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Archive for August, 2013

Acquisition announcements from Autodesk

Monday, August 26th, 2013

This past week Autodesk announced three acquisitions: two for BIM for infrastructure – the technology assets from Bestech Systems and Savoy Computing, Ltd. These investments extend Autodesk’s infrastructure portfolio for road and bridge design and greater adoption of BIM. For third are technology assets from Get The Point, LLC.

  • Sam — A suite of software modules from UK-based Bestech Systems for loading, analysis and design of small and medium bridge spans. The software will help Autodesk customers save time and increase accuracy and data consistency during the analysis phase of bridge design..
  • AutoTrack – A suite of software from Savoy Computing, LTD for road, light rail, airport, parking and intersection analysis and design.  The technology will further support infrastructure planning by architects, designers and engineers.

Secondly, Autodesk acquired technology assets from Colorado-based Get The Point, LLC and introduced Autodesk Point Layout, new software for layout at construction sites. The acquisition will extend Autodesk’s construction solutions portfolio and BIM in the field.

Autodesk Point Layout automatically creates points from BIM and CAD models within Autodesk Revit, Autodesk AutoCAD and Autodesk Navisworks software. The point data drives robotic total station hardware, such as Topcon’s line of positioning systems and related hand-held devices or tablets, to give contractors and sub-contractors laser-guided pinpoint accuracy for the placement and verification of building elements.

By removing error-prone manual layout techniques, Autodesk Point Layout improves field accuracy and productivity, as building designs are more available and accurate at the construction site. The software used in combination with Autodesk BIM 360 portfolio for field management and coordination will add to the productivity at construction sites and on entire projects.

Trimble’s Vico Office 4.2 ready to download

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Here is a video of the Vico Office 4.2 download link so you can get up and running with the latest functionality. Vico Office 4.2 is virtual construction software, augmenting 3D models with constructability analysis and coordination, location-based quantity takeoff, 4D (time) scheduling and production control, and 5D (cost) estimating that has just been released. This software is part of Trimble’s new data integration capabilities between a variety of its planning, estimating and management software applications.

See what the new interface between Tekla and Vico looks like in this video, narrated by Marcel Broekmaat, Market Manager of Project Controls, with Trimble Buildings’ General Contractor Division:

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Getting off the Cloud

Friday, August 16th, 2013

A recent article in Wired profiled some companies that have decided to move off the cloud and instead move most of their computing to some basic computers they can manage themselves. MemSQL, a Silicon Valley company founded by Eric Frenkiel, did exactly that about two years after it was founded, taking the company assets off the Amazon cloud, and saving money on managing their own computers.

‘I’m not a big believer in the public cloud. It’s just not effective in the long run,” said Frenkiel. While the cloud is great for many tasks, including launching a startup or running a small website, it may not sense for all applications. Zynga’s online gaming empire grew to monumental sizes in 2012, and promptly shifted a large portion of its operation off the Amazon cloud into its own data center.

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AIA Compensation Report cites architect’s salary minimal increase since 2011

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Compensation Report, compiled from a survey of U.S. architecture firms, outlines information on how the profession is faring as well as compensation data for 39 architecture firm positions in 28 states, 28 metro areas and 14 cities.

The AIA Compensation Report cites problems from the “Great Recession” as still challenging to U.S. architecture firms, however, the economy improvement has benefitted the architectural industry as well as the construction sector.

Architecture firms report an increased revenue of almost 11% in 2012 from 2011 levels, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures, and payrolls have reflected this change. In mid-2011, architecture firms hit a low, but then have seen gradual improvement since then. According to figures provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, payroll employment has increased about 3% between mid-2011 and the end of 2012.

The report takes into account the size of architectural firms and the experience levels of employees. During the downturn, many less experienced architectural positions were eliminated. Some of the current average compensation figures may reflect a share of more experienced and highly compensated positions. The average compensation for architecture positions increased only 0.7% per year compounded between 2008 and 2011, however, growth increased to only 1.1% per year between 2011 and 2013. This figure includes base salary, overtime, bonuses and incentive compensation..

 

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Bentley’s Field Supervisor app for the iPad announced

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

In July, Bentley Systems announced their Field Supervisor, an app for the iPad that allows users to connect to multiple data sources. It extends the reach of information that is managed securely in ProjectWise and eB, and in other user repositories to field workers with online and offline access. Now construction professionals and field workers can make on-site decisions more easily with current project information.

“We’ve been doing a lot around information mobility, and how can we help infrastructure teams share and collaborate and interact with information across the phases of a project, between systems and people,” Huw Roberts, vice president, Core Marketing at Bentley said. “Fundamentally we want people to be able to interact with project information on a mobile and have that be part of their workflow, rather than a separate app or technology. Our app strategy is built around extending and building upon those secure project environments.”

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Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro debuts

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Paul McRoberts, vice president of Autodesk’s Infrastructure Business, talked this week about the company’s announcement today of Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro, that offers the latest 3D modeling, visualization and cloud-based collaboration technologies to address the estimated $30 trillion gap worldwide between desperately needed infrastructure and the funding required to deliver it.

To expand access to the critical BIM solutions that design professionals need to address this challenge, the new solution is available via a quarterly plan, making it ideal for firms to test-drive Autodesk 360 Pro, or use it for short-term project needs.

Those users who have been aware of the Autodesk InfraWorks environment will note that the product goes to the next level with cloud capability and the ability to integrate lots of disparate Big Data. “We are still struggling with how to manage this Big Data world,” said Paul McRoberts. “Things have been focused around the single user, GIS analyst, GIS technician, drafter, a very expert oriented environment. As were building out the InfraWorks 360 environment, we ask how does that environment get us to change?”

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