The AEC Lens
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
April 11th, 2013 by Sanjay Gangal
AECCafe.Com is exhibiting at the AIA Expo 2013 in booth #264 on June 20th and 21st. We are recording video interviews at the conference for exhibitors and architects attending the expo. Each interview is typically 3 – 7 minute long. For the exhibitors, we typically ask the following questions and a few follow up questions:
The questions can be customized for each company. We record the interviews in front of a green screen and then replace the background with the exhibitor booth picture or some other suitable backdrop. The architects are asked about their company, their recent projects, and about their design philosophy.
The interview is free for AECCafe Member Companies but we charge a nominal amount to other companies and architects to cover our expenses. Contact Sanjay Gangal if you are interested in booking a 15-minute time slot for the interview. You can see past interviews here.
To add a little fun to the conference, we are asking the conference attendees to share a joke in front of the video camera. The best jokes will be edited together in a video montage. The jokes have to be clean and funny.
Here is one of the interviews we recorded last year which has received more than 2,500 views:
February 28th, 2013 by Don Talend
Arizona State’s GIS master’s program thrusts students onto the leading edge of the field—and geospatial technologies
A good place to get a sense of where the geographic information system (GIS) field is headed is Lattie F. Coor Hall at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. That’s the home of the 30-credit-hour Masters of Advanced Study in GIS (MAS-GIS) Program within ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. Here, students are exposed to not only the latest GIS concepts but also ever-evolving technologies.
ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning offers additional options for GIS studies, including an undergraduate certificate and an undergraduate degree program that is in development. Like all master’s programs, though, the MAS-GIS is designed to convey the most advanced concepts in its field.
The program was developed from 2002–2003 and launched in 2004 by Dr. Robert C. Balling, Jr., who had overseen ASU’s Office of Climatology for 18 years. Balling—the associate program director—and several faculty associates—including Nik Smilovsky, MS, GISP, product specialist for Topcon Positioning Systems dealer RDO Integrated Controls in Phoenix—part of RDO Equipment Co.—teach a total of 10 courses in the program, which also includes an internship and capstone GIS project in the final semester. Typically, students start in the fall semester and complete their studies in 12 months.
February 19th, 2013 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Eric Bobrow
In this ArchiCAD tutorial excerpted from the Best Practices Course (http://www.acbestpractices.com) you’ll learn how to import manufacturer components as 3D library parts. These are becoming more widely available in IFC and DWG formats from many websites, and allow you to place highly accurate representations of actual real world equipment and furniture into your ArchiCAD models.
ArchiCAD 16 makes this an easy process. You can import IFC files directly using the File menu – File Special – Merge command, which will create a new library part and immediately place it. If it appears faceted (due to curved or detailed surface models), you may select a copy of the new object and use the Design menu – Convert to Morph command, then adjust the Morph settings to make the edges “Soft”. This will make both the 2D plan view and the 3D window (and Elevation) views much cleaner.
February 11th, 2013 by JV DeSousa
I’ll come right out and admit it. . . . . I’m a charrette-aholic.
What’s a charrette you ask? Well, the word really means “cart” in French and its relationship to architecture stems from the use of a cart to collect final projects in the design studios at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, but if you look it up on Wikipedia it says:
A charrette (pronounced [shuh-ret]), is often Anglicized to charette and sometimes called a design charrette. . . . In fields of design such as architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, interior design, interaction design, or graphic design, the term charrette may refer to an intense period of work by one person or a group of people prior to a deadline. The period of a charrette typically involves both focused and sustained effort. The word “charrette” may also be used as a verb, as in, for example, “I am charretting” or “I am on charrette [or: en charrette],” simply meaning I am working long nights, intensively toward a deadline.
December 20th, 2012 by Aliya Jennifer
According to a study conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction, around 71 percent of the AEC companies in North America are using building information modeling (BIM) technology, as of 2012. Among the companies using BIM, nearly 50 percent have been using it for more than five years, while around 40 percent are implementing it in more than 60 percent of their projects.
Another survey, conducted by Design Master Software Inc. in 2012, among 74 engineers and designers from the US, Canada, and several other countries, revealed that around 62 percent of the respondents are already using 3D-BIM. Moreover, around 75 percent of those who are not using this technology said that they expect to use it on more than half of their projects during 2013, 2014 and 2015, while another 30 percent said that they will use 3D-BIM in all their upcoming projects in the next three years.
