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Archive for December 2nd, 2009

What is AEC? at Autodesk University

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

At a press breakfast this morning at AU, Phil Bernstein, FAIA, Vice president of industry strategy and relations for AEC, talked about what AEC was now at Autodesk.

Last year, AEC was comprised of building and Civil. Now the AEC division is comprised of building, infrastructure, plant and civil, with civil expanded to include water, wastewater and utilities.

What is somewhat unclear is that in the past, water, wastewater and utilities were under the heading “infrastructure,” but it seems infrastructure has a broader meaning now in the AEC space.

Bernstein said construction is a “significant growth opportunity for us.” The main business globally for all AEC software firms is in renovation and retrofit, as no one is building anything new. Autodesk is selling a lot of Revit and Navisworks into the construction market now.

Bernstein cited MEP as a “high growth area” that has been under penetrated, “AutoCAD MEP is already big, now we have to catch up with Revit MEP.”

Paul McRoberts, VP of infrastructure, described how Map 3D and Topobase are used to aggregate and reconcile data for reporting back out. Map and Topobase are used for records management and planning for property management. Visualization will be huge in transportation, he said. LandXplorer can create visualizations of cities and roads in very little time.

Roberts talked about utilizing weather data in Green Building Studio for design purposes, looking at erratic temperatures, rainfall, floods; all those weather peculiarities that can impact design and ways to predict them.

Bernstein talked about two projects that showcase Autodesk’s use of BIM and Integrated Project Delivery technologies:

1) Recent completion of the AEC Autodesk Headquarters in Waltham, MA, which cost $12 million to set up, with extensive use of BIM, sustainable design principles and IPD. The headquarters comprises 55,000 square feet and is a LEED Platinum design, built in eight months using all Autodesk tools.

The benefit of this project to the Autodesk team was that they worked very closely with the design and construction teams. The project is being used  to teach organizational change at Harvard.

2) Research project with the National Building Museum – this museum was laser scanned inside and out, then point clouds are captured in AutoCAD, converted to surface objects and then converted over to Revit.

The federal government has allocated $30 million to document existing federal buildings. There is a large amount of Stimulus money going into renovating federal buildings, as President Obama has mandate that the U.S. become carbon neutral in the year 2010 and to achieve zero carbon by 2030.

A lot of this discussion was repeated during an AEC Keynote held just after the breakfast, with the addition of more details on case studies and the plant and process sector, which I will expand upon in more detail in future writings.

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