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.
“If we are to bring the broad masses of the people in every land to the table of abundance, it can only be by the tireless improvement of all our means of technical production.” – Winston Churchill, MIT, 1949.
Little could Churchill predict how timeless his comment was, or perhaps he could. He probably would be amazed at how that insightful comment would show up in the technological creations of today.
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.
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
The building industry has been seeking ways to build a model of as-built or existing conditions more accurately and quickly, and then integrate it into a design or use it for the beginning of a design. Each step in that direction provided more accuracy, resolution and speed, with some cost reduction. But the march to find something that can be done more simply, and without using expensive and cumbersome equipment continued.
Matt Mason, director of software development with IMAGINiT Technologies, of Rand Worldwide, answered some questions for AECCafe Voice about the release of the new version of IMAGINiT Clarity, Clarity 2016.1. The new release includes new features in IMAGINiT Clarity, IMAGINiT Clarity Connect, IMAGINiT Clarity Connect LT and the newly released IMAGINiT Clarity Owner Data Portal (ODP), designed to aid AEC firms in capturing information from BIM models and to facilitate the transition from construction to building operations.
In an interview with Matt Mason, director of software development at IMAGINiT Technologies division of Rand Worldwide, we discussed the newly released IMAGINIT Utilities for Civil 3D 2016, IMAGINiT Utilities for Vault Client 2016 and IMAGINiT Utilities for Vault Server 2016, all of which are now compatible with Autodesk 2016 products. There are two new tools in IMAGINiT Utilities for Civil 3D: Pipe Grade and Multi-Part Swap. IMAGINiT is also introducing enhancements to IMAGINiT Utilities for Vault Client and IMAGINiT Utilities for Vault Server as well as a new tool in IMAGINiT Utilities for Vault Server, Vault Command Line.
Rick Davis, Autodesk marketing manager, Design and Animation and Erin Emery, industry marketing manager for Building Design talked about the recent Autodesk announcement at the Game Developers Conference Europe of the new Stingray, a real-time engine that can be used to create high quality 3D games, or be applied in the AEC industry to make BIM-informed 3D visualizations in 3ds Max design software fully interactive in a real-time environment.
The Stingray engine allows designers, owners and stakeholders to access and visualize a building model in real-time to fully understand the scale, feel and experience of the building before construction starts.