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Revolutionizing Residential Construction: An Interview with VynciTech on AI and Serial Construction

Sarah Maâfi
Co-Founder & Head of Business Development at VynciTech, Germany

Published on May 13, 2024

Tell us about your company and the type of buildings you specialize in.

At VynciTech, we embrace any challenge, but we are particularly focused on residential projects because we believe we can significantly contribute to alleviating the housing crisis. Our clients are primarily project developers who need and want to transform their building processes because their projects have become too slow, costly, or unsustainable for the current market. Our approach, which combines innovative digital planning and serial construction, enables them to build better housing faster.

What sets your company apart from others in the industry?

We are not just architectural designers; we bring deep knowledge, research, and experience from related fields such as real estate development, industrial consulting, and IT into our architectural projects. We analyze our clients’ portfolios and help them choose a pilot project for applying AI software and serial construction methods. By guiding them through the process, we provide them with the skills to integrate new digital methods and construction systems into their companies in the long term.

VynciTech carries out feasibility studies with AI, to generate floor plan options faster using tools such as ARKDesign.AI, allowing us to analyze the available floor space and efficiency of all options in an instant.

What metrics do you find most important to your real estate clients?

Overall profitability is a fundamental requirement, especially as construction and financing costs are currently remarkably high. Metrics such as Gross Floor Area (GFA) and the ratio of Net Floor Area to GFA are of particular interest, along with the proportion of living space to functional space. Despite the high costs, the demand for housing has not decreased, especially in urban areas. We advise our clients on the best designs to make a project economically viable without compromising on the quality of the space. We show them how to balance the need for density with the need for adequate space, privacy, and views. Using AI tools, we can quickly explore design options while delivering metrics such as GFA instantly. In combination with innovative software tools that scan our designs for metrics such as daylight and views, we can meet both cost and area thresholds for making a project viable, while also ensuring the quality of the living space for the residents who will thoroughly enjoy the buildings we create. Although the quantification of design quality is still a new topic, we are seeing increased interest in these metrics among our clients.

What are the most optimized designs for multi-family condominium buildings?

The exact design decisions depend on the surroundings and the future occupants. However, the parameters we check are similar for many housing projects. For instance, the number of apartments per floor influences how they are best accessed from the hallway. We scan large databases of tried-and-tested plans that reduce the amount of hallway space, for example. We also use AI-supported tools to check for environmental influences such as wind speed and traffic noise before we proceed with a design. By combining the plan database with our analyses, we can steer our designs in the right direction early on.

VynciTech offers “Better Building” analyses of environmental influences, allowing us to quantify the design quality of each option. Examples are exposure to traffic noise, photovoltaic potential, privacy, and views, or as shown here, exposure to wind on the roof terraces.

As a designer, what is your rule of thumb for the schematic design of multi-family housing projects?

Because we combine digitized and AI-supported planning tools with serial construction methods, we plan with the final construction system in mind. Serial construction involves, for example, the off-site production of whole walls, including doors, windows, and building services. Another example is high-quality bathroom pods that are delivered to the site as ready-made structures or pre-made concrete ceiling elements. The advantages are better quality control—nothing leaves the factory unless it is perfect—and the manufacture is not dependent on the weather. As a result, costs and timings can be planned much more accurately.

However, this process also means that decisions must be made earlier. We empower our clients to make the right decisions at the right time and independently advise them on the best system for their projects. Once they have chosen a suitable system, we design and draft it according to the parameters of that system. Many systems are highly flexible as long as you stick to certain rules, such as the distance of wall openings to corners. We can fulfill nearly any desired apartment layout since we work with many different systems available on the market. The beauty of it is that with our AI- and BIM-supported workflow, we can adjust the designs based on the building system parameters and plan faster and more accurately than with traditional 2D methods.

VynciTech helps property developers to transform their projects by streamlining planning processes through the use of innovative digital platforms and serial construction methods.  The result is a faster process with fewer interfaces and less loss of information. We advise on both pilot projects and whole company transformations.

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