“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.
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.
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.
Randy Denny, vice president of Sales for Xplore Technologies talked recently about the company’s big news: acquiring Motion Computing in April of 2015. Motion added to Xplore a broader portfolio of solutions in the “rugged category” of tablets.
“Now we’ll serve two markets of ultra-rugged devices,” said Denny, “and we have the dominant marketshare.” Denny added that their customers include utilities, construction, public safety and retail. 30% of their business requires some level of customization, such as in-vehicle docks and perhaps including special integration.
Mike Masters, chief marketing officer of Zebra Imaging, spoke about Zebra Imaging’s service of providing holograms for the architectural industry. Architects are looking for the interaction that is the easiest way for them to show things and manipulate them on the fly.
Autodesk recently celebrated the one-millionth app download on the Autodesk Exchange Apps, a web-based design and engineering app store created for the Autodesk community. In three years since launching, the site has published 1,800 apps from third-party developers, which are available for download in 14 different languages and in 191 countries.
CADtoEarth 2.2 for Autodesk® Revit® extending a family of add-ins that establishes a bi-directional connection between CAD environments and Google Earth or Google Maps. The CADtoEarth 2.2 add-in now allows users to create personal accounts on the CADtoEarth web application and provides individual control over the visibility of uploaded data.
New features and enhancements AutoCAD Plant 3D plant design software and P&ID arriving with the new 2016 release of Autodesk products include replicating the plant database to distributed teams to make it faster and able to manipulate data. The main focus of Plant is to take something and process it into something else. The industries served include pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and food and beverage, all who require special material needs such as stainless steel that must be cleaned daily.
BioGen has built their own cogeneration plant to provide efficient energy to all buildings on their Cambridge campus. The plant converts natural gas fuel into electricity. The waste heat generated by making electricity creates steam used to heat and cool their buildings.