AECCafe Weekly Review March 25th, 2017

ConstructConnect’s -2% February Starts Almost Hold Their Ground
March 23, 2017  by Alex Carrick, Chief Economist at ConstructConnect

Article source: ConstructConnect

ConstructConnect announced today that February starts, excluding residential activity, nearly held their own versus an upwardly revised January. The latest month’s level of $26.2 billion was only -1.7% compared with the volume in the month before.

2017-03-21-US-Nonresidential-Construction-Starts-Feb-2017

Throughout the long-term history of the starts, there has been a typical drop – due to weather-related factors − of -2.5% between January and February. Harsh conditions in winter can put a halt to field work. February, however, is the last in a string of months during which starts tend to decline period-to-period on account of seasonality. From March through July, the tendency is for starts to pick up from one month to the next.

Starts in February 2017 versus what was an exceptionally strong February 2016 were -9.2%. Year-to-date starts in 2017 compared with January-to-February of last year were -7.5%.

The starts figures throughout this report are not seasonally adjusted (NSA). Nor are they altered for inflation. They are expressed in what are termed ‘current’ as opposed to ‘constant’ dollars.

‘Nonresidential building’ plus ‘engineering/civil’ work accounts for a considerably larger share of total construction than residential activity. The former’s combined proportion of total put-in-place construction in the Census Bureau’s January report was 60%; the latter’s was 40%.

AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT 2018 Released
March 23, 2017  by Susan Smith

AutoCAD 2018 and AutoCAD LT 2018 have been released, Autodesk’s flagship products for the AEC industry.

Intelligent Rainscreen Façade Video
March 23, 2017  by Akio Moriwaki

Originally published on the Desktop Engineering blog. Written by Geoff Haines.

At Desktop Engineering, we aim to help our customers find ways of doing design or manufacturing quicker and of higher quality using software technologies.

Geoffrey M. Haines, BSc(Eng), ACGI, C Eng, MIMechE, FRSA

One of the approaches we can use is to use a rule based approach to capture knowledge to allow it to be re-used.

Rules are those simple set of instructions, something as simple as a cooking recipe, that one follows that determines an outcome. So it is with engineering. Capture those rules and then reuse them in software and then you have design automation.

We have done this with the design of Rainscreen Façades using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

By taking the elements of a façade rainscreen, encapsulating the design process as a set of rules, we have created an Intelligent Rainscreen Façade solution.

We can vary any parameter within the rules to automatically recreate a complete assembly.

As every part in the assembly has an associated fabrication drawing, then those are automatically recreated too. Preset reports then create a full schedule of parts, cutting lists and cost information.

So when your architect decides on a different variation in grid or material, it’s simple to recreate a design, determine a cost, and create full fabrication details.

We have a short video demonstration to highlight this process:

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