9. What new business models does AI make conceivable for architecture firms?


Artificial intelligence is based on algorithms and software applications that – if they have not been developed as open source – must be licensed, similar to CAD software or image processing programs. This creates the opportunity for new, specialized business areas in the construction industry and for the profession.

Architects who specialize in the use of AI could take advantage of a number of opportunities:

  • Development of AI-supported architecture tools: architects could develop software solutions that use intelligent algorithms to automate or make certain architectural tasks more efficient, such as design support, energy analysis or construction project management.
  • Consulting and training: Specialized architects could offer consulting services to teach other architects how to best use AI tools in their projects.
  • Ethics and regulation: Experts in ethical issues related to AI in architecture could be in demand to develop standards and guidelines for the responsible use of AI in construction projects.
  • Custom AI development: The customization of AI solutions to the specific requirements of architectural projects and/or firms could be a niche served by experts.

The integration of AI into the work of the planning professions presents both challenges and opportunities. Critical reflection on these developments and the impact on professional practice is paramount to ensure that technological advances do not compromise the quality and integrity of planners‘ work, but rather enrich and enhance it. It is crucial that architects engage with this technology at an early stage in order to learn, among other things, to adequately evaluate and use AI tools in a professional context. This is the only way they and their interest groups can actively shape the rapidly developing digitalization of the architecture industry.