One North, a commercial development in Portland, Ore., features the kind of design that makes digital documentation a must. What changed: advancements in technology. Computer-based design and digital fabrication have made more complex structures, with more complex framing, possible and affordable, within today’s demanding schedules. Digital systems allow architects and engineers to define unique shapes, and give fabricators the computer-control to accurately produce custom structural members. The digital information created at the beginning of the process is carried through every step, and elaborated by each member of the construction team, from the architect’s imagination right through fabrication.
A contractor who can utilize those digital documents will have a greater likelihood of success constructing the building correctly. Even better, that tech-savvy contractor can become one of the people with input, involved in the project at an early stage to help identify constructible solutions, and resolve conflicts before they happen. By embracing technology, framing contractors can work more closely with design professionals, specialty fabricators and GCs to earn better projects that can be built seamlessly and more cost effectively.