NavisWorks Acquired by Autodesk
[ Back ]   [ More News ]   [ Home ]
NavisWorks Acquired by Autodesk

Welcome to AECWeekly!

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/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, New Products, and Upcoming Events.

AECWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think. Please send me your comments

Best wishes,
Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News
NavisWorks Acquired by Autodesk
by Susan Smith

click to enlarge [ Click to Enlarge ]
Last week, Autodesk completed the acquisition of NavisWorks for a purchase price of $26 million, plus a working capital adjustment. The Sheffield, UK-based, privately held company is known for its 3D coordination, collaboration and sequencing in design and construction. According to Jay Bhatt, senior vice president, Autodesk AEC Solutions, NavisWorks is a mediation tool of sorts, “it’s an environment that allows for disparate sets of information, particularly for design and CAD information, to be processed by a software technology, irrespective of file formats and data disconnects. It creates a consistent representation of all this design information so that certain kinds of analysis can be run on that set of data. We call it a ‘model mediation tool,’ a tool that mediates a bunch of model information. You can run clash detection, you can do simulation and visualization of a project, you can attach a construction schedule or Excel schedule to the design information and run a sequencing process on your design to show how it could come out of the ground and look over time.”

Bhatt uses a favorite Autodesk concept to describe NavisWorks’ capabilities: it allows you to experience your design before it’s real in a simulated environment. Moreover, it allows for the construction industry to consolidate disparate forms of information and run analyses and simulations.

As more customers are using modeling tools or Revit, Bhatt said the industry is moving toward a model based environment. Now that model based design makes more processes possible, customers said they now have a dataset and database information that represents the design, but needed to do more with it. NavisWorks allows you to attach to the datasets that are generated in Revit and other products, and has a deeper connection to analysis and high end visualization.

NavisWorks has a neutrality in its ability to support many file formats and disparate sets of information that Autodesk feels is critical to maintain. There is a need for more interoperability between Autodesk’s own products as well as in other products in the industry. Autodesk and NavisWorks plan to jointly develop and deliver an even more comprehensive suite of solutions for design and construction.

The flagship product from NavisWorks is JetStream and Autodesk has no plans to change the name, since it is a strong brand name. The product is used in process and plant design and shipbuilding, where its clash detection capability is used a lot. The product’s largest number of customers come from the commercial building space.

As Autodesk and NavisWorks already share many customers in common, they have had a lot of feedback from customers asking for a more integration between the two technologies. Some customers have even said they would like Autodesk to own NavisWorks so they could coordinate the process better. “They have customers we weren’t able to reach effectively and now we can with NavisWorks at the construction level,” said Bhatt. “Contractors find it very valuable because they can get a lot information from their design professionals and run a simulation and see what that means from a construction project build standpoint. The process and power also opens up areas of new customers and contractors.”

Autodesk will retain the employee base of NavisWorks and the offices will remain in their current locations in Manchester, UK as well as a sales office in the U.S. They will be integrated into the Autodesk infrastructure. When you buy a company, Bhatt said, the code has to be constantly changed, so you need the people who understand the base of it. Autodesk generally retains almost everyone in companies they buy, as they will do with NavisWorks.

Bhatt said that NavisWorks is a small representation of a big trend in the industry, and that is NavisWorks is so valuable because it acknowledges that the design and construction process need to be coordinated more aggressively. Some people call this design build or integrated practice, or BIM. Tools like NavisWorks complement BIM by providing a visualization tool with applications on the back end to coordinate all the information in the BIM design construction document.


Autodesk, Inc. announced that it has completed the acquisition of technology and product assets of Opticore, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Design Communication, based in Gothenburg, Sweden. On June 18, 2007, Autodesk announced an agreement to purchase the assets of Opticore, a premier software provider of advanced technology used to produce highly interactive and realistic 3D digital product visualizations and presentations. The acquisition delivers upon the Company's strategy to drive mass adoption of 3D among customers in key industries such as automotive and consumer products, by continually enhancing the depth and breadth of its Digital Prototyping solutions. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


Key players in real estate and construction misjudge the costs and benefits of "green" buildings, creating a major barrier to more energy efficiency in the building sector, a new study by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) reports. Respondents to a 1400 person global survey estimated the additional cost of building green at 17 percent above conventional construction, more than triple the true cost difference of about 5 percent. At the same time, survey respondents put greenhouse gas emissions by buildings at 19 percent of world total, while the actual number of 40 percent is double this.

Research and Markets announced the addition of "Computer Aided Design - Portfolio Analysis" to their offering.

