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Building information modeling helps do away with blueprints

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

In a world where blueprints are the backbone of the architectural/construction process, it sounds like heresy to consider replacing blueprints with something else – some thing digital, no less. But the ability of building information modeling (BIM) to eliminate problems before they happen with the use of analysis tools and iPads and other mobile devices, has simplified the whole AEC process. The amount of time, money, and manpower have all been reduced by the use of this technology.

When you see an article in a regional or daily newspaper about a technology topic such as BIM that you’ve known about some time, you know that topic has hit prime time:

iPad leads building information modeling push to replace blueprints – Westchester/Rockland Newsday

Building mis-information has profound impact on AEC industry

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Michelle Addington, Hines Professor of Sustainable Architectural Design at Yale University, is educated as both an architect and engineer whose teaching and research explore energy systems, advanced materials and new technologies, spoke at sg 2013 in April 2013 at the University of London on the topic, “Data and its dis-contents”.


IMAGINiT Technologies releases their IMAGINiT Clarity 2014 Product Line

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

This month IMAGINiT Technologies released their IMAGINiT Clarity 2014 Product Line, announced by parent company Rand Worldwide of which IMAGINiT is a division. IMAGINiT Technologies has released the 2014 versions of IMAGINiT Clarity-or-Autodesk-Revit-Server, IMAGINiT Clarity LT for-Autodesk-Revit-Server and IMAGINiT Clarity Workshare. These are three web-based collaboration tools that include new and improved features and the Clarity and Clarity LT for Autodesk Revit Server are designed to extend the value of the Autodesk Revit Server platform. They also enhancd control of the Revit Server set up, and automate repetitive tasks and provide data to non-Revit users.

For those users who do not use Autodesk Revit Server, IMAGINiT Clarity Workshare improves the traditional file-based work sharing approach and automates numerous time consuming Revit software related tasks, whether their BIM team is using Revit or Revit Server.

Features of the Clarity 2014 product line include (from the press release):

Task Automation
All Clarity products allow tasks to be automated in three ways: every time a Revit file is updated; at a scheduled time; or on demand. Mundane tasks such as exporting data to Navisworks or DGN file formats or creating ModelReview reports can now be performed on demand, freeing up staff to undertake higher value tasks.  To share model data with team members who don’t use Revit, Clarity products can automatically generate a variety of file export options including PDF, DWF, DWG, IFC, GBxml, FBX and more.

Due to popular demand, all Clarity products have now greatly extended the capabilities of datasheets to go beyond the popular room data sheets. BIM team members now have almost 20 different data sheet options to choose from including furniture and equipment.


Trimble announces SketchUp 2013

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Trimble announced SketchUp 2013, the latest version of their 3D modeling platform. The new release features an Extension Warehouse for add-on tools for professional architectural, construction and design users, as well as rebranding of the software’s free version, to SketchUp Make.


Archicad 17 Addresses the Details in BIM Models

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Akos Pfemeter, Director of Graphisoft Global Marketing, talked about the upcoming release of Archicad 17 in June – a major upgrade for Archicad.


New version of Autodesk BIM 360 Glue provides greater access to project information

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Sarah Hodges, senior industry marketing manager for Autodesk, spoke this week about the new version of Autodesk BIM 360 Glue that addresses the big data explosion in the AEC industry and the adoption of BIM. Autodesk BIM 360 Glue extends the BIM process from design to construction by providing all stakeholders access to project information for model coordination and clash detection via desktop, mobile and web.


Vectorworks Nomad 2.0 mobile app released

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Nemetschek Vectorworks has released a new version of the Vectorworks Cloud Services mobile application, Vectorworks Nomad 2.0.

Much anticipated by customers, the 2.0 version of Vectorworks Nomad lets users view, share, measure and annotate files. New redline drawing shapes, a sheet layer sidebar palette, angle and path measurement modes, improved download and upload performance and improved annotation text objects are among the product’s enhancements.

The app is now available for both iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store ( and the Google Play Store (

Dr. Biplab Sarkar, chief technology officer of Nemetschek Vectorworks, said that, “The ability to view, measure and annotate files in an offline mode provides even greater freedom, as users can make design decisions in the field without a network connection. And now, even more designers can take advantage of our mobile app, as it supports Google’s Android platform.”


Bluebeam Software releases Revu 11 in several languages

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Bluebeam Software announced the release of Revu 11 in Swedish, German, Finnish and Norwegian. The Danish and Dutch versions are scheduled for later this month. This new version of Bluebeam’s flagship solution furthers the company’s efforts to provide collaboration on project documents and technical reviews for the AEC industry.

According to Richard Lee, Bluebeam Software president and CEO, Revu 11 allows you to keep working on files from the cloud and annotate them with enhanced PDF markup and editing options. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can work if you lose your Internet connection suddenly.

New features in Revu 11 make it easier than ever for users to:

  • Collaborate Anywhere, Anytime Revu 11’s Studio Projects Offline mode enables project teams to centrally maintain a digital master set. The enhancement to Revu’s integrated cloud feature, Bluebeam Studio, allows users to access and edit files stored in a Studio Project from a desktop, tablet PC or an iPad, even with the loss of an Internet connection. Changes can be synced as soon as connectivity is restored.
  • Get Organized - Revu 11’s AutoMark feature gives users the ability to organize PDFs by automatically creating bookmarks and page labels from PDF content. Sets, enables team members to view, navigate and edit multiple files as if they were one. This functionality is key for users in the field, who often divide multi-page documents into one file per page to allow for faster loading on iPads and tablets, but still need to quickly see related content when back in the office.
  • Standardize Annotations on the Fly - The new Format Painter quickly applies property settings across multiple annotations such as color, line styles and fonts.
  • Search for Anything - VisualSearch now performs more robust searches regardless of an object’s size, color or rotation or even another intersecting object.
  • Do more with 3D PDFs - With Revu 11, users can now create 3D PDFs from any IFC file, and do more with 3D content. Use the Section Box tool to demonstrate the exact issue at hand by exposing interior details.


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.


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