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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Reality capture for building innovation

 
January 9th, 2014 by Susan Smith

Josh Lowe, senior innovation advisor and Mike Whaley, president of TURIS Systems,spoke at Autodesk University during the session entitled, “BuildX: Construction Site of the Future.” Lowe and Whaley talked about the scanning revolution, or “reality capture” as it is now called.  TURIS  develops and implements project-specific Building Innovation Systems that utilize a technology-based modular approach for knowledge management. Laser scanning or reality capture has become more accessible, portable and more applicable.

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Top AEC Predictions for 2014 – AECCafe Voice

 
January 7th, 2014 by Susan Smith

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.

Read the rest of Top AEC Predictions for 2014 – AECCafe Voice

Keeping score on the construction site of the future

 
December 31st, 2013 by Susan Smith

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.

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Enhanced integration between Affinity 8.1 and Revit and Autodesk 360

 
December 17th, 2013 by Susan Smith

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.

Affinity Program and Room Dragged and Dropped into Revit Architecture
Room (with furnishings) dragged/dropped from Affinity Program Toolbar into Revit floorplan view.

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GRAPHISOFT’s new BIMx Docs Available

 
December 13th, 2013 by Susan Smith

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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Sefaira for Revit announced at Autodesk University

 
December 9th, 2013 by Susan Smith

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.
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Autodesk University 2013 Report

 
December 5th, 2013 by Susan Smith

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.

Iris the robot

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Perot Museum of Nature and Science design mirrors Texas’ natural environment

 
November 26th, 2013 by Susan Smith

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.

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Apple’s new proposed spaceship headquarters

 
November 21st, 2013 by Susan Smith

“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.”

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Autodesk Vehicle Tracking Software 2014

 
November 20th, 2013 by Susan Smith

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.

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