The Portfolio Analysis - Computer Aided Design is a comprehensive evaluation of the UK market. The revised and updated 2007 edition analyses the financial performance of the companies important to the success of your business. Using the most up to date information available, the analysis is ideal both as a tool to benchmark your own company's results and to study the market in more depth. Aimed at the busy manager, the Portfolio Analysis is both quick and easy to use thanks to the unique visual layout.


Autodesk, Inc. announced that it has presented the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) with a Revit BIM Experience Award for its commitment to teaching an entirely digital approach to architecture. NJIT provides students with targeted building information modeling (BIM) classes and has integrated Revit Architecture software into design studios. The Revit BIM Experience Award honors organizations, including commercial architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms, educational institutions, and individuals for their innovation and excellence in implementing the Revit platform for BIM. Candidates are judged on their ability to create quality and complex designs, collaborate across the building design disciplines, and drive increased productivity in the building design process.

New Products

Primavera Systems, Inc.,
announced its comprehensive Federal enterprise management suite focused on addressing the five dimensions of Federal management - portfolio, project, earned value, resource, and risk management. Focused on delivering the right solutions for Federal agencies wrestling to manage change, reporting, and oversight requirements, Primavera offers Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) capabilities that empower agencies to cross-pollinate best practices and achieve new levels of reporting transparency.

IMSI/Design announced the release of DesignCAD™ 3D Max. v18. Targeted at individuals requiring professional CAD at consumer prices, easy-to-use DesignCAD 3D Max v18 contains almost two dozen new features and performance enhancements.

Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced the publication of "Best Practices for Using Software in Structural Engineering," a 61-page collection of articles and case studies on topics ranging from implementation strategies to analysis approaches and integration with Building Information Modeling (BIM).

announced a new partnership with AxisPointe, Inc., the national leader in warranty documentation management, outsourced call-back management, and subcontractor certification, and Corrigo(R), Inc., the leading provider of wireless on-demand service and work order management solutions. Both companies are integrated partners with BuilderMT, and their combined, complementary services will be marketed as one seamless solution called the BuilderMT Post-Construction Suite.

ConstructHub, an innovative Construction and Project Management toolset, has completed comprehensive beta testing and announces the launch of true on-line construction project management with mobile support, single source data entry and secure on-demand business data.

ProSoft, nationally known for industry leading MicroStation®, InRoads®, and AutoCAD® courseware, has announced the release of the new AutoCAD 2008 Fundamentals Reference Manual.

This 506-page manual provides a detailed introduction to the tools, concepts and workflows a new user must master in order to become proficient with AutoCAD 2008.

Informative Graphics Corporation (IGC) announced the integration of its Brava!(R) Enterprise .NET viewing and collaboration product to Microsoft(R) Office SharePoint Server 2007.


5th International Symposium on Environmental Hydrology & the 5th Regional Conference on Civil Engineering Technology
Date: September 3 - 5, 2007
Place: Cairo, Egypt
The 5th Civil Engineering Technology & 5th International symposium in the Middle East are to show that Civil Engineering is a global profession with a focus on economics and natural resources preservation and utilization.
The issues to be discussed are related to the performance of engineered systems for sustainable development and the role of quality assurance and Quality Control in Civil Engineering, and environmental hydrology beside other multi-disciplines in infrastructure development.

7th International Congress - Concrete: Construction's Sustainable Option
Date: September 4 - 6, 2007
Place: University of Dundee
Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom

Date: September 4 - 7, 2007
Place: Palace of Sport
Lviv, Ukraine
Modern construction technologies. Construction units, materials and tools. Construction and decoration materials. Lifts and lift equipment. Architectural projects. Electrotechnical equipment. Sanitation. Energy-saving technologies and materials. Windows and doors from PVC, wooden and aluminium profile. Roofing and hydroinsulating materials.

Date: September 9 - 12, 2007
Place: Earls Court Exhibition Centre
London, SW5 9TA United Kingdom
PLASA07 is THE international event attracting buyers and specifiers within the entertainment, event, corporate, architectural and installation industries from all over the world. If you work professionally with lighting, sound, rigging or staging, then PLASA07 is the event where you can see the latest innovations in one place at one time.

Wallingford Software International User Conference 2007
Date: September 11 - 13, 2007
Place: Wallingford Software
Howbery Park, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BA United Kingdom
This year's International User Conference, will be held over three days from 11th to 13th September at Howbery Park in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK.
The first and second days will be divided into three core streams covering the main water disciplines of collection systems (InfoWorks CS), water supply (InfoWorks WS), river systems and coastal engineering (InfoWorks RS) and flood management and forecasting (FloodWorks). The third day is dedicated to network data management and Wallingford Software's InfoNet solution.

