February 19, 2007
Autodesk World Press Day 07
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor


by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Welcome to AECWeekly! Press people from around the world gathered to hear the latest at the Autodesk World Press Day 2007 held in San Francisco this past week. Read about product news in this week’s Industry News.



AECWeekly is a news magazine featuring important industry news profiles, a summary of recently published AEC product and company news, customer wins, and coming events. Brought to you by AECCafe.


AECWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances, Awards,New Products, and Upcoming Events.


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Susan Smith, Managing Editor


Industry News

Autodesk World Press Day 07

by Susan Smith


Press people from around the world gathered to hear the latest at the Autodesk World Press Day 2007 held in San Francisco this past week.


click to enlarge [
Day One was characterized by a few changes, in that the industry divisions have been restructured and vps reassigned. Former vice president of the Infrastructure Solutions Division (ISD), Chris Bradshaw, has now taken the helm as vice president Worldwide Marketing. Amar Hanspal, formerly vice president of the Autodesk Collaboration Services Division, is now vice president of Platform Geospatial and Plant (PG&P), responsible for AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, mapping and GIS, and plant and process products. Where once civil engineering was under the purview of Chris Bradshaw in ISD, Jay Bhatt, vice president of Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Solutions, is now responsible
for civil engineering products as well as AEC products such as Revit and Architectural Desktop (now named Autodesk Architecture 2008).


CEO and president of Autodesk, Carl Bass, began with the usual discussion of how successful the company had been. He noted that it’s difficult for a company to hit the 1 billion dollar mark and stay there, and it took Autodesk 20 years to get to the 1 billion mark and in the last four years they have added another billion. they have quadrupled their operating margin or budget. (Later, Don Weigel of Autodesk said that they are working on breaking down just what industry segments are responsible for the growth.)


Bass noted some significant changes in the industry that impact technology


1. Globalization – much cheaper labor and really large markets created around the world. Global competition. Commoditization is a certainty, happening more rapidly than ever. Companies must create designs that stand out from the crowd.


2. Global building and infrastructure boom - emerging economies need infrastructure and rebuilding. How do you do this given a scarcity of engineers and commodities – steel, etc.?


3. Rising cost of energy. Economic cost of energy plus geopolitical cost of energy, strain on earth’s resources, energy resources, carbon foot print. Growing interest in sustainable design, which has taken on new meaning in business, demonstrated by the popularity of cars such as the Prius, etc. Companies are rethinking products, projects, rethinking how much energy is required to produce products.


4. The digital life. People are spending an increasing amount of time in front of screens for both play and business. This is driving the need for creation of a larger variety and volume of content. YouTube has staggering amount of content.


Bass said that companies differentiate themselves through design innovation. He reiterated what he had said at AU this year: that Autodesk is trying to help customers experience what they are going to build before they build it, using simulation, analysis and BIM tools. “Anyone who can experience earlier in the process is in better shape, and can increase quality, and build a better project.”


Design innovation is taking some interesting shapes: there was an image of giant sponges arranged along the New Orleans’ coast that create a wall when water fills them, that may be used for flood prevention.


Jay Bhatt, VP of AEC Solutions, said there has been a huge transformation in change process in infrastructure and building industries.


Critical factors of this transformation are that industry professionals are re-examining their work process, and relooking at the use of technology in order to meet needs of industry transformation.


The most important factors driving the evolution of the infrastructure building industry today:


1. Massive growth cycle between now and 2025. It’s estimated that the population will increase on average by 75 million annually.


2. Between now and 2025, the population of the U.S. will increase by 70 million.


3. Half of the buildings in which Americans will live and work in the year 2030 don’t even exist yet.


Other factors:


- In China – 300 well equipped airports will be created (modeled on Beijing International Airport)


- “Go West” initiative – make rich natural resources in the west accessible to east and south area.


The 30% growth in population is one big issue driving environmental impact which is driving sustainable design. The following statistics were cited:


Buildings consume:


-36% of all energy


-30% of raw materials


Buildings emit:


-30% greenhouse gases


-30% of waste output.


Bhatt suggested the idea of a “hybrid building,” and that the building industry “meet society’s need for growth in an environmentally responsible way.”


He made the parallel with the manufacturing industry which has for years used modeling technology, analysis and forecasting, collaboration and supply chain management for various uses. Those same technologies can be applied to sustainable design for the management of waste and inefficiencies and analyzing various types of loads and stresses on buildings.


Armundo Darling, technical marketing manager, MEP Engineering, noted the two most common analysis performed on buildings:



1) Heating and cooling analysis – By leveraging the BIM model to perform your analysis, you can launch heating and cooling analysis tools, which first create heating and cooling models, and loads based calculation, based on ASHRAE based codes. These models can be modified for different use scenarios. You can assign HVAC systems to be used for the building, based on the actual location for each region (using weather data) The analysis is done by leveraging all that information and calculating all heating and cooling design requirements.


2) Daylighting and LEED daylighting analysis creates a analytical model from BIM. The daylighting tool allows you to see if LEED daylighting credit is met by occupied spaces. You can visually see the daylighting levels within the room, picking up daylight coming through windows into the room. The amount of daylight produces energy that ties back into heating and cooling load information.


The analysis program allows you to see what’s going on in each level and each room of the building. It also allows you to create a LEED daylight credit report which can be done in seconds. It used to take days to create. If the building fails to pass for accreditation, the architect can decide what to do to get it to pass such as increase window size, or rotate the building 15 degrees, make the changes in the Revit model, then bring back into the virtual environment. LEED only looks at occupied spaces in a building, so you can make a change, and then see if the change allows the building to pass for LEED certification, and if so, the report can be submitted for sustainable design.


Amar Hanspal, vice president of Platform, Geospatial and Plant spoke on how Autodesk spans from AEC and Manufacturing to Geospatial and plant. A more detailed report will appear in
GISWeekly this week on Autodesk’s Geospatial focus.


Hanspal also said that a big challenge in the plant sector is that engineering companies are turning down work because they can’t find people to do plant design work. He posed the question, what design platform are most engineers expert in? Autodesk. Thus the new P&ID piping product. The other plant design options available at this time are high end complex IT-centric systems that require specialized training and a long implementation cycle. AVEVA's PDMS will include Autodesk's new P&ID.


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