Recently, the Advancing Computational Building Design blog published an in-depth discussion on Payette’s Glazing and Winter Comfort Tool. The piece, written by our prolific Building Scientist Chris Mackey, explores the questions that arose during and after the tool’s development, both in terms of sustainable solutions and software development.
We are not a software company.
That simple phrase stated by a leader at Payette embodies an uncertain relationship that has developed within the AEC industry since the dawn of the digital age. The customized nature of design means that, inevitably, offices will create their own tools to test new, creative solutions. These tools may be as simple as a spreadsheet or as complex as a software plugin but they all raise a question that universally affects our practice: if our goal in the AEC industry is not to sell software, what is the fate of the software tools that we develop? Are they destined to remain on the company hard drive, collecting dust as artifacts of the designs that they informed? Are they meant to be reused and improved upon, in the same way that we iterate and improve upon our designs? Should such improvement and iteration be done only with in-house knowledge? Or should tools be shared with the industry, open to feedback, validated by expertise beyond that of the firm, and given a fair chance to change industry practices?
Read the article now.