Webcast: Making the Move from 2D to 3D
Date: September 11, 2007
Place: Internet Event
Productivity has never been more important. Today, you need to see and experiment with your next project before its real. Simply designing only in 2D is no longer enough.
Now you can discover how the power of 3D can take your designs to the next level with Autodesk® Inventor™ 2008 software at INCAT’s Autodesk Live technology webcast event taking place at the comfort of your desk.

Highway Construction Cost Conference
Date: September 11, 2007
Place: 10330 Natural Bridge Road
St. Louis, MO USA
This one day conference brings together highway and bridge construction experts from state and federal agencies and the construction industry to discuss and formulate recommendations for: the outlook for construction material costs, construction pratices that can be used to mitigate cost increases, and identify other practices impacting construction costs.

Webinar : Accelerate and Improve Store Construction
Date: September 12, 2007
Place: Online
Retailers look to real estate and construction departments to improve bottom-line results. New store openings alone represent as much as 50% of revenue growth for retailers. Construction of new stores and store remodels represent 80% to 90% of retailer's capital budgets.
The acceleration of store construction from site selection through the grand opening of the store increases revenue weeks and bottom-line profit. The automation and improvement of the project cost and schedule management of both new store openings and re-models reduces capital project expenses, significantly improving financial performance.

Central Reprographics Association Trade Show
Date: September 13 - 15, 2007
Place: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
On Nicollet Mall, 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MT 55403 USA
In the heart of downtown Minneapolis, you’ll find the 2007 CRA Convention host Hotel, the Hyatt Regency, one of the city’s premier hotels; located on Nicollet Mall, a mile long open air pedestrian mall with access to downtown attractions and shopping like: Macy’s, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Polo/Ralph Lauren and Crate & Barrel just to mention a few.

LEAF 2007
Date: September 13 - 16, 2007
Place: 55-57 North Wharf Rd, London, W2 1LA United Kingdom
The Leading European Architects Forum (LEAF) is an international community for those involved with the architectural environment, including architects and planners, contractors, developers, and interior designers.
LEAF 2007 will enable architects looking for new ideas and inspiration to meet with established and emerging suppliers. Suppliers attending the event will be able to build and develop stronger links with the architectural community as well as gaining a deeper understanding of the market.

Dwell on Design Conference
Date: September 14 - 16, 2007
Place: Concourse Exhibition Center
San Francisco, CA USA
The Dwell on Design Conference and Exhibition is an idea-driven, hands-on experience designed to ignite a creative spark within anyone who is passionate about modern design, sustainability, and smart growth.
Dwell on Design will feature presentations and conversations with influential product designers, architects, landscape designers, critics, innovators in green building practices and other industry leaders.

ICE - 5th International Conference on Current and Future Trends in Bridge Design, Construction and Maintenance
Date: September 17 - 18, 2007
Place: Beijing, China
The scope of the conferences held to date has encompassed the ‘state-of-the-art’ in bridge design, construction, maintenance and assessment. This conference will do likewise but with the specific objective of addressing issues relating to:
- Lessons that can be learnt from the past
- Advances in the understanding of the structural behaviour of bridges
- Durability, structural reliability, risk management and health monitoring
- Whole life costing and investment for the future
- Bridge management and its relationship with Infrastructure management
- The impact and future role of IT in bridge construction and management
- Innovation in bridge design, construction and repair
- The future of condition monitoring, assessment and maintenance

It is envisaged that there will be papers on major bridge schemes throughout the world, including both those that have been completed and those still under construction. In particular, an effort will be made to ensure that all sessions include at least one paper of local or regional interest in order to promote the exchange of ideas and existing practice.

ISES Solar World Congress 2007 (SWC2007)
Date: September 18 - 21, 2007
Place: Beijing , China
The International Solar Energy Society and the Chinese Solar Energy Society warmly welcome you to the ISES Solar World Congress 2007 (SWC2007) in Beijing, China, from September 18 to 21, 2007.

PLM Road Map™ 2007
Date: September 19 - 20, 2007
Place: Plymouth, MI USA
At PLM Road Map™ 2007, you will find out first hand which issues are currently confronting end users. Presentations will cover driving critical parameters across design, frameworks for process transformation, the impact of organizational and cultural constraints, SOA for integration across the full development cycle, transforming CAE into a strategic business initiative, BOM integration across design and manufacturing, mechatronics and embedded software, and more.