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Interview with Ian Howell, Newforma

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

 AECCafe Voice recently interviewed CEO of Newforma, Ian Howell on topics including the management of project information today and how to make information from disparate systems talk to other.

Given the huge rise in the amount of digital information generated today, what do you think is the most effective way to manage all that information?

Ian Howell, chief executive officer, Newforma: “Huge rise” is true: When Newforma began in 2004, a large project generated 100 gigabytes of data. Ten years later, the largest project being managed by our customers generated 6.5 terabytes of data – 65 times as much! This growth is a consequence of a few factors: building designs are more ambitious across the industry, as illustrated by such high-profile projects as the one-kilometer high Jeddah Tower and the Apple Campus 2 headquarters; and building requirements are more complex as a result of factors such as sustainable design, concern for carbon footprints, etc.

To manage this explosion of digital data, customers have had to scale their systems and implement a project information management strategy that dovetails with the applications and systems already in use.

A consequence of handling so much more information on every project is the burden of trying to keep it organized. However, our experience shows that busy project team members rarely have the time to comply with the filing rules and meta-data tagging required by structured document management systems like SharePoint.

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AECCafe’s Trends Report 2016

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Trends that are shaping the built world are powered by the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, institute BIM mandates across the globe, the need for convergence or collaboration of AEC teams, the need for the “smart city,” emergence of the owner/operator extending the lifecycle of a project into operations and maintenance, and provision of tools that are right for the job. These trends are linked, as one will benefit and nourish the other.

1 Merchant Square, London, Robin Partington & Partners Architects

1 Merchant Square, London, Robin Partington & Partners Architects

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Contribute Ideas to AECCafe’s Trends/Predictions article

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Greetings, Readers!

220830-Frozen-Ice-And-Lights

The first week of January AECCafe Voice will publish a Trends/Predictions article, looking forward toward what might be the big trends for the new year, as well as the next five years.

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21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11) to Convene in Paris Monday

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

France will chair and host the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), from 30 November to 11 December 2015. The conference is crucial because the expected outcome is a new international agreement on climate change, applicable to all, to keep global warming below 2°C, a level that would ensure safety of the planet’s fragile resources. If that level is not achieved, it could have devastating consequences on world populations and survival.

One of the challenges of the Paris agreement, where heads of state will all gather, will be to establish a periodic – ideally five-year – review mechanism to raise the ambition of each Party and progressively improve the collective effort toward keeping global warming below 2°C.

Each country represented will obviously have reasons to participate but also issues, largely economic and political, that may create a climate of resistance to the review mechanism.

Royal Insight from Prince Charles

Prince Charles of the UK, The Prince, a tireless climate change campaigner for the past four decades, will deliver a keynote speech at the opening of COP21 next Monday.

He gave an exclusive interview to Sky News three weeks ago (well before the Paris attacks) about his ongoing concerns about climate change, saying he believes there is evidence to suggest that the reason for the Syrian conflict and resulting terrorism was drought. “We need to deal with the problem of the movement of people as a result of not being able to survive,” he said.

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New Tekla Products Combine Analysis and Design Process into Seamless Workflows

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Kevin Lea, Product Manager, A&D Solutions, Tekla, a Trimble Company and Andrew Norman, Tedds Product Manager, Tekla, a Trimble Company talked about the recent release of the new version of Tekla® Structural Designer software that enables structural engineers to analyze and design steel and concrete buildings efficiently by combining analysis and design into a single, seamless process. And new features for its Tekla® Tedds 2015, a software that enables structural engineers to automate repetitive civil and structural calculations.

TSD (more…)

AECCafe’s Bentley Year In Infrastructure Event 2015 Report

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Assimilating the week’s worth of information from the Bentley Year In Infrastructure Conference 2015 is no easy feat. The company’s product portfolio has grown exponentially, morphed and consolidated into more powerful “CONNECT Editions” that provide greater integration and flexibility on a robust cloud platform.

1 Merchant Square, London, Robin Partington & Partners Architects

1 Merchant Square, London, Robin Partington & Partners Architects

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From the Exhibit Floor at AIA in Atlanta

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Convention held in Atlanta two weeks ago, was the setting for a number of AEC vendors to announce new products and services.

RSVP_Atlanta_570x300

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Autodesk AEC Media Summit Report

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Last week media trekked to Autodesk’s new Innovation and Design Building in the heart of Boston for the Autodesk AEC Media Summit. While the previous LEED Gold headquarters in Waltham, Mass. was a testament to the company’s commitment to sustainable design, the Innovation and Design Building speaks to their branching out in their innovative capacities.

"As if It Were Already There" - sculpture by Janet Echelman in Rose Greenway Park

“As if It Were Already There” – sculpture by Janet Echelman in Rose F. Kennedy Greenway

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AECCafe Attendance at AIA in Atlanta

Monday, May 11th, 2015

For all those traveling to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) event in Atlanta, AECCafe will be there and interested in talking to attendees and vendors.

 

Some of my questions for attendees:

1) What is your interest in attending the conference?

2) What kinds of technologies/standards/trends are you interested in finding out about?

3) What is your role in the world of architecture today?

4) What steps, if any, are being taken in your firm towards sustainable infrastructure?

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An Engineering Approach to Big AEC Data

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Environmental Systems Design is a consulting engineering firm that addresses the AEC industry. According to vice president ESD Global, the company does all the engineering in the building that you can’t see “but you really notice unless it doesn’t work, such as, heating, cooling, electrical, lighting, low voltage work, computer networking and data centers.”

 

The $1.2 billion Kingdom Tower, which will stretch 3,280ft into the Saudi Arabian sky, has so far only been illustrated through concept sketches and a rendering showing the bank-busting building from afar.

The $1.2 billion Kingdom Tower, which will stretch 3,280ft into the Saudi Arabian sky, has so far only been illustrated through concept sketches and a rendering showing the bank-busting building from afar.

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