Improving Building Industry Practices
Digital technologies are dramatically impacting the building industries, from the tools and processes used to design and build, to the technologies and systems delivered, to the ways people and organizations experience and interact with the built environment.
The Digital Building Laboratory (DBL) connects Georgia Tech researchers to professionals in the architecture, engineering, construction, and operations (AECO) industries. We bring practitioners working in the field together with cutting edge research in data science, robotics, 3D visualization, and materials science. Working together with industry partners, DBL research teams create new tools and ways of working, and help industry adopt these advances through training, standards development, and student internships.
Our interdisciplinary lab draws researchers -- faculty and students -- from academic units across Georgia Tech, including architecture, computing, building construction, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering. Industry partners span professional design and construction firms, software and building product companies, owners and government institutions, and industry trade groups.
Today’s technology allows digitally generated and optimized designs to be automatically connected to digitally augmented processes across the supply chain: from robotic fabrication, to augmented reality, to intelligent building sensors networks. New building information modeling (BIM) tools and practices combine 3-dimensional virtual buildings with rich structured data, allowing deeper understanding of projects during design; simulation of project behavior during engineering; robotics and digital positioning during construction. Information generated at one step of the process can be directly re-purposed by others in a digital collaborative system.
DBL Past and Future
The DBL was started in 2009 by Professor Chuck Eastman, a pioneer of Computer Aided Design and one of the originators of BIM. In its nearly 20-year history, the DBL has become one of the industry’s foremost institutions in building information practices, leading the development of industry standards, and educating a generation of technology development and professional practice leaders.
Today, BIM has become a reality in the industry, and disruptive technologies are rapidly transforming design and construction practices. Under the leadership of its current director, Associate Professor Dennis Shelden, the DBL is expanding its core strengths in BIM standards, data management, and interoperability into new directions including collaborative web systems, big data analytics and learning, and connecting to diverse research fields including robotics, materials research, and the Internet of Things.
Get To Know Us
Who We AreLearn More about Who We Are
The DBL faculty and staff work across disciplines in the College of Design, as well as with other Colleges on the campus.
Our Academic RoleLearn More about Our Academic Role
Our researchers teach and advise students in the master’s and Ph.D. programs in the School of Architecture.
Our NetworkLearn More about Our Network
We bring together academic, technical, and professional partners in the context of advanced, project-based research.