What was the Transcend Design Generator NOT Designed to Do?

Written by Remmie Monahan, Business Development Associate

The Transcend Design Generator (TDG) was designed to disrupt. Completing the first 30% of a design for a wastewater treatment plant – considering existing assets, running a 365-day biological simulation, and producing over a dozen output documents including a 3D BIM model automatically is no simple task.

However, the Transcend Design Generator (TDG) was NOT designed to do everything.

The design of critical infrastructure, specifically water & wastewater treatment plants, is very complex. The idea of leaving something as critical as the conceptual design of a plant up to a cloud-based tool can be intimidating. But that’s exactly what TDG was built to help with – streamlining conceptual design practices.

Using an example outside of software – 30 years ago, we could never imagine carrying a device that allowed us to talk with people from around the world, see their faces through a screen, or browse the internet at our fingertips. Regular phones worked just fine, and so did written letters. If you needed to see someone, they were only a car ride or plane flight away.

But now many of us cannot imagine a life without cell phones. Our other technologies worked just fine… but they weren’t optimal.

The adoption of the Transcend Design Generator can be thought about in a similar fashion. Using several mega-sized excel spreadsheets and sophisticated modelling tools to create a conceptual design of a wastewater treatment plant works fine… but utilizing a design automation tool like TDG can help engineers and utilities alike become more efficient and evaluate more options – and for many of our clients, is now something they feel they can’t live without.

However, as great as cell phones are, and as great as TDG is, there are many things a cell phone doesn’t do. Our cell phones don’t physically drive or perform surgery for us because they were not designed to.

Similarly, TDG was not designed to do detailed design. The complexity of design-built infrastructure makes it necessary that detailed design is done by engineers themselves.

For example, TDG does not provide specifications for interconnecting piping, details surrounding controls, and highly detailed civil layouts. These factors are site specific and highly customized based on the project. There are many factors that are unpredictable and can influence the specification of detailed design including client requests, buried assets, costing, and regulatory change.

The Transcend Design Generator was designed to streamline the first 10%-30% of a design. TDG helps expedite a design from the preliminary stage to the detailed design stage where the value-added engineering is most useful.


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