First tool in Googles's ‘BIM-Busting App’ is launched

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29 October 2014 | By Elaine Knutt

The software company spun out of  “moonshot” incubator Google [x] has launched the first version of an app that could speed up building design by “an order of magnitude” – by encoding all the data needed for architectural, structural and services design.

Flux wants to help the construction industry scale up its output to meet the needs of a growing population, calculating that the global population living in cities will grow by 50% by 2050.

And while the first version of the app looks like it would only speed up the early design stages – perhaps RIBA Stages 1 and 2 – the final goal is to integrate Flux-generated designs with automated fabrication and construction methods.

On 14 October, the San Francisco-based company launched the beta version of Flux Metro for the city of Austin, Texas, an app that incorporates all the national and local planning regulations overlaid on a 3D map of Austin (pictured above).

The app allows the city's developers or design teams to rapidly scope out a building's footprint, height and massing, taking into account issues such as ‘zoning’ requirements, orientation, view corridors, and conservation areas.

An “explorer” version of the tool is freely available for users to trial, while a more sophisticated version for developers and site owners is offered free for 10 land parcels, or at an “introductory price” of $100 for each additional parcel.

Flux’s intention is to roll out different localised versions of Flux Metro for different US cities.

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