Designing green: Digital prototyping aids construction of Australian recycling facility

When your business is recycling, it makes sense to be as green as you can about your own internal business processes.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

An Australian design services firm, ideas*, decided it was only appropriate to think green when it took on the job of imagining a new recycling facility for the Alex Fraser Group. So it turned to Autodesk Inventory to prototype the new building digitally, assessing the impact of certain building materials along the way.

The new facility in Victoria, Australia, is roughly the size of four football fields in length. It is focused on recycling discarded construction and demolition materials – an estimated 1 million tons per year. By using these recycled materials produced by Alex Fraser, builders can in turn reduce the environmental impact of their own construction projects.

Autodesk Inventor allowed Alex Fraser to minimize the impact of designing and building facility by letting the 14 different fabricators on the project share their ideas digitally, cutting down on the carbon impact that would have been tied to in-face meetings amongst this group. Different input was needed to design the different features of the plant, such as its “dual jaw crusher” for mashing down materials into workable chunks and separation system for divvying up component as they are broken down.

Here’s some insight from the managing director of ideas*, Michael Percy:

“All team members used Inventor to create digital prototypes, enabling faster design decisions and improvements earlier in, and throughout, the design process. The result was a greatly improved system, with less costly rework and modifications during installation and commissioning.”

The whole project took roughly 10 months from imagination to installation.

So, not only was using digital prototyping a smart environmental idea, it also made business sense.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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