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.
Trends that are shaping the built world are powered by the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, institute BIM mandates across the globe, the need for convergence or collaboration of AEC teams, the need for the “smart city,” emergence of the owner/operator extending the lifecycle of a project into operations and maintenance, and provision of tools that are right for the job. These trends are linked, as one will benefit and nourish the other.
1 Merchant Square, London, Robin Partington & Partners Architects
“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.
This year software companies are talking a lot about convergence, and Autodesk is no different in that respect. What is different is that the software company is making a significant investment in the “make” side of things, which it has promised for the past few years. This focus is moving into the building side of things with many technologies that we have traditionally thought of as strictly manufacturing.
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.
Upcoming this week in London at the Hilton Metropole is TheBentley Year in Infrastructure 2015 Conference, showcasing the latest product announcements from Bentley Systems, as well as the 2015 Be Inspired Awards, awarded for excellence in various areas of Architecture, Engineering and Construction Excellence. Winners are chosen from a group of finalists, who have submitted their projects for consideration.
After jurors have deliberated during the week to come up with the winners in each category, the Awards Dinner is the crowning event of the conference. Below are three project summaries of finalist entries from the following AEC categories: Innovation in Construction and Innovation in Structures.
We wish the finalists the best of luck in the competition, and hope to see many of you there. #YII2015
Zhiyue Youcheng Square Installation Company of the First Construction Engineering Limited Company of China Construction Third Engineering Bureau (South China) – (Foshan, Guangdong Province, China)
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.