Last year’s predictions for the year, Top AEC Predictions for 2013 – AECCafe Voice, were somewhat different from this year’s. Although those predictions are still useful to note this year, I am focusing on some product directions and initiatives since there is a continuing, pressing need to address critical infrastructure, fueled largely by climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and failing infrastructure and economy. Products developed and industries becoming more collaborative all shape the predictions of the year 2014.
In a session held at Autodesk University 2013, entitled “BuildX: Construction Site of the Future,” the future of building was explored by industry experts.
Senior vice president, Building Information Modeling, Amar Hanspal, said that construction employs the most number of people around the world (with the exception of health care). $7 trillion is tied up in the world of construction.
Iconic buildings are built in much the same way as they have always been built. Examples are the Empire State in 30s the Gherkin recently. They are labor intensive, and involve masses of blueprints. “Over the last 80 years, the jobsite hasn’t changed dramatically,” said Hanspal. “We may talk about design and engineering changing, but the world of construction has more evolution to do.”
He added that the economists bash this industry a bit. “Every industry except construction has increased in productivity in the past fifty years.”
Construction companies are very pragmatic, yet they were the earliest adopters of cell phones, for people on jobsites. All GPS systems and location systems have been used in construction.
How does someone manage complex logistic in construction process?
Hannu Lindberg,Technology Manager, VPR Construction, talked on the topic, “Managing a Construction Supply Chain and Quality.”
“We’re seeing more schedules, and witnessing prefab and modular assemblies, which are becoming critical to projects,” said Lindberg.
This process is required to deliver product much earlier on, but also opens up possibilities to track these components much earlier on in the supply chain process.
Lindberg said “Lightspeed is too slow. We’ll have to go to right to ludicruous speed. We’re beginning to fabricate more products off site in order to make lead times. We want to install building blocks as they arrive onsite.”
Global sourcing materials are becoming global as well. “We have a process in place and have procurement lead time earlier in process. Parts are being brought from various parts of the world, preassembled in the factory, tagged with a barcode, put in storage, then delivered to the site.”
What if we integrated quality process into the process? Asks Lindberg. At the factory level QA inspections? “There is currently no transparency into that process from the perspective of the general contractor. If we build checkpoints for quality throughout the supply chain, starting at manufacturing level, with checking and enforcing this quality, the chances of poor quality showing up on jobsite is significantly lower.”
The system is still primarily paper-based. To improve communications between the subcontractors and the general contractor we can replace paper based systems with mobile, barcode scanners, and all the technology to simplify and improve the process.
In an interview with president of Trelligence, Larry Ciscon, Ph. D., he talked about Affinity 8.1, their Autodesk partnership and Revit integration, the available modules, and more.
The next generation of a new app from GRAPHISOFT called BIMx is now available in the Apple App Store. The brand new “BIMx Docs” function pack included in the new version provides access to full BIM projects containing the 2D documentation as well as the 3D model. The app’s advanced “Hyper-model” technology allows users to check out BIM projects on their touch screen devices anywhere. People who don’t have BIM training can also use it. This is a tool that can really bring BIM to the construction side of AEC.
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In a conversation with Carl Sterner, senior product marketing manager for Sefaira, he talked about the recent announcement of Sefaira for Revit plug-in at Autodesk University 2013. The company had announced Sefaira for SketchUp in the past couple of months, which Sterner said is very different from Sefaira for Revit.
Robots for the future jobsite, flying drones for delivering packages and reality capture were all part of the show at Tuesday morning’s Mainstage presentation at Autodesk University 2013. The event kicked off with a short little skit by Penn & Teller, who will apparently provide an entire show for AU attendees on Thursday.
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science located in Dallas, Texas, won a Be Inspired “Special Recognition Award” in the category “Innovations in Comprehensive BIM” at the Year In Infrastructure 2013 (YII2013) event held in London in October. The building, designed by Morphosis Architects, is very striking in that it is embues the visitor with the feeling of the natural environment of Texas, with its earthy use of rocks, stone, concrete and sedimentation of the earth layering.
“Definitely the Mother Ship has landed here in Cupertino.”
Apple’s proposed new headquarters is a spaceship-like structure design that has just received approval from the city of Cupertino to go ahead with the building.
The 2.8 million-square-foot Star Trek clone, shaped like an enormous donut, is expected to be situated on a site in a man-made forest on the northeast corner of Cupertino. Apple Campus 2 will be located where HP and Compaq used to be located and has gotten the okay to go ahead with building from the city next month. While the entire campus maintains a space like-modern-age theme, the most prominent building is the big four-story donut designed by architect Norman Foster of Foster and Partners, who has designed many notable and extraordinary buildings including the Gherkin in London and the Reichstag restoration in Berlin.
Stefan Behling, a Foster and Partners architect on the project, said that the building is “one of the most environmentally sustainable projects on this scale anywhere in the world.”
Dan Philbrick, senior product line manager in the infrastructure division at Autodesk, spoke with AECWeekly regarding the company’s new Autodesk Vehicle Tracking 2014 software for vehicle simulation, based on field-proven technology assets recently acquired from Savoy Computing Services in the UK.
The winner of the “Innovation in Building” Category in the Bentley Be Inspired Awards held in London during the “Year in Infrastructure 2013” event this month was the Cancer Treatment Centre for Guy’s and St. Thomas Hospitals, London.