I’m proud to announce that metricmonkey.io is now live. This site will be the new home of MetricMonkey, where you’ll be able to follow its development as we gear up for public release. We’re incredibly excited about where MetricMonkey is headed, and we can’t wait for you to join us in designing better buildings.
We are working on building something important, something which challenges the status quo. Such things aren’t meant to be easy. We started by setting ourselves the admittedly big hairy audacious goal of designing better buildings. We did this because we believe that there is more to architecture than merely increasing its efficiency.
It is a truism that the longer into the design process, the harder it is to make changes. Therefore, to have the most significant impact in designing better buildings, we need to start at the very beginning of the design process – the feasibility stage. We intend to build the world’s most advanced feasibility tool.
At the beginning of our development process, we identified what we believe is the software’s most important feature. It empowers architects. As architects ourselves, we know that this is the key to fulfilling our mission. We know some bad actors in the industry are only interested in maximising returns for developers. Chasing a quick buck in the name of cramming more apartments into a cookie-cutter building is not what we are about. We want to leave the world in a better place than we found it, not worse.
When we announced our technology preview, we spoke of rejecting ‘black box’ automation, preferring instead to empower architects through augmentation. We remain true to that original goal by creating powerful tools that empower them to experiment and accomplish things that would otherwise be impossible or cost-prohibitive.
Breaking the inefficiency cycle
Anything that has resisted change so much, such as the architectural design process, is unlikely to be improved easily. But that is precisely what we are doing. Our research indicates that 25% of organisations provide feasibility studies for free. This figure increases to 48% when only existing clients are considered. This dynamic means that there is minimal incentive to improve the design outcome, resulting in an under-baked design. Indeed, 36% of organisations don’t run any environmental analyses whatsoever during the feasibility stage. And since we know that the longer into a project, the harder it is to change, the under-baked design acts as an anchor, continuously pulling us back to mediocrity. If we are serious about designing better buildings, we must empower users to test ideas quickly and easily. And that’s where MetricMonkey comes in.
MetricMonkey removes the heavy lifting, complexity, and guesswork from each step of the feasibility process. We want MetricMonkey to be such good value that you’d be irresponsible not to use it. To be a benchmark of professional competence, it has to have professional-grade accuracy. And that’s exactly what we are building.
In many parts of the world, it is impossible to provide an acceptable feasibility study without accurate topographic information. Consider Hong Kong, one of the densest cities in the world, but where no building can be higher than ‘The Peak’, the prominent hill on Hong Kong Island. Or consider The Netherlands, where so much of the country lies below sea level. Knowing the water table relative to your site becomes critical. In Sydney, where strict solar access and overshadowing controls dominate, a steep topography can drastically influence your maximum building envelope.
Without an accurate topography, everything that comes after it – the building form, the area and cost calculations – is wrong. Extremely wrong. With MetricMonkey, no longer is it necessary to delay critical decisions because of insufficient information. MetricMonkey provides all of the relevant information to help you make informed decisions, then and there. Slowly but surely, we will reset the expectations for what normal should be.
We’ve listened to early user feedback but have also invented on their behalf. MetricMonkey, in many ways, represents the sum of our professional learning. We’ve seen first hand the pitfalls that professionals repeatedly fall victim to. We’ve seen how development applications have gone to court because they used the wrong north. We’ve seen buildings built in the wrong location because someone accidentally moved the context model. And we’ve seen clients upset when the final yield doesn’t match the initial feasibility study because the model and schedules were never in sync.
So we’re eliminating mistakes and errors at their root. We’re integrating Geographic Information System (GIS) features such as Grid Projection so that your project is always correctly geo-referenced. We’ve integrated Grid Convergence functionality to ensure that your environmental analyses are accurate. Eliminating the root cause of errors will save our customers time and money. We see many opportunities for improvements in this regard and will continue to find new ways to eliminate complexity and mitigate risk for our customers.
Accelerating digital transformation
We’re digitalising complicated planning legislation, such as the City of Sydney’s height of building controls. Not through overly-simplified 2D overlays on a web browser, but through precise 3D models. Fifty-four different height controls, twenty sun access planes, and eight no-additional overshadowing zones, all integrated into a single digital asset. We’ll continue our methodical approach with the goal of bringing this incredible functionality to more cities over time.
In the past, architects explored open-source data such as OpenStreetMaps but quickly rejected it as the data simply wasn’t reliable enough. With the rise of open-data initiatives, however, governments worldwide have been opening up their own highly accurate datasets. This trend will only continue to accelerate. In response, we’ve set up a Datasets Index, where MetricMonkey customers can request open datasets be added to our growing database. This list continues to grow rapidly, and we’re working on ways to make accessing these datasets as frictionless as possible with low latencies and real-time processing.
Our research shows that 61% of organisation mandate that a Building Information Model (BIM) manager setup projects. But even well-meaning gatekeepers slow innovation. With MetricMonkey, we’re accelerating innovation by empowering all employees to set up projects themselves. We’ve been working on building a seamless integration with Autodesk Revit, the most ubiquitous BIM software in the industry. Best of all, this is bi-directional, enabling architects to continue to use familiar tools but with the added benefit that MetricMonkey affords.
The most radical and transformative of inventions are those that empower others to unleash their creativity. We’re striving to make MetricMonkey as easy-to-use as possible so that our customers can join us in our mission for a better built environment. To accelerate the learning curve, we’ve created an extensive Knowledge Base that, without ambiguity, explains complicated concepts. And best of all, they are simply beautiful. If you haven’t already done so, I suggest you check it out. If we do our jobs rights, we see the MetricMonkey knowledge base as the go-to source for running a feasibility project.
We humans co-evolve with our tools. We change our tools, and then our tools change us. We’re proud of the differentiation we’ve built, and the early user feedback has been terrific, surpassing our expectations. As we look forward, we believe that the opportunity to design better buildings is enormous.
We know vastly more now than when we began but still have much to learn. We are committed to doing better things through constant improvements, experimentation, and innovation in every initiative. There is still much to be done, and we see more clearly than ever that the industry needs MetricMonkey. And we can’t wait for you to join us in designing better buildings.