher, is a 15-year professional in building and construction, connecting with more than 400 specifiers. A Gottstein Fellowship recipient, he is passionate about growing the market for wood-based information. Jason is Wood Central's in-house emcee and is available for corporate host and MC services.


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