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Archive for January, 2011

Coming soon: SolidWorks LiveBuildings AEC product

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

At SolidWorks World this past week a new AEC type product was announced: SolidWorks Live Buildings (SWLB).  Its focus is on offering designers and architects an immersive environment to quickly design structure, floor layout and even put in furniture. Positioning the building for better sun access may also be possible with the product, making it a candidate for building sustainability. Watchers say the product feels like SketchUp at first glance, with similar abilities to pull in information from other models and drag and drop information.

Local AEC news

Friday, January 21st, 2011

CPI Releases 189 BIM Product Model Drawings for Autodesk® Revit® January 17, 2011, Trading


Architects Find Their Dream Client, in China by Lawrence Cheek, January 15, 2011, The New York Times

HOK Designs New Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Fla. January 11, 2011, Benzinga

Intergraph settles 8-year lawsuit with Bentley Systems for $200M

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

The following article in this week’s Huntsville Times settled a matter that many thought had been settled long ago:

Intergraph Settles $200M suit with Bentley Systems

HUNTSVILLE, AL — An eight-year lawsuit between the former Intergraph Corp. and Pennsylvania-based software maker Bentley Systems has been settled for nearly $200 million, according to court documents.

The settlement is among the largest in Madison County history, court watchers said.

As part of a settlement agreed upon last month, Cobalt BSI Holding, which bought Intergraph in 2006, will sell back to Bentley its 15.6 million shares of Bentley stock, at a purchase price of just over $12 per share, totaling about $198 million, according to court documents. In July 2010, Sweden-based Hexagon AB bought Intergraph from Cobalt for $2.1 billion.

The settlement total includes $9.9 million in fees and expenses awarded to Cobalt’s attorneys, including Bartley Loftin III of Huntsville and his firm, Maynard Cooper & Gale.

Intergraph sold its civil engineering products to Bentley in 2000 and the deal included proceeds from maintenance contracts.

In 2002 the companies began their long courtroom skirmish, with Intergraph challenging how much Bentley owed it from a promissory note and Bentley countersuing in connection with Intergraph’s handling of the maintenance contracts.

As part of the settlement, both sides agreed not to issue press releases about the agreement or otherwise publicly discuss the case, except to note the agreement was “consensually resolved.”

A settlement hearing before Circuit Judge Tom King, from Jefferson County, who gave preliminary approval to the deal in December, will be Feb. 10 at the Madison County Courthouse.

-Huntsville Times

In July 2010, Sweden-based Hexagon AB bought Intergraph from Cobalt BSI Holding for $2.1 billion.

One question that arose among those of us who have followed Intergraph since the days when Bentley Systems was owned by Intergraph, is: does Intergraph still own 30 percenet of Bentley Systems, and if so, how is Bentley affected by the recent news of this acquisition?

In an AECCafe Today blog, on July 13, 2010, Chris Barron, vice president of corporate marketing for Bentley, responded:  ”As a privately held company, Bentley does not routinely report on the identity of its minority stockholders or the stockholders or the size of their holdings. However, in response to your question, we can advise you that the Bentley shares previously held by Intergraph were transferred to an affiliate of its private equity owners following its going private transaction in 2006 and we have no indications that those shares are part of the sale to Hexagon.” 

Clearly much of what has gone on with Intergraph and Bentley has occurred under wraps and the two companies have agreed not to issue press releases or publicly discuss the case.

Three new products from Newforma address mobile web access and model-based design workflows

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

In addition to Newforma’s launch of Newforma Project Center Eighth Edition, the company yesterday released the following new products:

- Newforma Mobile –to enable mobile web access to project information

- Newforma Contract Management – for comprehensive contract and document change management

- Newforma Add-in for Autodesk Revit –to support model-based design workflows with Autodesk Revit Architecture, Autodesk Revit Structure and Autodesk Revit MEP.

Newforma’s Project Center software eighth edition addresses BIM workflow

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

The software company Newforma announced their eighth edition of Newforma Project Center software, a project information management (PIM) offering that serves the needs of AEC firms. The product addresses the “I” in information technology, with specific functionality to address the BIM workflow.

According to the press release, Newforma Project Center Eighth Edition incorporates “significant additional capabilities and customer-requested enhancements for managing key project information and further streamlining project delivery, including:

·         Document control – A new Document Control activity center enables AEC project teams to standardize revision management of record documents issued for review, permitting and construction without disruption to existing document filing protocols. Document control can be used to manage sheet sets from Autodesk Revit as well as related project processes such as action items, markup, RFIs and change orders.

·         Actionable meeting minutes – A new Meeting Minutes activity center simplifies the management of agendas, minutes and follow-on commitments associated with project meetings in order to keep project teams focused and accountable for project priorities. The Meeting Minutes activity center links meetings scheduled in Microsoft Outlook with related action items and supporting documents, and tracks action items, RFIs and other open project items across a series of meetings until they are resolved.

·         Project images – A new Project Images activity center enables firms to take control of the ever-expanding volume of digital site photos and project images. Photos and images can be located with ease regardless of their location in project folders, and may be filtered, sorted, searched and grouped by any image file property, including EXIF properties such as camera model, date taken, tags and subject. Additionally, images can be tagged with project keywords for search and filter-based discovery and retrieval.

·         Shared files and coordinated folders – Newforma Info Exchange, the file transfer communication server deployed in conjunction with Newforma Project Center, has also been enhanced in Eighth Edition. In addition to the existing capabilities to easily and securely transfer large project files with automatic logging and tracking of who downloaded what and when, project folders on the network can now be linked and automatically synchronized with folders on the Info Exchange server. Internal users simply copy files into synchronized folders to share them with remote external or internal team members. External team members and remote internal users can now upload files via Info Exchange using a new drag-and-drop capability. Download access and upload permissions for external team members, as well as sending email notifications and reminders, can all be managed by internal users with no need for IT support.

·         Remote access to project information – Newforma Info Exchange now delivers role-based remote access capabilities for internal and external team members from any internet-connected browser, even via an Apple iPad digital device. Live access to project information from the field including record document revisions, meeting minutes, full log views of RFIs, submittals, change orders, action items and more helps project teams avoid delays in making decisions. Smartphone access is also available using the Newforma® Mobile option. 

·         Microsoft® Office Excel reporting - Easily modified Excel-based templates can now be used to customize the formatting of reports throughout Newforma Project Center. 

·         Building Information Management and Spatial Index activity centers – New Building Information Management and Spatial Index activity centers provide project teams with a spreadsheet interface for editing sheets, spaces and properties from a Revit building information model. Bi-directional synchronization is provided through the optional Newforma® Add-in for Autodesk® Revit®.”

Look for a more in-depth report on the eighth edition of Project Center in AECWeekly in the coming weeks.

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