Lendlease is collaborating on the development of a home architecture software platform to be launched in 2020.

The uTecture platform is from New Zealand company Donovan Group and is designed to speed up home design, pricing and documentation.

One of the platform’s selling points is its ability to quickly re-calculate an estimated home price in real-time as home buyers customise a 3D model – minimising the need for buyers to wait days or weeks for updated plans and pricing. The platform can also produce council documentation and manufacturing and construction files.

The platform is also designed to send orders to a factory – a capability Donovan Group calls ’file-to-factory’.

Donovan Group’s commercial ‘file-to-factory’ software has been used for years in New Zealand to produce commercial steel buildings. The company’s Coresteel Buildings business specialises in custom commercial and industrial steel frame buildings and uses an automated manufacturing plant to produce parts.

The commercial platform can quickly engineer complex parts, such as Donovan Group’s Tapered Box Beams. “For a human to design that structure it would probably take them two weeks. The software does it in seconds,” said Gavin Tonnet, CEO Australia at Donovan Group.

Lendlease and Donovan Group are talking up the benefits of uTecture for residential home builders. The platform links to design, management, building material and production functions in real-time and through an integrated digital workflow. This could help builders work more efficiently by shortening the time to specify, draft, engineer and estimate each home, according to a media release.

Donovan Group's collaboration with Lendlease will allow it to fast-track the testing and development of the platform.

Lendlease building digital credentials

Lendlease also recently announced the launch of the Digital Twin Consortium, which aims to involve governments, universities and industry in setting benchmarks for deploying digital twins. It has partnered with not-for-profit standards consortium the Object Management Group to launch the project.

In October, Lendlease Digital CEO William Ruh laid out the company’s vision for ‘a 'smart building ecosystem'.