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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 »

Smartgeometry 2013 London kicks off

 
April 22nd, 2013 by Susan Smith

This year’s Smartgeometry event (sg2013) was held at the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment UCL and the Institute of Education in London from April 15-20. The event began with a description of how the group began and how the Bartlett School architects were the inspiration for this year’s conference.

I was in London for a few days before the beginning of the conference and was impressed by the amount of construction there. The question that came to my mind was – how do they create structures that can complement the vast and rich history of this old city? There are many skyscrapers that are interspersed with historic buildings, some of which may be finding an unusual peace with the existing infrastructure.

There is a peer review process of choosing the teams who will present at sg each year.  Out of 200 applications, there are 10 workshops comprised of ten people in each who will be the lucky ones chosen to present.

This is the first year an sg event has been held in London. According to Shane Burger, this year’s program entitled “Constructing for Uncertainty” builds upon what has been accomplished in past years. This year’s teams are using data in design, working with the environment, are much more information-centric, recognizing that there are “only a subset of relevant factors that can be modeled in a traditional design CAD package.” The built environment must last for generations.

Topics such as how we explore efficiency, environmental or program changes, and bridging the gap between digitally fabricated calibration and construction tolerance and the “uncertain future of occupant behavior” were part of the day’s discussion.

Huw Roberts, director of Core Marketing at Bentley, spoke briefly about Bentley’s Applied Reseach group which has a $112 million of investment done in partnership with their software companies and users. “Our “syndicated development’ takes something the user wants to do, defines what the software needs to be and Bentley will test it,” said Roberts. “This relationship model is a direct descendant of how our relationship model was for sg. GenerativeComponents was the first child of our research activities. We’re now integrating that with our optimization engines, like Darwin Optmization Framework. It was previously in our water products, used to tell where pipes are going to leak based on the data system. The framework is a very complex bunch of math that allows a bunch of iterative processes to run.”

Augmented reality allows us to  see what is under streets, in pipes, or show sections of inside the walls, looking at the construction model and seeing where pipes and conduits are inside walls, using iPads and other mobile devices.

Because the work done in the Smartgeometry clusters appears to be a far cry from real world applications of technology, several examples were given of projects completed using GenerativeComponents and other tools used for iterative design.

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Green BIM is here to stay

 
April 17th, 2013 by Susan Smith

$US 60 trillion is needed between now and 2030 to meet the needs of U.S. infrastructure, according to recent statistics. Current industry has the capacity to put in place less than half of that. World energy consumption continues to be unrelenting and the need for Green Building Information Modeling is definitely here to stay.

The benefits of Green Building Information Modeling have been well outlined in the following article from TrueCADD on Green Building Information Modeling in Today’s World

  • The information generated from a green building information model leads to fewer number of errors on site caused by uncoordinated and inaccurate information.
  • The model saves wastage of time on site.
  • Extra coordination checks on site are largely unnecessary.
  • Managing building information using a green BIM can lead to substantial cost savings, from construction and design through to maintenance.
  • As all of the construction team members work on the same model — right from early design all the way through completion, changes are coordinated automatically across the project.

There is also a new website called www.greenbim.com, and numerous other websites and vendors addressing this topic.

sg2013 will be held in London next week

 
April 11th, 2013 by Susan Smith

sg2013 “Constructing for Uncertainty” will be at The Bartlett / UCL, London, UK from 15-20 April 2013. The Workshop and Conference, hosted in part by Bentley Systems, is an unusual gathering  of innovators and pioneers committed to finding new approaches in the fields of architecture, design and engineering.

The description of the conference is: “Constructing for Uncertainty will transition computational design from the hard space of the ideal to the soft reality of an uncertain built environment,” according to published literature. In years past, research has taken the participants into the realms of materials science, 3D printing and many other groundbreaking technologies in an exploration of what might be the tools to build future structures.

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TurboSite v1.2 for field documentation

 
April 8th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Bob Mayer, COO, of IMSI/Design talked about the latest release of TurboSite, TurboSite v1.2, a mobile app that does field documentation.

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Bentley Systems revenues hit $550 million

 
April 3rd, 2013 by Susan Smith

Greg Bentley, CEO of Bentley Systems, last week gave an overview of the company’s financial position as a private company. The company’s focus is infrastructure, meaning “everything people build to improve our planet,” according to Mr. Bentley.

