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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 »

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.

Read the rest of Autodesk Vehicle Tracking Software 2014

Cancer Treatment Centre in the UK offers “Care Villages” for healing

November 15th, 2013 by Susan Smith

The winner of the “Innovation in Building” Category in the Bentley Be Inspired Awards held in London during the “Year in Infrastructure 2013” event this month was the Cancer Treatment Centre for Guy’s and St. Thomas Hospitals, London.

Read the rest of Cancer Treatment Centre in the UK offers “Care Villages” for healing

Sefaira for SketchUp plug-in for real-time energy analysis debuts

November 12th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Sefaira’s CEO Mads Jensen talked about the new Sefaira for SketchUp, a SketchUp plugin that provides architects with real-time energy analysis without leaving their native design environment.

Read the rest of Sefaira for SketchUp plug-in for real-time energy analysis debuts

Recap of Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2013 Conference

November 7th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Bentley’s annual Year in Infrastructure event is a showcase for the company’s Be Inspired award winners in various industry categories, as well as an opportunity for the company to demonstrate some of its new directions and product releases. Some of the big topics this year were the introduction of Bentley’s Cloud Services added to the platform, the SaaS Project Sharing Services, the potential of a health information model, the new Innovation page where users can view and comment on new research and development.

One BlackFriars Road, London, Ian Simpson Architects

Read the rest of Recap of Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2013 Conference

Newforma software integration announced

November 5th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Bob Batcheler, executive vice president of strategy, Newforma, talked with AECCafe Voice about the new Newforma software for project information management.

Newforma software for project information management arose in response to the need for ways to bridge the disparate systems that architects, engineers, and builders use to manage projects and project information. As a result, integration has always been an important part of the software’s design. Read the rest of Newforma software integration announced

Bringing Buildings and Infrastructure Together

October 30th, 2013 by Susan Smith

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Bentley Year in Infrastructure Kicks Off in London

October 29th, 2013 by Susan Smith

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AutoCAD 2014 for Mac released

October 24th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Creating a buzz in the Autodesk world is Autodesk AutoCAD 2014 for Mac released yesterday. The Mac version does not join the AutoCAD Windows release cycle but is now aligned with the Apple schedule to take advantage and be able to support major Apple OS updates. Also the release includes Apple’s release of the next version of OSX  Mavericks as well as some new iPads, Apps, laptop and Mac Pro announcements.

Shown during Apple’s new product announcement live event were AutoCAD for Mac 2014 on the Mac desktop and AutoCAD 360 on the new iPad Air tablet.

Among the new features for AutoCAD 2014 for Mac and AutoCAD LT 2014 for Mac are support the new Apple Mac OSX  Mavericks OS which is the release after Mountain Lion, Retina Display Support for better viewing comfort with increased pixel density, and eTransmit Support for better transmittal of DWG and reference files, called Package Drawing.

Autodesk AutoCAD LT 2014 for Mac video:

Dell Precision M3800 ultra thin and light workstation announced

October 22nd, 2013 by Susan Smith

Pat Kannar, Director of Product Marketing, Dell Precision, talked about the release of the Dell Precision M3800 ultra thin and light 15-inch workstation that represents the last product in their portfolio line of ultra workstations. Kannar said this is the first thin and light workstation in the market.

“This M3800 most exciting platforms we’ve delivered,” Kannar said. “It fits in end-to-end solutions, and is one of the most smartly designed platforms for engineering, design, and for those creating products and energy systems.”

Customers have wanted a thinner and lighter workstation without compromising performance, and this workstation delivers all that. “It has all the traditional components you have in a workstation, quadcore, CPUs, professional graphics, NVIDIA, great memory and storage options put it in a form factor 18 millimeters thin,” said Kannar.

The M3800 is less than ¾ inch thin (18 mm) and weighs 4.15 pounds, with dual cooling to keep it running cool and quiet, and up to 10 hours six minutes of battery life. It has NVIDIA Optimus graphics technology that also maximizes the battery life. NVIDIA provides QHD 3200×1800 pixel display with multi-touch capability. The chassis is made from anodized aluminum and carbon fiber chassis which is very lightweight and durable. Read the rest of Dell Precision M3800 ultra thin and light workstation announced

Sefaira offers cloud for sustainability analysis for early stage design

October 18th, 2013 by Susan Smith

In a Q&A with Sefaira’s CEO Mads Jensen, he talked about the firm’s cloud solution for sustainability analysis, designed for early building design stages.

AECCafe Voice: Why would anyone use Sefaira when most major CAD software companies have their own cloud setups for their own software products?

Sefaira is the only firm to offer a seamless and intuitive solution for sustainability analysis, specifically created for the early stages of building design. Because of this, more than 200 leading design firms have adopted Sefaira as their main solution for high performance building design today.

Sefaira does not compete with CAD / BIM solutions from existing vendors, but rather integrates directly into existing design processes and tools. In this way, Sefaira complements existing design tools, and provides our users with a best of class experience for high performance building design, and – for this reason – we are the fastest growing solution for high performance building design, growing by more than 33% in the last quarter alone.

 AECCafe Voice: What does Sefaira provide for early stage analysis that is not provided by current early stage analysis software?

The key features that differentiate Sefaira and make it particularly suitable for early stage analysis are:

  • Easy and intuitive use – user interfaces are specifically designed for architectural design at the very early stages, allowing users easy exploration and comparison of design options
  • Speed –Sefaira runs analysis in seconds, comparing strategies and combinations of strategies to fully understand all options and make the right decisions in a time-scale that is compatible with the needs of early stage design where decisions often need to be taken rapidly
  • Clear, print-quality outputs – Sefaira facilitates discussion among project stakeholders and makes the decision making process faster and more seamless
  • Parametric analysis – Sefaira response curves enable the designer to optimize key design parameters such as shading, glazing ratio and building orientation in seconds where this historically could take weeks
  • Support – Sefaira’s engineering team provides outstanding client support as well as training, webinars and documentation to make performance analysis easy for non-engineers

AECCafe Voice: What is the cost of using Sefaira, and what is the pricing model?

 Sefaira is Software-as-a-Service with an annual enterprise-licensing model for an unlimited number of users within a firm. The cost depends on the number of projects that are analyzed with Sefaira. The starter price is $5,000 and covers 3 projects per month.

 AECCafe Voice: How does the cost and efficiency compare to existing offerings?

Sefaira requires less training than other tools and is much easier to implement within architecture firms. By implementing a practical tool for performance analysis our customers are able to meet requirements that would otherwise be hard or impossible to meet.

Our customers are telling us that because of Sefaira they have been able to win more business, reduce their design costs and avoid costly rework to meet sustainability targets during later project phases, and that no other solution for sustainable design offers such a compelling return on investment witnessed by the rapid growth of our client base.

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