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Intergraph to be acquired by Hexagon AB

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

The recent announcement that Intergraph has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Hexagon AB, raised questions among the media. Hexagon AB is a global measurement technology company, and the transaction is valued at approximately $2.125 billion.

According to the press release, “Upon closing of the transaction, Intergraph will operate as a separate Hexagon division under the Intergraph name and branding.  Intergraph will become Hexagon’s core software platform and will continue to provide differentiated and vertically-focused software solutions to its core industries.  Intergraph software will also be integrated into Hexagon’s existing measurement and precision technology system markets to provide a visual presentation layer for the management, analysis and sharing of the vast amounts of critical data produced by these products.”

Intergraph customers are assured that “upon closing of the transaction, Intergraph will operate as a separate Hexagon division under the Intergraph name and branding.  Intergraph will become Hexagon’s core software platform and will continue to provide differentiated and vertically-focused software solutions to its core industries.  Intergraph software will also be integrated into Hexagon’s existing measurement and precision technology system markets to provide a visual presentation layer for the management, analysis and sharing of the vast amounts of critical data produced by these products.”

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?

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.” 

In 2006, Intergraph was acquired by an investor group led by Hellman & Friedman LLC, TPG Capital and JMI Equity.  Pending regulatory approvals, as well as satisfaction of other customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed in the third or fourth quarter of 2010.
Incidentally, Hexagon AB is also the parent company for ERDAS, Inc., a company that focuses on incorporating geospatial information into businesses’ existing systems and data. ERDAS states that they do not see any change in business as a result of the Intergraph acquisition for the immediate future.

Crate & Barrel cuts costs and time with BIM

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Retailer completes projects 40% faster at half the cost.

Crate & Barrel turns to BIM to cut costs, project time, ContractorSupply

AEC Headquarters showcases building trends

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

This past week I had the pleasure of attending Autodesk’s AEC Division Headquarters in Waltham, MA for a press technology day. The building itself on Trapelo Road is a showcase for what can be done today with new approaches and technology.  An unassuming, box-like, 61,000- square-foot office building that required an entire build-out, the building now is a testament to the use of integrated project delivery (IPD), sustainable design, digital-design-to-fabrication, and of course BIM. Local architectural firm KlingStubbins and Tocci Building Companies were instrumental in bringing these concepts to fruition with their experience in successful deployment of BIM and IPD.

Inside, there are spacious training rooms and conference rooms with 90% natural daylight, as well as a “Telepresence” room where global meetings can be held and everyone “present” can be seen on a wall-sized screen.. Phil Bernstein, FAIA, vice president, Industry Strategy and Relations for the AEC Solutions Division, said this has cut down on their travel expenses as they can now hold virtual meetings.

I am not sure what local materials might have been used, it did seem more of a display of Autodesk technology rather than an implementation of local resources, other than local architectural and building companies.

The meeting was intended as a way to introduce press to the building and to demonstrate the 2011 product line.

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.”
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