Bentley is a “no drama company” when it comes to reporting, said Mr. Bentley. In their 30th year, he said that historical GAP revenues are $550 million. These GAP revenues grew 8% percent in constant currencies, and organic growth grew by 6%.

“Since the majority of revenues are from annual subscription, 75% of our revenues from subscriptions, up from 72% in 2011, and that’s from ongoing relationships, not ‘customers,’” said Mr. Bentley.

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Tekla Structures 19 release provides new capabilities for structural engineers

 
April 1st, 2013 by Susan Smith

Tekla, a provider of building information modeling (BIM) software and online tools to the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) markets, announced a new version of its 3D modeling software, Tekla Structures 19. Tekla Structures 19 delivers new features designed to further enable structural engineers, fabricators, detailers and concrete contractors to have more integration with third party software and coordinate with the project team.

Michael Gustafson, product team manager with Tekla – North America, answered some questions about the new release.

AECCafe Voice: Does the new release of Tekla Structures integrate with other BIM models and if so, which ones?

Michael Gustafson:
Tekla Structures integrates with all leading BIM software such as Autodesk Revit, Bentley and Archicad. Tekla Structures imports and exports several formats such as IFC, CIS/2, DSTV, SDNF, DGN, DXF, DWG, IGES, and STEP. Also several integrations utilize direct links using APIs.
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Autodesk Announces New 2014 Software Portfolio

 
March 27th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Richard Humphrey, senior director, Industry Strategy at Autodesk, spoke about the company’s newly announced 2014 software portfolio in a press conference held Tuesday, March 26th.

Autodesk ReCap

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Autodesk completes Firehole Technologies acquisition

 
March 20th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Autodesk has completed the acquisition of Firehole Technologies (DBA Firehole Composites), a privately held software company that specializes in design and analysis software for composite materials. This acquisition will enable Autodesk to expand its expertise and technology to help its customers manage the next generation of lighter, stronger, safer and more energy efficient materials.

Based in Laramie, Wyoming, Firehole Composites answers the need for new simulation technology that can predict and optimize the performance of the new light weight composite materials. With this acquisition, Autodesk can deliver this technology to a broad spectrum of design and engineering industries. According to Buzz Kross, senior vice president for Design, Lifecycle and Simulation products at Autodesk,  the Firehole team will add significant expertise in next generation materials and non-linear analysis, as well as industry-leading technologies that strongly complement the company’s solutions for structural, thermal and plastics analysis.

It is expected that Autodesk will sell and support the existing Firehole Composites product line, which includes Helius:MCT and Helius:CompositePro. Ultimately the technology will be geared up for closer integration with Autodesk products.

Newforma product line spring 2013 release

 
March 15th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Bob Batcheler, co-founder and executive vice president of Strategy for Newforma, talked with AECCafe Voice about the new spring 2013 release of the Newforma product line. The company is well known for its Newforma Project Center, a project information management software (PIM). The product line also includes Newforma Building Information Management, Newforma Contract Management, Newforma Project Analyzer and Newforma Project Cloud. Its new enterprise project resource management software, Newforma Project Analyzer, is a product built expressly for project managers and principals in architecture and engineering firms.

Read the rest of Newforma product line spring 2013 release

VIZERRA introduces Revizto next gen 3D software

 
March 12th, 2013 by Susan Smith

VIZERRA introduced the next generation of its Revizto cloud-based collaboration software to make it even easier for architects, engineers and contractors (AEC) to communicate their design intent with project owners in a 3-D environment. The new version of the Interactive 3-D platform allows users to view their Revizto interactive 3-D designs via iPad and Android tablets to communicate easily in the field.

Additionally, smoother control and navigation make this new version simpler to use and can be used by those who are not design professionals.  Revizto – Latin for “visual check” – helps AEC professionals avoid project complications by working in real time through 3-D technology, without having to learn a new software program. An Autodesk Revit or Trimble SketchUp project can be turned into an interactive, data-rich 3-D environment in minutes. The result is a Visual Information Model (VIM) that can easily be shared with the entire team via the Revizto Viewer in a cloud environment, including the associated video notes, markers and screenshots.

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