October 29th, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal
Author: Christopher M. Stone
On this day 40 years ago, October 27, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed into law a little noticed, bipartisan bill that sailed through Congress.
The “Brooks Act”, named for its sponsor, then-Representative Jack Brooks (D-TX), provided for an innovative and creative way to select firms to perform architecture, engineering and related services by contract to federal agencies. Years before “best value’, “past performance” and other modern procurement processes were even dreamed of, Messrs, Nixon and Brooks, political rivals, and other Republicans and Democrats had the vision to recognize the “lowest bid” did not always mean the best deal for the taxpayer.
Have you ever wondered by countries like Haiti and Mexico suffer such abject building failures when earthquakes of similar or greater magnitude are less severe in the United States?
October 15th, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal
Author: Bob Honn, Director of Marketing Services, Wide Format Printing Systems Division, Océ North America
PDF files are used more than ever, and the AEC market is no exception. With Adobe® Reader® software being freely available for every computer, PDF has become the ubiquitous file format for electronically distributing, viewing and printing all types of data and information. However, not all PDF files are the same.
Since the introduction of Adobe Acrobat® software, Adobe has created numerous versions and PDF files, adding new features and expanding functionality. Plus, there are numerous third party PDF creation applications, adding even more variation.
August 16th, 2012 by Aliya Jennifer
According to the report “The Business Value of BIM” by McGraw Hill Construction, around 58 percent of the architecture firms in the United States were using Building Information Modeling (BIM), as of 2009. With more and more construction firms using BIM to their advantage, it is always a good idea to be more informed about the benefits offered by BIM. Contrary to common misconceptions, BIM is not just a technology, but a better approach towards designing, construction, and management of a construction project. Here, we will take a look at some major benefits of using BIM, so as to understand why this is a better approach towards building.
Benefits of Using BIM in Construction Projects
Effective utilization of BIM helps reduce manual errors, decrease costs, increase productivity, and improve quality of a construction project. Be it designing, construction, and management, BIM contributes to each and every phase a project in order to make the process easier, error-free and more effective. Following are the three major benefits of using BIM.
July 25th, 2012 by Aliya Jennifer
Did you know that designers of the very first automobile dubbed the invention as “horseless carriages” since they were reluctant to change their mindset and accept a revolutionary technology? Similarly, designers of steel frames covered them in masonry so that they looked like already-known bearing wall structures. It took them years to utilize the expressive capability of steel that is quite prevalent in designing buildings today. There are scores of other examples where almost every industry has tried to dismiss an innovative solution and attempted to shape it according to familiar practices. But eventually, true innovation conquers all. The AEC industry is also undergoing a similar phase with BIM technology. Nevertheless, scope and future of BIM services is resplendent with opportunities galore. Let us get a sneak peek at what the future holds for Building Information Modeling.
Building Information Modeling – The Future Ahead
The increased awareness about green energy efficient homes has led to an amplified interest in Building Information Modeling services as the means to achieve this. The drivers of adopting green technology include energy efficiency, environmental health and generating less waste. With BIM technology, AEC firms can build facilities with Green House Gases (GHG) control, carbon regulation and zero emissions.
July 18th, 2012 by Aliya Jennifer
Companies such as Toyota and Boeing in the manufacturing sector have been using digital design models for decades and now seem to have become masters in the art of collaborative projects. For the construction industry to reach that level where collaborative thinking is second nature, the industry needs to expand its view and come out of its safe haven. Clashes between architects and engineers, or between contractors and suppliers are not uncommon. Building Information Modeling, with its very core of collaboration, attempts to bridge these gaps between different stakeholders. Slowly and steadily, the AEC industry is also moving on to that plane where an integrated approach is fast replacing the traditional methods.
Integrated practice is the key to collaboration in any domain. An integrated approach is when all the stakeholders involved in a construction project life cycle – architects, designers, engineers, contractors etc. work together. Throughout the whole building life-cycle, they can, together, do their bit of value addition towards the final structure. Such a collaborative way of functioning offers enhanced quality and efficiency for all building processes, thereby resulting in achieving cost effectiveness as well as client satisfaction, which is crucial to any project.