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Archive for April, 2013

Dealing with Construction Uncertainty – sg2013 London

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

The Smartgeometry 2013 (sg2013) Conference, hosted by Bentley Systems, held in London at the Bartlett UCL Faculty for the Built Environment, assembled some of the most forward thinkers in the area of architecture today.

On Friday the venue is called “Talkshop” where a number of panelists present on various topics. Some of the highlights from those sessions are as follows:


Smartgeometry 2013 London kicks off

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

This year’s Smartgeometry event (sg2013) was held at the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment UCL and the Institute of Education in London from April 15-20. The event began with a description of how the group began and how the Bartlett School architects were the inspiration for this year’s conference.

I was in London for a few days before the beginning of the conference and was impressed by the amount of construction there. The question that came to my mind was – how do they create structures that can complement the vast and rich history of this old city? There are many skyscrapers that are interspersed with historic buildings, some of which may be finding an unusual peace with the existing infrastructure.

There is a peer review process of choosing the teams who will present at sg each year.  Out of 200 applications, there are 10 workshops comprised of ten people in each who will be the lucky ones chosen to present.

This is the first year an sg event has been held in London. According to Shane Burger, this year’s program entitled “Constructing for Uncertainty” builds upon what has been accomplished in past years. This year’s teams are using data in design, working with the environment, are much more information-centric, recognizing that there are “only a subset of relevant factors that can be modeled in a traditional design CAD package.” The built environment must last for generations.

Topics such as how we explore efficiency, environmental or program changes, and bridging the gap between digitally fabricated calibration and construction tolerance and the “uncertain future of occupant behavior” were part of the day’s discussion.

Huw Roberts, director of Core Marketing at Bentley, spoke briefly about Bentley’s Applied Reseach group which has a $112 million of investment done in partnership with their software companies and users. “Our “syndicated development’ takes something the user wants to do, defines what the software needs to be and Bentley will test it,” said Roberts. “This relationship model is a direct descendant of how our relationship model was for sg. GenerativeComponents was the first child of our research activities. We’re now integrating that with our optimization engines, like Darwin Optmization Framework. It was previously in our water products, used to tell where pipes are going to leak based on the data system. The framework is a very complex bunch of math that allows a bunch of iterative processes to run.”

Augmented reality allows us to  see what is under streets, in pipes, or show sections of inside the walls, looking at the construction model and seeing where pipes and conduits are inside walls, using iPads and other mobile devices.

Because the work done in the Smartgeometry clusters appears to be a far cry from real world applications of technology, several examples were given of projects completed using GenerativeComponents and other tools used for iterative design.


Green BIM is here to stay

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

$US 60 trillion is needed between now and 2030 to meet the needs of U.S. infrastructure, according to recent statistics. Current industry has the capacity to put in place less than half of that. World energy consumption continues to be unrelenting and the need for Green Building Information Modeling is definitely here to stay.

The benefits of Green Building Information Modeling have been well outlined in the following article from TrueCADD on Green Building Information Modeling in Today’s World

  • The information generated from a green building information model leads to fewer number of errors on site caused by uncoordinated and inaccurate information.
  • The model saves wastage of time on site.
  • Extra coordination checks on site are largely unnecessary.
  • Managing building information using a green BIM can lead to substantial cost savings, from construction and design through to maintenance.
  • As all of the construction team members work on the same model — right from early design all the way through completion, changes are coordinated automatically across the project.

There is also a new website called, and numerous other websites and vendors addressing this topic.



sg2013 will be held in London next week

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

sg2013 “Constructing for Uncertainty” will be at The Bartlett / UCL, London, UK from 15-20 April 2013. The Workshop and Conference, hosted in part by Bentley Systems, is an unusual gathering  of innovators and pioneers committed to finding new approaches in the fields of architecture, design and engineering.

The description of the conference is: “Constructing for Uncertainty will transition computational design from the hard space of the ideal to the soft reality of an uncertain built environment,” according to published literature. In years past, research has taken the participants into the realms of materials science, 3D printing and many other groundbreaking technologies in an exploration of what might be the tools to build future structures.


TurboSite v1.2 for field documentation

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Bob Mayer, COO, of IMSI/Design talked about the latest release of TurboSite, TurboSite v1.2, a mobile app that does field documentation.


Bentley Systems revenues hit $550 million

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Greg Bentley, CEO of Bentley Systems, last week gave an overview of the company’s financial position as a private company. The company’s focus is infrastructure, meaning “everything people build to improve our planet,” according to Mr. Bentley.

Bentley is a “no drama company” when it comes to reporting, said Mr. Bentley. In their 30th year, he said that historical GAP revenues are $550 million. These GAP revenues grew 8% percent in constant currencies, and organic growth grew by 6%.

“Since the majority of revenues are from annual subscription, 75% of our revenues from subscriptions, up from 72% in 2011, and that’s from ongoing relationships, not ‘customers,’” said Mr. Bentley.


Tekla Structures 19 release provides new capabilities for structural engineers

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Tekla, a provider of building information modeling (BIM) software and online tools to the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) markets, announced a new version of its 3D modeling software, Tekla Structures 19. Tekla Structures 19 delivers new features designed to further enable structural engineers, fabricators, detailers and concrete contractors to have more integration with third party software and coordinate with the project team.

Michael Gustafson, product team manager with Tekla – North America, answered some questions about the new release.

AECCafe Voice: Does the new release of Tekla Structures integrate with other BIM models and if so, which ones?

Michael Gustafson:
Tekla Structures integrates with all leading BIM software such as Autodesk Revit, Bentley and Archicad. Tekla Structures imports and exports several formats such as IFC, CIS/2, DSTV, SDNF, DGN, DXF, DWG, IGES, and STEP. Also several integrations utilize direct links using APIs.

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