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Convergence by Randy Deutsch

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CHAPTER 110 FACTORS LEADING TOWARD CONVERGENCE

There will be a stronger connection between what’s designed, built, and how it operates.

—Philip Bernstein1

This chapter is intended to provide a high-level overview of a trend in the profession and industry. Before exploring specific examples of convergence in our industry, it is important to understand the factors that lead to convergence, to place convergence into a larger context, and to address challenges brought about by convergence. In this chapter we’ll explore what convergence is—and isn’t; what factors enable convergence; how convergence relates to and differs from integrated design, lean, and other industry trends; and what, if anything, are the distinguishing factors of an AEC convergence.

In the introduction convergence was defined as two or more things coming together, joining or evolving into one. Two concurrent forces focus the topic. Today nearly everyone in AE firms feels pressure to work faster, at lower expense, while maintaining a high level of innovation and quality. One explanation for this pressure can be traced back to the most recent economic downturn: since 2008, architects and other design professionals have been expected to design and construct in a manner that uses fewer resources while still innovating, adding value while reducing waste. Deliverables have to take less time and cost less money to produce, while not compromising on quality. However, these expectations are unrealistic at best, and often ...

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