David Flynn

December 1, 2022

Our Vision at KOPE in 3 Parts - Part 2

Part 2. Let’s do amazing things

I previously discussed why we built MMC.market and how we aim to support the offsite construction industry in changing how we make our built environment. It is really exciting to watch that grow and take on a life of its own alongside our partners. We have committed to maintaining its data, growing its capabilities and supporting those eager to make it a place where MMC approaches can evolve.

But for us, it’s one part of a larger puzzle. KOPE is our platform for offsite/industrialized construction and it has been a dream of ours since the earliest days of our careers where we saw the capabilities of computational and generative design. We wanted to take the decisions we make within the design process and turn them into product driven actions.

Sometimes it can be said that the computer gets in the way of creativity, particularly in architecture. Our backgrounds are in that space and we began our careers advocating for the offloading of either highly complex or highly repetitive tasks to the machine. As our work evolved and we began to learn the true industry problems through our partners and clients, we began to understand that we were a small part of the problem; a band-aid over a dam. To truly bring the improvements in efficiency, in precision, in sustainability, in repeatability, we needed to look to MMC and focus our skills there.

After exploring a lot of dead ends, we settled on the outline of what has become our offsite construction platform; KOPE. Our Kit Of Products Engine. We leverage our leading expertise in computation, in automation and in design generation to connect a vast array of offsite products directly to the design world.

As we know, iterating and evolving a design towards construction, then compiling a supply chain for the build is highly complex and therefore very linear. We tend to move in a straight line from decision to decision, building atop of the last. If there is a weak link in that chain, you tend to live with it as going back to review is technically very challenging and time consuming. This in a nutshell is why so many of our buildings tend to be build using traditional methods as offsite solutions are very difficult to explore in enough detail early in projects.

They are also quite time consuming to implement at tender stage for the same reasons. A group of people work tirelessly for months to design an asset. Then they package it up in the simplest form they can and pass it to people with much less understanding of decisions made. Kinda like starting dinner service for a large restaurant, tipping off home a few hours in and asking the customers to finish the job. But that is how our technology is currently geared. It is how we mostly experience the process of designing and constructing.

KOPE won’t make a decent meal; our pancake making robot was a disaster, but it will allow our industry to make decisions early, to make them quickly, to make them with as broad a dataset as possible. By supporting the supply chain to not just have digital assets with the geometry of their products, but ones with all of their decision making embedded within, we can offer a world where the user can drop an offsite product into their design file and know that it will behave as the manufacturer intended. No vague table of rules, no looseness in applying the products. KOPE takes the underlying logic of how a product is intended to behave and implements that with a design.

This means we can test multiple solutions whenever we want without the (typically inexperienced) software user in the middle breaking the rules and creating costly problems downstream.

The goal of productization within construction initially was to reduce the inherent waste we have across the process. But what we have so far failed to do is to actually treat pieces of our buildings as true products, with their own needs, constraints, requirements. KOPE is built atop of the idea that everything in our built environment leverages some aspects of rules. Be that tooling, logistics, regulatory or design aspirations.

What became apparent to us early on, is that you can utilise the logic of products to optimise construction in new, more meaningful ways. Optimisation requires goals and goals require measurements. With a productised approach to construction, KOPE is allowing constructors to set those goals, beyond simply performance, centred around the logistics of their supply chain.

As we evolve the platform and onboard more of our partners, we hope to encourage similar thinking for those businesses out there aiming to create a kit of parts. So many great efforts are ongoing but the digital implementation of them still lags behind. The team at KOPE are focused on offering a solution to this problem.

Other posts by this author
More articles