A parametric urban design software tool for conceptual 3D masterplanning.
This is the last Wednesday this month and this means that after this profile European proptech month at proptechaweek is officially over. Millions of European proptech companies sigh in despair, but no worries next week we’re back without geographic limitations, so you could still send European startups worth checking out… But today we go out with a bang, presenting Modelur an urban design software as a service solution provider based in Ljubljana.
At Modelur they have identified two sets of problems encountered by two different target groups that are in fact two sides of the same coin.
The first solution is aimed at architects and project developers. The tool offers a quick way to evaluate urban design concepts by computing key performance indicators based on the modeled 3D structure and corresponding parameters. Examples of indicators that can be computed are e.g.: Floor Area Ratio, Gross Floor Area, Site Coverage, Heat Loss Form Factor, and many more. By providing this data for various layouts the software can lead to better-informed purchase and development decisions.
A second use case is a tool for cities en urban planners. At this point in time, the city zoning regulations are often codified in an arcane collection of rules decided at various administrative levels. Modelur wants to work together with local authorities to transform them into a comprehensive computer model that makes it easy to verify whether a certain design conforms to the relevant city and neighborhood ordinances.
imagery by AgiliCity/Modelur
At this moment Modelur comes as a sketchUp plugin, but the same functionality for competing platforms as Revit or Rhino is under development.
Multiple cities around the globe suffer a shortage of affordable housing, in part because of a lack of supply due to population growth. Making regulation easier to parse and verify will decrease time to build and decrease project risk and as such improve the chances of housing being built.
From a property developer's point of view, having a quick and accurate overview of a potential purchase and being able to generate scenarios and compare multiple designs is a big advantage. A better-digitized zoning regulation model will make these designs more accurate. Combining a comprehensive regulation model with a generative design process will automatically lead to more effective land use while respecting the desired urban qualities.
imagery by AgiliCity/Modelur
While the promise of modeling city zoning regulation into a computer model sounds promising, it’s probably a pipe dream to be able to enclose all the intricate complexities of zoning ordinances into a coherent model, and if such a solution could be conceived it would obviously be preferable that it would come as an open data standard, and not locked into any proprietary format.
The company was founded by Jernej Vidmar, Žiga Böhm, Martin Vuk and Žiga Stopinšek in 2017. In 2020 they got selected for the Arcadis City of 2020 accelerator organized by Arcadis and Techstars.
Modelur is not the only site feasibility study software solution out there that provides a data-driven approach to urban planning. For example, testfit.io offers a stand-alone solution where the focus is much more on generative design. Architectures is a spanish startup that also provides a generative design solution, also providing a way to download the generated result as a BIM model. Another solution, Spacemaker, was recently acquired by Autodesk. Spacemaker not only provides tools that help to guide the buy or no buy decision but they also have ways to improve the proper design process eg by visualizing wind patterns, or impact from the design on luminosity for the neighborhood.
CityLab University on Zoning Codes
Interesting read on the challenges on office real estate to stay relevant… Wired had a fascinating article on robots on the construction site… Giraffe360 camera-as-service company raised $4.5m… Consolidation happening in real estate information providers market….