Integrating Computational Design to Improve the Design Workflow of Modular Construction


  • Tom Greenough Entuitive
  • Matthew Smith Entuitive
  • Aaron Mariash Entuitive



The construction industry’s productivity has stagnated since the 1960s while in the same period, manufacturing and technology industries have seen vast improvements. The construction industry is coming under increased pressure to provide better value through improved quality and performance and as a result developers and constructors are looking to alternative forms of construction. In a process that borrows concepts from the manufacturing and technology sectors, such as automation and 3D modelling, Prefabricated Volumetric Construction (modular construction) is a highly versatile approach with the potential to deliver substantial cost savings, faster project delivery times, higher quality construction with less waste and emissions, and an increase in worker safety. This paper will explore the integration of computational design into the design workflow of modular construction through several project examples. The following topics will be covered: creation and assembly of parametric modules in the Revit Building Information Model (BIM) software, using the visual programming tool Dynamo; the linkage of the BIM to the analytical model; and the extraction of results and the manipulation and display of data using Grasshopper, a visual programming language and environment plugin, for Rhinoceros a 3D modeler. This integration has been found to reduce the time required to develop the building model, the drawings, the analytical model and complete the design while improving the consistency and accuracy of all.