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.
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.
Matt Mason, director of software development with IMAGINiT Technologies, of Rand Worldwide, answered some questions for AECCafe Voice about the release of the new version of IMAGINiT Clarity, Clarity 2016.1. The new release includes new features in IMAGINiT Clarity, IMAGINiT Clarity Connect, IMAGINiT Clarity Connect LT and the newly released IMAGINiT Clarity Owner Data Portal (ODP), designed to aid AEC firms in capturing information from BIM models and to facilitate the transition from construction to building operations.
About a month ago I attended a press briefing on the new Autodesk Revit 2016 R2, a release that builds on product performance and makes Revit perform faster. The release looks at how to empower architects and engineers to embed design intent in their model by building smarter tools. It has a lot of professional productivity enhancements, and product managers believe it’s their best Revit yet.
Revit 2016 R2 updates room, space, HVAC zone, duct, and pipe color fills using multiple CPUs. Image courtesy of Autodesk.
Jeff Wood – vice president, WW Product Management, Workstation and Thin Client Business HP and Josh Peterson- director, WW Product Management, Workstation and Thin Client Business , HP met with the press in a virtual press briefing prior to the announcement of the new HP Z240 Tower and Z240 SFF Workstations with next generation Intel processors and HP Z Turbo Drive options, raising the bar for entry-level workstations, while providing the reliability of a workstation at the price point of a desktop PC.
HP Z240 SFF Workstation and HP Z240 Tower Workstation