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Autodesk 2011 product line

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

In a webcast today, Autodesk CEO Carl Bass introduced the Autodesk 2011 product suite, handing over the discussion to Autodesk senior vice president, Platform Solutions and Emerging Business, Amar Hanspal.

The webcast began with a description of new functionality in AutoCAD, described as the “heart of the product portfolio,”  with features such as associative surfaces, ability to control vertices, advanced surfacing functionality. With the new AutoCAD, users can create surfaces, modify original geometry, and those surfaces automatically update. Surfaces can be associated with other geometry and surfaces.

Users can move models over into Revit and include real world objects by adding point clouds from 3D laser scanning devices into their drawings.

Point clouds of up to 2 billion points can be added.

An enhanced materials library has over 1,000 materials that can be dragged and dropped onto a model. Those materials maintain as they are imported to other models.

Many customers are interested in 2D capabilities, said Hanspal. 2D and 3D have direct manipulation now in many areas.

A new feature in Revit called Sunpath will allow users to input a zipcode and have the sun automatically appear in the right place in the model according to geographic location. It would allow designers to see how shadows fall and to control interior light. There are also enhancements to address large team workflows, and conceptual modeling tools added to be able to execute organic freeform shapes.

“BIM is not just about buildings, it’s about infrastructure,” said Hanspal. More complexity can be achieved in BIM now with the addition of the 64-bit version. There is also greater interoperability between Autodesk products with this new update.

Survey shows hot markets for healthcare construction in 2010

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

According to a survey done by ZweigWhite, over half of architecture and engineering firms see the West Coast as the action market for healthcare construction in 2010.

The ZweigWhite quarterly report Market Advisor will publish the results of the survey.

According to a press release, “over half of respondents to the healthcare survey said that the West Coast is where the work is, with 28% saying the Southwest is the hottest geographic area, and 24% pointing to the Northwest. The Northeast and the Midwest, both at 16%, also fared well. Only 4% respondents pointed to the international arena as where they see potential in 2010.

“Southern California is an active aging market,” says Edward Caruana, president of c|a Architects from Long Beach, CA. “We feel health facilities whatever complexion they take on in the future will be needed in this busy area.”

Among significant findings:

  • 37% of respondents are optimistic about healthcare being a hot market this year, but 40% are in the “wait and see mode,” and 23% are not touching it.
  • 44% of respondents say new hospital projects will lead health care in 2010, a significant percentage (32%) say they will work mostly on renovations and upgrades, due to lack of funding for all-new facilities.
  • 67% of respondents pointed to lack of financing as the biggest hindrance to this market in 2010.”

Bloom Energy unveils ground-breaking fuel cell

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

K.R. Sridhar, co-founder and CEO of Silicon Valley’s Bloom Energy, has dominated the news this week with a fuel cell, a thin, flat ceramic cell that is expected to generate energy by combining air and a wide range of fuels – without combustion.

The solid oxide fuel cell could be a disruptive technology for the clean energy technology industry in that it can be powered by either renewable sources of energy or fossil fuel in an electro-chemical process said to be cleaner than current options.

Already major companies such as Google, Staples, Inc., FedEx Corp. and Wal-Mart stores have begun to test the technology or have signed on as customers.

Bloom said that more than 11 million kilowatt-hours of energy have been produced so far in trial runs.

Sridhar, a former NASA scientist said the technology powering the fuel cell potentially “has the same kind of impact on energy that the mobile phone had on communications.”

This fuel-cell technology has been in research for nine years. Although there are other companies working on similar technology, what Bloom has going for it is that it has an integrated system and the product is already packaged for commercial sale.

Bloom’s power plant in a box?

Autodesk posts Q4 profitability, then stock falls

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

On Wednesday Autodesk stock fell 2% after the company’s announcements of profitability on Tuesday:

Tech Stocks Head South, Wall Street Journal, Thursday, February 25, 2010

News stories on Autodesk’s Q4 announcement:

Autodesk Posts Sequential Revenue, Profitability and Cash Flow Growth, AECCafe News

Autodesk, Inc. Q4 2010 Earnings Call Transcript Seeking Alpha

Autodesk (ADSK) Reports Strong Q4 Results, Shares Jump, February 23, 2010

BIM adoption may become next construction standard according to survey

Friday, February 19th, 2010

“Although the BIM adoption rate has slowed due to a challenging economic climate, 51 percent of survey respondents to [the 2009 survey from Building Design+Construction] have added or plan to add more BIM seat licenses, down from 63 percent of companies in 2008. The total number of seats purchased is also expected to decline by 56 percent since 2008.”

Is BIM the Next Construction Standard?

IMT, by Ilya Leybovich, February 17, 2010

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